Stories & Memories of Rabbi Yudi Dukes

By: Tova Hinda Siegel February 2

Only two calls, but...

I "met" Yudi on the phone just twice. I never met him in real life. I never sat down and had a one-to-one with him. I never had a long correspondence with him. But those calls on the phone really impacted me. His excitement and concern for another Jew came right through the wire! I had been contacted, I think about 14 years ago, by Orlie Schuller now Zak, to be a volunteer for JNet. I had never heard of JNet nor her, but somehow she found me and convinced me and connected me with a woman close to my age. That woman and I have continued learning together for those entire 14 years, hardly ever missing a "meeting". Yudi called me (probably not long before he got sick) since he thought that perhaps we were one of the longest learning teams. He was so excited, so enthused that JNet was responsible for bringing this woman closer to Yiddishkeit. He suggested that we do an interview, that he speak with both of us, and then let the JNet universe know what's possible. He interviewed me and then was going to interview her as well. That never happened sadly. But I wanted to share with you how clear his love for another Jew was, how that came through to me so strongly in our conversations. Though I never met him, those few minutes on the phone connected me to Yudi in such a palpable way that I davened for him the way I've davened for family members. I'm sure that everyone on that WhatApp feels the same way. We are all part of the same family. IY'H these memories that I'm sure hundreds of people are sharing with you will give you a measure of comfort and let you know how greatly the world misses him. We truly need Moshiach immediately.

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