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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 3 Apr 2020 06:52 PM and ends Sat 4 Apr 2020 07:50 PM

Hesped for Malcolm Slonim A’H

ו' אדר ב' ה' אלפים תשס"ח

I am truly stunned by the terrible news as I'm sure all of you are. I have experienced numerous tragedies and dramas in our community over the years but for some reason I have never felt so shaken to the core as I have been for the past days through Malcolm's illness and now his tragic passing. A friend of mine from Mizrachi asked me today the unanswerable question "why does Hashem take such a good soul from the world?" Of course I could not give her a satisfactory answer. All I can say is that it is our sacred duty to ensure that all his ma'alos, his good deeds, his love of Yiddishheit, his love of community, his genuine concern for the wellbeing of others and above all his generosity of spirit and generosity in the area of tzedakah are emulated by all of us to the best of our abilities.

Notwithstanding his eccentricities, his presence on our board and in our kehilla have been a gift from Hashem. Be assured we have been in the presence of a 'Tzaddik'. I had many conversations with him over the past months, and his enthusiasm and dedication in the quest to make Caulfield Shule the pride of the community was a major goal in his life. He spent many hours telling me things like we 'must have Rabbi Genende', 'we must get Dov Farkas'. How right he was, and how sad that he is no longer here to experience all this nachas with us.

Malcolm did not have 'sitzfleish'. Although he turned up regualrly to board meetings, he got bored quite easily and had a habit of unobtrusively slipping out early. I once pointed this out to him and his reply was that he only needed to stay long enough to hear what needed to be done, so he could get to work and do it. Longwinded boardroom formalities were of no interest to him, but when action and 'tachlis' was required, Malcolm was in his element, ever-reliable, with all his heart and soul, with good humour and dedication.

I am certain that over the next days and weeks, many people will come forward with stories of Malcolm and how he and Sonia have touched their lives in some way. I would like to recall one incident that really brought home to me his goodness. One day last year, he ran up to me waving the CHC calendar and pointing out that there was a Shabbat coming up with no Smachot at the shul. He asked if his son Ronen could say the haphtarah that Shabbat. I asked if it was Ronen's barmitzvah anniversary. He said no, it was just that he wanted Ronen to prove to himself that together with some encouragement and a little help from his father, he could learn any haphtarah and recite it in a big congregation without fear. It proved to be a proud achievement for both father and son and when I congratulated them Malcolm thanked me for the opportunity and with that cheeky grin he quipped "I don't think we could have ever done this at Mizrachi"!

Let us now dedicate ourselves, in memory of our dear friend, to serve our wonderful congregation with dedication, spirit, and enthusiasm. Malcolm's shoes can never be filled, but in his memory, we must strive our hardest to help realize his vision.

Te'hei Zichro Baruch

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Although Malcolm A"H was not part of the COSV infrastructure directly, he and the rest of the Slonim family are so much part of communal life of this city that we feel it appropriate to publish a few words about him

Posted by Ralph Zwier on 2008-03-13 11:06:11 GMT