In February of 2003 I mentioned to my dear friend
Elliot Rothpearl that our friend Laura’s uncle, Michael Fein, had been
publishing a periodical on the internet called the Gantseh Megillah. Elliot was
as excited as I was to read the articles by various contributing writers. To my
surprise and delight, as I read the April edition of the Megillah, there was an
article by Elliot Rothpearl. Elliot had jumped right in to the challenge of
writing for the Megillah, though he was not a professional writer. “Mel, you
gotta co-write with me; this guy Michael is just a delight to know. He’s an
ex-New Yorker who, like us, speaks the “King’s English”; you’ll love him.”
My friend Elliot passed in September, 2006 and Michael allowed me to continue
Elliot had always suggested that I call and chat with Michael. I called and
after an hour of conversation (Michael was very easy to talk to) he said that
I’d be welcome to join the Gantseh Megillah family of writers. Very few people
have come into my life that have touched me and changed my life in visible way.
Michael did that by encouraging me, a person who never liked writing in the
past, to write my column. I never physically met Michael but we had long
conversations many times. He will always stay in my memory as loving, kind,
compassionate, committed and open to new ideas; a person who wanted to leave the
world a better place. Michael’s health challenged him daily, yet he’d put on his
armour and embrace the day. I saw him as a person of courage, and an encourager
whose positive attitude touched and inspired me.
In every conversation we had he spoke of his love for Arnold as I spoke of my
love for my wife Arlene. I know we’ve both been blessed with loving soul mates.
Our conversations often closed with a joke…So Michael, if you can hear me, I’d
like to tell you the one of a single fellow that goes to his Rabbi to ask for
“Rabbi, every time I bring a potential wife home to my Mother she has bad things
to say about her and doesn’t like her. What can I do to change her mind? I want
to get married”’
The Rabbi sits and thinks and comes up with a solution. “Find a woman who looks
like your mother, that talks and dresses the same way and your mother will love
The next week the man came back. “Rabbi I did exactly what you said but it
didn’t work out”. “Why not?”, the Rabbi asks.
“My Father didn’t like her this time.”
Michael, today we celebrate your life. I thank you for enriching mine.