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Eulogy for Richard Da Costa

Oct. 14, 1953 - Dec. 18, 2015 Elder of Kehillat Eytz Chaim/ Tree of Life Congregation, Toronto Former President, Messianic Jewish Alliance of Canada
Given by Ben Volman, December 23, 2015

In the many years that Richard and I worked on the High Holy Day services, we never found the right time or moment to include a beautiful little prayer called Ahavat Olam, but I’m going to say a bit of it now, because it says in ancient words the way that Richard often made me feel about the faith we shared:
You have loved Israel, your people, with everlasting love. You have taught us Torah and precepts….Therefore, Lord our God, when we lie down and when we rise up, we will meditate on Your truth for all time and take joy in the Scriptures because they are our life and the length of our days. …Baruch ata Adonai oh-hehv ah-moh Yisrael.Blessed are you, O Lord, who loves Israel your people.
With all his heart and all his passion for God, Richard loved Israel and the God of Israel who sent the Messiah wh…

Writing that book...Part 2

After an extensive period of interviews with Elaine Markovic in the spring and summer of 2008, she became severely ill--her battle with cancer had resumed. In the fall, I had briefly shown her a selection of the manuscript, which she found unsatisfactory, but we looked forward to more meetings. It never happened. We only spoke once more on the phone;  she passed away just a few days after her birthday in early May of 2009.

In the aftermath, speaking with her daughters, we began to talk about another book emerging from our initial vision. In the closing months of 2009, I began to realize the scale of my new task—an extensive book on the full story of the Zeidman family. I studied one of my favourite authors, Pierre Berton, a master of the history genre—he gives useful insight about his transition from a popular journalist into a highly regarded author.Following his advice, I could see there was much more work to be done—researching, interviews, many more leads to follow.

My plan was t…