Stories & Memories of Rabbi Yudi Dukes

By: Zalmy Kudan March 3

Every Second Counts

BH Yudi had offered to speak to our High School students via zoom on Yud Daled Kislev via Zoom. It turns out that that was the day he was back in the hospital after being at home, this time I believe Cornell. I messaged him in the morning to see if he was still up for it. He had just woken up from a procedure, was "groggy from the anesthesia", but he sent me a voice note: "I'm not sure I can do a full session, but I can do a quick q & a." Then in true Yudi style, never wasting a moment or an opportunity, he asks, "Can we do it now?". Of course I mobilized the girls, set up the zoom, and in minutes Yudi had the room laughing as he described how he named each of his procedures after amusement park rides. He then told a story about his first time walking outdoors since his hospitalization, and how it was raining. The therapist expressed "disappointment" that it was raining, and Yudi told him, "Are you kidding! Do you know how amazing it is for me to feel rain on my face?! This is the biggest blessing!" He then challenged the high school girls to find the little things that annoy them, or challenge them, and find the blessing and the opportunity for growth. His doctor came in, we ended the zoom. But Yudi didn't stop there. He sent me 2 voice notes (attached) to beg me to make sure that the girls actually take hachlotos based on the conversation. He wanted them to know that this is what makes him feel better. One of the High School girls sent a beautiful poem which is attached below as well. May we all learn from Yudi to use every moment to the fullest. To let every little thing be a lesson. And to share our inspiration with everyone.

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