Baruch Dayan Emet (blessed is the true judge): this is the phrase we observant Jews are supposed to say when we hear someone has passed away. The truth is, I often think of it afterwards. I am usually rather shocked when I hear the news, even if it is someone who has been sick for a long time.
This afternoon I learned that Rabbi Levi Meier died after a long battle with cancer. The family is sitting shiva in California.
When studying the Book of Ruth, I wrote about Rabbi Levi Meier’s book, Second Chances: Transforming Bitterness Into Hope. He was the author of other books, including one that I own, Ancient Secrets: Using the Stories of the Bible to Improve Our Everyday Lives. In that book he talks about his work as a hospital chaplain and his experiences counseling people with terminal illness.
I only met Rabbi Levi Meier a few times, briefly, but I knew his mother, z”l, may her memory be a blessing, well. She made the best homemade gefilte fish I have ever tasted.