To the dear family of Reb Mendel
I was friends with Mendel in Yeshiva but didn't know him super well, but always knew him as a serious Bochur who learned well, was a Yirah Shamayim, and who truly cared for the Rebbe's Inyonim. He was always the real deal...
In 2009, my finances were a complete disaster, I had terrible debt in the tens of thousands, one day my car was repossessed, I was behind on my mortgage and things were brutally tough for me and our Shlichus.
One day, I met Reb Mendel in 770 and we were chatting and I ended up telling him my situation, and he told me to give him a call and he wants to help me figure it out.
Within days we were speaking and he helped transfer tens of thousands of dollars of very high-interest debt to his interest-free cards, and then helped me and my wife fix our credit and then within a few months, be able to open our own credit cards which would be interest-free for 12 - 18 months or less, so that we could transfer the debt.
At the time he had me sign a Heter Iska to make sure that our dealings were done in a way that wouldn't contain the slightest Shaila of Ribbis. Even though he didn't charge me a dime, but here and there, there was a fee, which he would lay out for, but he wanted to make sure it was according to Halacha the way we did our dealings.
As I looked through our emails this week, I am amazed and reminded just how much time he spent with me to help me get out of terrible debt, all for no gain and no fame, simply to help another Yid, get out of hardship.
He did it all with a smile, and besides the tremendous assistance when things were so tough, knowing that there was someone who called you twice a week to help fix things and make things better, was a huge help in of itself.
On Motzoi Shabbos, when I found out the devastating news, I shed tears and was in shock. The whole Sunday I couldn't stop thinking about Reb Mendel who is no longer among the living. I couldnt go to the Levaya as we have Hebrew School and I couldn't leave, but in the afternoon as I followed the progress, I stopped and said Tehillim in the field outside my Chabad House and thought of his holy and pure Neshoma ascending to Shamayim.
I have been feeling a void and a gaping hole all week.....
I can't believe that Mendel who lived and breathed Ahavas Yisroel, Halacha and so much more, now has a huge family of Yesomim who are in such terrible pain.
IY"H I want to do something in our Chabad House, Leilui Nishmoso and as a Hakaoras Hatov for all that he did for us.
May Hashem comfort all of you among the Aveile Tziyon and Yerusholoyim and may we be Zoiche to Vehikitzu Verananu Shochnei Ofor Bekorov Mamosh.