| In the Arms of Rabi Shimon |

Avraham Daniel Embon, 21, Buenos Aires

When Hashem decided to take Avraham Daniel, we lost a pure neshamah


I knew Avraham Daniel since he was born, and the pain of his loss hit me not only as a member of Klal Yisrael, but also as a close family friend.

He was a wonderful bochur, focused only on learning. He didn’t see it as an imposition, but as the only true way of living. I’ve been a rebbi in the kehillah for more than 30 years, and I know how rare it is to find a bochur in Argentina who isn’t at all interested in soccer. But he truly didn’t care about it. His passion was within the walls of the beis medrash.

Even since he was a young child he was very responsible, always on time to  minyanim, to classes. I spent shabbatonim with him, camps, trips, davening, shiurim, and he was like that always. He got along with others; I never, ever saw him having difficulty getting along with another bochur.

I’ve known his father, Rabbi Dan Embon (also a rabbi in the kehillah), for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen how much he’s invested in imbuing into his family with the sense that Torah is the answer and the goal for everything. Everyone in Buenos Aires looks up to the Embons. Their married children all learn in kollel or are married to avreichim, and we were sure Avraham Daniel was going to follow that path as well.

Last Pesach, he came back to Buenos Aires, but because of  COVID, we weren’t able to daven in the same minyan. We exchanged a few words, nothing significant, but I kept looking at this young man I’d known since he was a baby, who’d soon be in shidduchim. He’d changed, but his essence was the same. The same sense of responsibility, of focus, of understanding  the goal of life. And having learned in Eretz Israel, he carried more Torah within. The natural path for an Embon.

When Hashem decided to take Avraham Daniel, we lost a pure neshamah, someone who never tasted ta’am chet, in a generation that faces so many nisyonos.

On Lag B’omer, while Avraham Daniel was in Meron for the first time, his father, Rabbi Embon, was gathered with other rabbanim, in a special learning l'illui nishmas Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai. At around 9:00  at night Argentinian time, rumors of the disaster started circulating. There was another rabbi present, who also had a child in Meron. He tried calling his son, but the lines collapsed, and he started to get nervous. “Don’t worry”, said Rabbi Embon, “the kids will be fine.”

The ending was tragic, but it also carries a message. The Embons are all about sharing the messages of emunah and Torah. That’s the way they raised their family, and that was the environment in which Avraham Daniel grew and turned into a neshamah tehora. May that emunah continue to accompany us.

—Rabbi Aharon Dlin of Kehillat Sucath David, Buenos Aires, as told to Yaakov Lipsyzc


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 859)

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