Stories & Memories of Rabbi Yudi Dukes

By: Dovid Hordiner February 5

The Gift of Life

I would like to share the powerful impact Yudi had on me. We were paired up after a Kinus several years ago. Our responsibility was to speak each Monday morning to give us strength for the week.

Yudi was generally the one who kept it going all those years, initiating the 9am phone call. And even when we didn’t speak, he would leave a message with words of inspiration and a blessing. Yudi was a giver. Yudi was consistent. But that’s not the only thing, and not even the main thing.

As a good friend, his eternal gift to me was his unique willingness to be vulnerable. He was not afraid to share his personal struggles with me, to say what was really going on. By doing so, he enabled me to make myself vulnerable in return. And I think that enabled us to become close in a way I wasn’t able to with other friends. And this mostly happened over the phone, since I lived in Pittsburgh.

By opening up as he did, I believe this also enabled him to receive strength in return. I imagine his openness and vulnerability gave him real life, real growth. During his years in this world he was truly alive. That’s how I knew him, and that’s what he gave me. A model of how to take a relationship to a deeper, more meaningful level, and by doing so, to get more out of life. To create life.

I will miss him dearly, and I look forward to seeing him again iyH very soon.

Dovid Hordiner

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