At the peak of the Rosh Hashanah prayer service, we draw upon our collective memories, recalling our holy forefathers, their love for, and devotion to, Hashem.
But this is so much more than mere nostalgia. This is a vital part of our petition to Gd on this day of judgment.
We plead, “Remember the virtuous acts of our predecessors, and have their great merit accompany us today, as we stand judgment. For the impression they made, the imprint they left, is eternal, and is still very much part of who we are.”
There are few people of whom this is truer than Rav Yitzchak Dror, zt”l.
Rav Yitzchak created an aura of holiness wherever he went. The sanctity of the Torah, the words and pages that filled his days and nights, along with the intensity of his tefillah, and his extraordinary humility and purity – all radiated brightly from his face, affecting everyone around him.
It was the joy he exuded as he performed mitzvot. His palpable excitement as he selected his arba minim (four species), built the sukkah or gave tzedakah. It was his selflessness and generosity, his willingness to give his time, energy and resources for others. It was his desperate yearning for the Bet Hamikdash.
This holy tzaddik has left us. All that’s left are the memories. And the merits.
There are images, echoes, written notes of Torah…all of which combine to create a trail connecting us to his life’s work, and each of which generates merits for us and for the Jewish Nation.
As we prepare for the High Holidays, we turn to Hashem and beg, “Remember this Jew, and shower us with Your mercy in his merit.”
In his final days, this tzaddik, Rav Yitzchak, was alone, imprisoned between hospital walls, with no family or friends, or even medical attendants. He was alone with angels.
Like our patriarch Yitzhak bound to the altar, Rav Yitzhak was bound to his bed, unable to cry for help. His final breaths whispered words of Tehillim, uttering words of heartfelt prayer that floated to the Heaven, where it became a precious song.
No human being saw him during those final days. But Hashem did. And Hashem remembers all, forever.
The tzaddik, Rav Yitzchak, continues singing by his Gemara, no less now than before.
Those notes of Torah, the hope and yearning, and, of course, the pure faith, live on here, in this tribute, written by the tzaddik’s son, Yissaschar Dror.
Remember. And, dear Gd, please have mercy.