(named after my dad!)
Twenty years after my parents moved away from Akron, I learned something about my dad I did not know. I was raised Reform in the Jewish religion. As far as I knew, my dad had never talked to or met with the Orthodox rabbi. In the late 80's, Akron got a new young rabbi that became the new Orthodox rabbi in town. His name was Rabbi Mendy Sasonkin.
He and his wife Kaila, became beloved by Akron regardless of the Temple one belonged.
I never knew my dad knew or had talked to Mendy. A couple of years ago, years after my parents had lived in Akron and years after my dad died, Mendy told me of conversations with my dad.
I was surprised. But the fact that my dad had sought out Mendy, who was not his rabbi, a man he did not really know, was a testament to Mendy's reputation, integrity and wisdom.
When Mendy died on October 2, at 53 far too young to leave his family and his adopted city, I thought of this surprising relationship. My dad in his then 70's going to this young rabbi in his 20's for support and advice.