Stories & Memories of Rabbi Yudi Dukes

By: Mendy Dalfin February 8

Yudi, The Embodiment of The Bal Shemtovs Derech

Yudi got people to learn Torah.

Most people, learn torah for themselves or with an acquaintance. But learning with a total stranger across the world isn't so common. Even less often, will someone arrange for others, complete strangers, to learn together.

And then there's the volume.

I must reach a few people when I learn with others. I may impact 5-10 people through learning, however with Yudi, it was tens and tens of people. For each person was inspired, each person learned and each person connected to Hashem on a higher level.

Torah learning is embracing Hashem and creating an infinite connection with him.

Most Rosh Yeshiva's teach many students and learn a great deal themselves and surely when they pass on they are greeted in heaven by throngs of angels who carry all their Torah learning. Surely those bags are very heavy and they need train loads to carry the many bags of Torah learned when standing in judgement before the one on high.

Along came the bal shem tov and taught, G-D ultimately wants the heart, the Torah is important but it must come with the heart and the heart can be even more potent than Torah learning alone. This was a new idea that the Bal Shemtov taught and filled the world with the light of Chassidus.

Yudi was heart. He gave of his heart, convincing Anash to learn with other Jews from around the globe, each one with his or her story. These study partners fill bags and buckets of Torah which all in part belonged to Yudi, as he was the cause of the learning.

Yudi surely learned plenty of Torah himself and was very into the mesorah of reading the Torah. He embodied the ideas of Chassidus and encouraged others to learn Torah as well.

So, by our continuing to learn for Yudi and inspired by Yudi, Yudi lives, Yudi grows and he soars higher and my head I believe, higher than most Rosh Yeshivas, with bags and bags being added constantly to his benefit.

It is in our hands, we can learn from Yudi and encourage or even arrange for more chavrusas between people. Yudi was at the forefront of the Rebbe's constant push for us Chassidim to learn more Torah and illuminate the world with Torah.

Be like Yudi.

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