Stories & Memories of Rabbi Yudi Dukes

By: Avraham Markovich April 22


There are so many things to say I do not know where to begin.

I davened in the same Shul as Yudi and every time I saw Yudi he had a huge smile on his face that he gave me and everyone else he saw. When he smiled at me it would change my day - such a warm smile that is so very rare.

Yudi would daven for the amud Friday night at Shul and it was such a uplifting Friday night davening every time.

I remember one time he came over to me on a Friday night and shared a story that a guy called him that week asking him if he can try to find someone to learn with a chabura of kids in Far Rockaway to learn weekly. He said he was telling me the story because he was upset that he forgot to find someone to learn with them and respond back to him before Shabbos. He said I just wanted to share this with someone and I thought to share it with you.

I said that is so funny that you specifically chose me to share this with - did you know that I grew up in Far Rockaway? Yudi said no - I said it is such hashgacha pratis that you are telling me this as I grew up in Far Rockaway and I would probably connect well with them and I would love to learn with them. He set me up and I am still learning until today.

On a business end one time I needed a connection to Whole Foods. I am not sure how it came up but I asked Yudi if he knows anyone their. He said yes he does know someone a Chavrusa in our system that I am close to is a buyer in Whole Foods and he right away made the connection for me. The guy also made time to try to help me.

When I used to visit or speak to Yudi in the hospital all he would share with me is his thoughts about how to grow, what life is about, how to be a Shliach, give over a piece of chassidus... I said to myself look how much pain this guy is in and all he can talk about is giving over Torah and how to get closer to Hashem. I said this is someone who is a real chassid, a real Shliach someone who lives and bleeds chassidus - this really taught me what it means to be a real chassid.

I keep on bumping into people who tell me they learn weekly and I asked them with who and they tell me through a Chavrusa on JNET.

I wanted to work out a system with Yudi that I bring in certain groups of guys who want Chavrusas and instead of me finding them Chavrusas I send through the JNET system and my program & JNET would have a “partnership” together for these guys.
Yudi was in the hospital and I mentioned the idea to him and he was sick but so excited and he told me that the there are technical details that will be hard to work out right away but we should start right away and from the hospital he started WhatsApping everyone in JNET that we are doing this.

Yudi taught me what it means to greet everyone with a nice countenance - (Sefer panim yafos), to treat everyone with respect, what it means to be a servant of Hashem, what it means to be a chassid and what it means to be a Shliach.

Share Your Story

loading Processing...