Stephen Lubofsky
(1958 - 2010)

Profile:
Stephen Lubofsky

Birth:
April 11, 1958

Passing:
October 27, 2010


Guest Book
I hadn't communicated with Stephen for more than 30 years since our days at Mount Scopus College. A year or so ago, Stephen found me over the internet, and was eager to get re-acquainted via email. His warmth and generosity of spirit shone through in our exchanges.

From the tributes of his friends, its evident that all who knew him were the better for it.

Whenever a Mount Scopus class of 1975 colleague is taken from us far too soon, and especially for Stephen I am deeply distressed, but also enlightened by his example.
Barry Lipp (friend)
January 28th, 2011
Like many others I was touched and fortunate to have known Stephen growing up . Unlike many others I was unfortunate to have lost touch with the unique , extroverted , warm hearted individual who certainly has left an indelible mark on all of us. My last conversation , long ago was jokingly telling him that he had the amazing knack to work for retailers just prior to their demise , but we certainly did not hold him responsible (but just in case I would never offer him a job).
I wish Yael , Mrs.Shirley Lubofsky and all the children , siblings a long life and only Simchas .
Thank you Stephen for the wonderful memories
Yaron Flicker (school friend)
November 30th, 2010
Unlike many people who have left moving tributes to Stephen on this site, Ada and I did not know Stephen in our childhood or schooldays – and yet we can hardly remember life before Stephen – such is the profound impact Stephen had on us and indeed on all who were fortunate enough to count him as a friend. In both our cases, Stephen’s larger than life personality stood out amongst the crowd and we were immediately drawn to him.
I met Stephen just prior to his leaving on his hachshara year which he was to spend with my brother and sister from New Zealand. He immediately endeared himself to me and we subsequently spent time together when I visited Israel at the tail end of their year there.
Ada met Stephen at Monash Uni where they studied Commerce together in between lengthy sessions schmoozing in the caf and library.
But it was as a couple that we both became closest to Stephen – as we both had independent friendships with Stephen, when I moved to Melbourne, Stephen became a focal point of our social lives. He was even at times almost our personal chauffeur as we shared the same circle of friends and most often he would provide the transport. How can we ever forget that bellowing voice as he would invariably jokingly say “NO KISSING!” to the two of us in the back seat.
Stephen was so important to us and such a central figure in our courtship and relationship that he danced me to the chuppah and was front and central at the head table at our wedding celebration as he sat next to Ada and led us in the benching with that beautiful melodic voice of his.
We stayed in touch with Stephen when he moved away from Melbourne whether to the Gold Coast or the States and he always remained a very special part of our lives as we would visit him there or he would visit us on his frequent trips home.
Our kids came to love Stephen just as much as us as they too saw in him a very special human being – someone who valued friendship above all else, who had incredible generosity of spirit and loved having a good time and making sure all who he came in contact with did too! Stephen genuinely cared about our kids as much as he cared about us.
We were privileged to be able to spend a very special time in all our lives together as we joined Stephen and Yael for Daniel’s barmitvah. We saw a metamorphosis take over Stephen as his spirits soared on the elixir of friendship and reliving old times – two things Stephen treasured above all else. When we said goodbye to Stephen that weekend he was full of positive thoughts about his future and only thinking about the good times we shared and still had to come.
And sadly he is no longer with us? We can’t believe it, but we are comforted in the knowledge that we in some small way enhanced his life as he did ours. We will miss Stephen and he will always have a huge and special place in all our lives.
All our love to Yael, Noam, Daniel and Eliana – may the incredible legacy that your dear husband and father, our dear friend, has left give you the inspiration to do as Stephen did – love life!
Ed and Ada Gurgiel.
Ed and Ada Gurgiel (friends)
November 28th, 2010
I was very sad to hear about the passing of our classmate Stephen. Even though I was teased a lot for being the shortest in our year, Stephen was always kind and reassured me that one day they would grow up and that it is the person inside that really counts. I admired Stephen's personality, his honesty and fun loving manner. He will be sadly missed by friends and family. May we all be blessed with love, happiness and health.
Love Debbie (Zonc)
Debbie Listokin (Zajonc) (Scopus classmate)
November 9th, 2010
I was present when the now famous head was jammed and all the excitement that it caused at school . However it was a gift that Stephen inadvertantly gave me that i remember him for.
I had the honour to spend Shabbas lunch with his family as a young boy a number of times and learn what i still consider as my most profound
Jewish experience. A face of jewishness that is graceful, warm and loving.
It was always hard for me to reconcile this memory and experience with the one of Stephen standing in front of Mr Baker - the English Teacher - and telling him what he really thought of the " PINK HAIR "
I am very sorry to hear the news of the passing
of Stephen . To his family my sincerest condolences
Raymond Lisner (Friend)
November 8th, 2010
May Yael and the children together with Mrs Lubofsky and the extended family be comforted in the knowledge that Stephen was one of a kind.
His attitude to life despite adversity an example to us all.
With all our love ,always and forever in our memories
Mory and Malanie Kalkopf and Family.
Mory Kalkopf (friend)
November 8th, 2010
I was very sad to hear of Stephen's passing. Although I haven't been in contact with him for many years, I can't think of my youth, especially Bnei Akiva camps, without thinking of Stephen. I wish all his family long life and may G-d give you strength through this very sad time. Best Wishes, Judy Makowski.
Judy Makowski (Symons) (friend)
November 8th, 2010
Having known Stephen for so many years,or Boof as he was affectionatly known by many of his friends, there are indeed so many stories and memories that I could share from school, University and trips overseas.
At school, Boof " starred" in those lunch-time soccer matches, predominantly due to his enthusiasm rather than skill!and I recall his illustrious history teacher, B J Minogue, after his liquid lunch, announce "but maybe you, Lubofsky, will lead us back to the promised land!"
His desire to be amongst friends was never more evident, when on his gap year, Sam G, Paul and myself embarked on what seems to have become known as our quite infamous Europe/Israel treck. We arrived 4 O'clock in the morning in Israel to be greeted by Stephen holding his English soccer magazine, with such a smile on his face and so excited to see familiar faces. And we of course were happy to see him because he also provided us with a base from which to pursue our adventures!
His hospitality and generosity to his friends never waned, as many years later, I stayed with him in New York where I had arranged to meet my future wife, Mel.Stephen was so generous of his time -- and car(!), as he nominated himself the designated taxi driver on our dates!! Foturnately they got on tremendously well with each other.
As the years moved on, although we didn't live in the same country for most of that time, we always kept in contact and made sure that we would spend at least one shabbat lunch together when he was visiting Melbourne and,after meeting Yael, this became an even more imperative and cherished date in our calenders.
Having spoken to Stephen the day after Daniel's Barmitzvah, he was on such a high. I never could have imagined that this was to be my last conversation with him. We are all devastated by his premature passing. My family and I will never forget his laugh, booming voice and his zest for life and not to mention his opinions on the world in general! These traits are ingrained in our memories.Despite his difficult cirmcumstances of late, his determination and positive attitidue have proved that he had a level of inner strength that we would never have imagined.What an incredible example to us all.
There are of course,many more stories to recount, the Polar Bear in shorts, Mowy Mowy Mowy, and his devouring of my mum's apple cake when he came to visit, the blue car with GT stripes, and there are always the stories of the odd broken window!Too many stories to tell but maybe oneday we can get together with Yael and the children and start them all over again. Though Stephen is no longer with us he will never be forgotten. He has left a void in the lives of so many.
Shalom dear friend. Mory.
Mory Kalkopf (Friend)
November 8th, 2010
you will all remember me at school as Sue Wills - now Susie Davies-Splitter. i was very sorry to hear about Stephen's passing and will always remember him as a kindly and hard working student. I send my love and condolences to all of his family. Best Susie
susie Davies-Splitter
November 7th, 2010
So sorry to hear of Stephen's passing. I remember him as a friendly kind person with respect for his elders. To his family sincere condolences.

Hamakom yenachem etchem bitoch shiar aveilei tsiyon veerushalayim.
Harry Gluck
November 6th, 2010
I can still hear Stephen's laughter and friendly banter even now, so many years after school life at Scopus and on the buses. Thanks for the memories Stephen. Wishing the family a long life.
Ashley West (School Friend)
November 6th, 2010
I was very saddened to hear of Stephen's passing. He will always be remebered for his warmth, humour & love of life.
May his dear soul rest in peace.
Mark Kras (School friend)
November 3rd, 2010
May his deeds and memory be a guide to his family
Diane & Steven Deutsch
November 3rd, 2010
I don't actually remember when I first met Stephen.
It sort of just feels like I've always known him; for as long as I can remember there was this man in my family's life with a large head and bigger laugh! I have flashes of memories from my early childhood of Stephen telling me how my parents used to make out in the back of his car...as an 11 year old, this is not the sort of thing you want to be hearing (truth be told, as a 25 year old it's still not really the sort of thing you want to be hearing)...but the way Stephen told stories, I was always so intrigued and filled with laughter!
As the years went on and I grew older, I started to understand how important this man was in my parents' lives. An extremely old friend of both my parents, Stephen was a major player in their lives. He met my Dad in Israel whilst my Dad was visiting my Auntie and Uncle on Hachshara and their bond was immediately sealed; he attended Mount Scopus College with my mother and they became close friends whilst studying (or more accurately, shmoozing in the library) at Monash University. They all shared so many personal jokes and had endless stories of their times together...Stephen even recited Birkat Hamazon at their wedding, a responsibility I have no doubt he took very seriously! They loved him so so dearly and valued his friendship beyond words and beyond distance! Although Stephen lived on (literally) the other side of the world, there was a closeness that bound them together and a love for one another that was entirely tangible.
Initially, that was the reason why I loved Stephen so much...I saw how important he was to my parents and what a huge part of their lives he had come to occupy over the many years of their friendship! It was only in more recent years when I started to mature and began to contribute to their conversations that I discovered exactly why my parents had such an affinity for this Australian/American...Stephen had the warmest heart of anyone I have ever known. He valued friendship and family above all else in his life and the more time I spent with him, the more I learnt from him!
His memory was unmatchable...he would tell me stories of things that happened 30 years ago and could recount the setting perfectly, quote word for word what people said, their full names and what they were wearing! Every few years that I would see Stephen (whether he was visiting us or we were visiting him) he would ask me about my love life and proceed to comment "So who is she now? I can't keep up!!" His sense of humour was what made him such a pleasure to be around; watching he and my parents sit and laugh and reminisce about the "old days" gave me as much pleasure as appreciating one of Stephen's jokes or stories myself!
And it is precisely such a scene that forms one of my final memories of Stephen...an occurrence that I did not actually witness myself but feel as if I was there in entirety:
We were fortunate enough to come visit Stephen, Yael and the kids several weeks ago for Daniel's Bar Mitzvah! This was a weekend unlike any other; the happiness and love in the room was literally visible and we did not stop laughing the entire time! I had been travelling for 6 months around the world, but when I started planning my trip over a year ago I had one fixed date for the holiday...October 9th - Daniel's Bar Mitzvah. The rest of my trip and all my plans would revolve entirely around me being in New Rochelle on that date to celebrate this simcha with this amazing family. I was fortunate enough to have my parents feel the same way and so the three of us were able to attend the Bar Mitzvah together and be with Stephen and the family during this very special yet difficult time.
However the memory that I refer to occurred on the Saturday night, after all of the festivities had concluded...it involved Stephen, Yael, my parents, and the other awesome Aussies that had made the trip to New Rochelle. They all sat on the couch in the Lubofsky's living room and just told stories and laughed until all hours of the night. As I said, I was not there, but I feel like I witnessed every moment of that beautiful evening! I imagine Stephen's smile and the warmth he felt as he was surrounded by some of the people who meant the most to him in his life. It is a "memory" that makes me so happy as although Stephen left us at far far too young an age, at least he was able to share his final weeks with some of the people whom he loved the most and whom loved him equally in return!
Stephen will be so dearly missed by my entire family. Although he lived at the end of the earth, he always was and always will be cemented at the top of our hearts.
Ole Veshalom our dear Stephen,
love Josh xoxo
Josh Gurgiel (Friend)
November 3rd, 2010
So very sorry to hear of the passing of an old classmate for 10 years
May his memory be a blessing with sympathy to his family at this time
Irving Birch (School Friend)
November 2nd, 2010
Pnina and I first got to know Stephen while leading on Counterpoint around 1980. He was the ideal ruach man with a ready smile, larger than life ebulliant manner and a sincere and deep passion for Yiddishkeit.

His genuine friendliness to all ensured that those whose lives he touched always retained a close bond and warm feeling about him.

Although we only met him occasionally on his visits to Australia his personality was unforgettable. We fondly remember our own visit to New York in October 1991 when Stephen and Yael were our wonderful hosts for Shabbat.

Our sadness over the great challenge of his relentless illness was deeply felt. His passing is a great loss not only to his loving family, but to all who had the privilege to know him. We have been amazed at the breath and depth of reaction here in Melbourne to Stephen's passing. After all, he left Melbourne over 25 years ago, yet the loving and caring repsonse to him and his family has been a privilege to behold.

Our prayers and hearts go out to Yael and the children and to Shirley and all her family, as well as to all who mourn for the loss of a beloved mensch.

Hamakom y'nachem etchem b'toch sh'ar abeilei Zion viYrushalayim.

Sincerely

Rabbi Heilbrunn
Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn (friend)
November 2nd, 2010
I know of Stephen more through his brother Andrew and was deeply sadden to hear of his passing. To have heard of all the good achievements and deeds that Stephen had performed in his life is a true reflection that a person's life should not be measured in the time spent but on how that time was used. In Stephen's life his time was spent on creating mitzvahs and what could be more important than that. May his family only know simchas.

MHDSRIP. Greg
Greg Nankin
November 2nd, 2010
At the front of the 30 year reunion book, there is a section devoted to memories of those classmates who have died since school. It’s a difficult read. There is a lovely and very moving piece written by Stephen in which he celebrates the life of his dear friend Georgina Wilheim. In a way, it is also a record of his own life and his rich, warm and generous personality is very evident in his description of shared events. Poignantly, he farewells “a beautiful soul, missed and remembered by all who knew and loved her”. Sadly, those same sentiments now apply equally well to you Stephen.
Trevor Friedman (friend)
November 2nd, 2010
I have known Stephen since he was very young. It has been a pleasure to see him grow and mature into the wonderful husband, father and son, that we all recognise and admire. He will be sorely missed. Kay and I wish the family "long life" May you know no more sorrows.
Leonard Levy (Friend)
November 2nd, 2010
Stephen was a very happy individual.
I cannot remember seeing him with a frown on his face.
Stephen always got in touch with the Best family whenever he came to visit his family in Australia.

We met Stephen Yael and the kids on a Pesach program in Hawaii some years ago and he befriended my children.

We wish Yael and children, Shirley and Anthony Andrew & Jonathan a long life.

HaMakom yenachem etchem b'toch sha'ar avley Zion ve'Yerushalayim
Willie Best (Friend)
November 1st, 2010
Having grown up around the corner from StKilda Shule and of course the Large Lubofsky household, Stephen and I spent a lot of time growing up.
Everything about Stephen was large. But most of all was his head.
Who could forget the famous story with Stephen getting his head caught between his house and his succah. He was main news story on the radio until President Johnson had his appendix taken out!
He also had large feet, and together with his large head he had thoughts that he was a great Soccer player. In fact he was the only one who could actually curl the ball (left footed of course)around the washing line and through our front window.

When his body caught up with his head, we knew it was actually Stephen's heart that his largest asset. he would do anything for anybody. As all the stories show, he was a great friend to us all.
We will cherish his memories.

We wish Yael, Noam, Daniel, Eliana, Shirley and all the family a long life, and may Stephen's memories be a strength to you always.

Love, Michael. Karen and Boys.



Michael (Dixie) Diamond (Friend)
November 1st, 2010
I last saw Stephen about 25 years ago, and am sad to hear of his passing. I have just read some of the other postings about how hard life was for him at the end, but for me, what defines him is the old memories I have, all fun, illustrating areas in which he excelled.

Showing the Commies that the free world also knows something about discipline: No need to elaborate, just read Paul Leiba's "Rubbish to rubbish".

Striving for excellence in education: Standing up in form 2 and announcing, "Mr Adin, I demand to see your teaching certificate".

Demonstrating actual ability to influence the education system: Persuading Mr Adin to turn back before reaching the principal's office after making the above declaration.

Early signs of affinity for America: Within minutes of arriving at Counterpoint, the American giving the Orientation session referred to him as a "precocious kid".

Devotion to friends: Stephen studied at Dvar Yerushalayim Yeshiva while I was at BMT. One of my visits to him coincided with a visit by (I hope I get all 3 right) Sam Gliksman, Maurice Kalkopf and Paul Leiba, who had one toothbrush between them. The Madrich came to his room to tell Stephen it was time to do whatever, but Stephen wasn't about to give up time with his friends. He and his roommate overpowered the Madrich, sat on him, and then placed him in the wardrobe.

With sympathy to the family, and hoping we can all remember him with a smile.
Frederick Tryster (friend)
November 1st, 2010
Stephen was always the larger than life older brother of my dear fried Anthony. Like so many other, I remember him for his warm humor and his love of family. Like so many other, shen I arrived in NY in 1991 he and Yael extended me so much hospitality.. and, when needed word of wise councilMay his leagcy live on in the hearts of all who know him aand, edspecially in the hearts of his treasured children. My thoughts are with you all. Nathan.
Nathan Cherny (friend)
November 1st, 2010
We were so sorry to hear the sad news. My memories go back to BA days and recall the BA camps where there was never a dull moment with Stephen around. He was somehow always in the middle of what ever was going on. I recall the many hours spent in the Library in Monash Uni 1st floor.
To Yael, Noam, Daniel and Eliana- HaMakom yenachem etchem b'toch sha'ar avlei Tzion ve'Yerushalayim.

Sharon Finkel(Bachrach)
Efrat, Israel
Sharon Finkel(Bachrach) (Friend)
November 1st, 2010
Stephen always had a smile on his face and made people laugh. Jonathan( my husband) and I remember him singing beautiful chazoonis(which he learnt from his father)in our shule only a couple of years ago. It was lovely to catch up with thim then after so many years. We both remember him from BA as well. To all his family, 'HaMakom yenachem etchem b'toch sha'ar avle Tzion ve'Yerushalayim.

Sincerely, Shelley and Jonathan Cohen
Rashelle( Shelley) Cohen (Cohen( Rubinfeld))
November 1st, 2010
Stephen and I had been friends for as long as I can remember, from well before our barmitzvah's. The last time I saw Stephen was when he came to Melbourne to mourn for his father. We spoke of nothing much that I can now recall except the circumstances of his father's death. I had not been in much contact with him since we left school. Travel, study and separation made sure of this.

Stephen always took a lot pleasure of recounting his shabbat visits at my place, particularly when my behaviour sometimes revealed an ample helping of youthful, adolescent insecurity. I say that in deference to the wonder that he remained my friend at all, not because I was ever offended or took umbrage at his recounting of this later in life. This perhaps reveals the true nature of his forbearance from an early age and which is now publicly acknowledged.

Stephen took the trouble of contacting me on my facebook account during the week before Daniel's barmitzvah. He spoke of his fondness for the Sunday night memories with 'the boys' at Nasheray and how uplifting it was to have the presence of some his school friends. I guess it was a 'wish you were here' and as events transpired, a goodbye message. Stephen obviously knew more than he was prepared to reveal.

I responded that this memory was buried under the weight of passing years and the pressing distractions of other responsibilities and wished him a mazal-tov and 'command' to enjoy it.

It may be difficult for other's to understand how the insular conditions of our youth at Mt. Scopus forged such deep bonds which are relatively immune to any lack of interim cultivation. We are each a repository of each other's memories and why with Stephen's untimely passing a portion of ourselves has also expired.

Stephen was always up for a joke or a lark and had an infectious, irrepressible laughter, especially when it had to be suppressed because we were in class. There were many times when the boredom and monotony of school was relieved by some impromptu antic.

Whilst being separated from our youthful times and the people who made them what they were is often painful, there was some comfort in knowing that these people were still 'out there' and that we will surely meet up with them again.

It is the cause of much sadness that Stephen is now no longer part of this link or expectation.
John Reisner (Friend)
November 1st, 2010
I too will always remember Stephen as a friendly and caring bloke. Active in Bnei, a regular at the Morning Service minyan. He was also one of those people who wouldn't hesitate to give us "youngsters" ( two Forms down) the time of day, and an attentive ear.

May his memory be blessed.

May Hashem grant you Yael, and the kids, consolation , long life, and strength during this difficult time.
Moshe (Moish) Oberman (Friend)
November 1st, 2010
Stephen was one of the friendliest and warmest people in our year at Scopus. When he laughed you heard it a mile away.
I hadn't seen him for ages after we left school, but in 1984 when I, and my husband Steven were moving to NY for a few years, we needed to send boxes of our stuff ahead of our arrival. The problem was that we didn't really know anyone in NY to whom we could send these boxes. So, feeling somewhat ridiculous, I called Stephen and asked him if he would mind if we sent them to his address. There was no hesitation. He was more than pleased to give an old friend a helping hand. Months later upon our arrival in NY and our collection of those all-important boxes, did we actually think about the great inconvenience we had caused him. He had schlepped these heavy boxes himself from the post office to his apartment (making multiple trips) and somehow stored them in his not-so-large apartment for a few months awaiting our arrival. Upon our mixture of attempting to thank him and apologise all at the same time, Stephen just laughed it off as no big deal. That was Stephen!
I saw him a few times when he visited Melbourne since he would come out to Scopus (where I have worked for ages) to reminisce about the good ol' days and see what was new around the place. It was on one of those visits that Stephen introduced me to Yael (though she probably won't remember me). He wanted to show her around Scopus to be able to share with her some of his youthful memories. I remember being really thrilled for Stephen that he found someone so lovely to share his life with and to build a family with. I am just so sad that it has all been cut off so very prematurely.
To Yael, Noam, Daniel and Eliana- HaMakom yenachem etchem b'toch sha'ar avlei Tzion ve'Yerushalayim.

Love,
Frances Prince
Frances Prince (Friend)
November 1st, 2010
I am really shocked to read that Stephen has passed away.I was present in the hebrew class when Mr Rubenstein made Stephen stand in the corner.It is one of my fond memories of school.Stephen was always a very caring person and we spent many hours talking about our great love in life- Manchester United.I caught up with Stephen about 2 years ago via email , when a former au pair for his family gave me his address.
I am very emotional reading the above stories and i wish his family long life.
Gary Spicer (School friend)
November 1st, 2010
Its been years since we actually spoke, but ive been keeping tabs about Stephen from my friend and Stephens brother, Anthony.
I thank G-d for only good recollections and memories about Stephen from morning service and Bnei Akiva.
No doubt he is orchestrating many functions and programs in Gan Eden.
His presence was felt years ago in many circles for the best, and his physical presence will no doubt, be sorely missed today by many.

May the family be comforted by Hashem along with the other mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.

Daniel Luria
Daniel Lourie (Luria)
November 1st, 2010
I was a friend of Stephen's back not long after his accident in the grades. I remeber going over to his house many times around the corner from the shule.
How sad to hear that he has passed away. I have many fond memeories of him and he was always happy to see me.
Thanks to Sam and Rick Friedman for letting me know.
Howard
Howard Nessen (friend)
November 1st, 2010
While I knew Stephen in Australia, we became very friendly in the early '80's when we both lived in NY and before he was married. Even in a place like NY, he stood out. He always showed great compassion for others and gave everything he did maximum effort. HaMakom yinachem otchem b'toch sha'ar ovlei Tzion v'Yerushalayim.
Merv Adler (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
I am an "old" school friend of Stephen's and I often think of Stephen and the happy times we shared at school. I remember his cheeky, wide grin, his big laugh. I remember how proud he was when he first took me to his home and showed me his father's incredible library. Stephen always seemed happy and he was just lovely to be around!

I have not been in touch with Stephen for many years but have often wondered what he was doing on the other side of the world. I wish his wife and family a long life, much strength and want them to know that their wonderful Stephen is thought of with much love down under.

Love Debra Korman (affectionately known by Stephen as Pink)
Debra Korman (nee Pincus) (old school friend)
October 31st, 2010
Your smirk and laugh and general positive attitude will be missed..but luckily memories live on.
Rick Friedman (old school friend)
October 31st, 2010
Stephen your years were too few and you will be sorely missed. You expanded my music repetoire many years ago. Now when I hear these songs they will serve as a reminder of You. A true Mensch who made a difference on so many levels.
Rina Cohen (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
I have a confession to make. I couldn’t keep away from visiting Stephen while he was ill. I needed to be near him. I was drawn to him like a bee to pollen.

It wasn’t that I felt sorry for him, although I did. It wasn’t because I wanted to make up for the empty years of our friendship; to Stephen you were always a friend. The reason didn’t become clear to me for a while, but when it crystallized I came to crave basking in the glow and presence of a person that many strive to be, but few become.

I have always found it both interesting disturbing how people can slip back into character only to reveal their true selves. For example, how Ephron at first offered Avaham Avinu his property for nothing, yet showed his true colors the moment the dollar signs were flashed before him.

When Stephen was diagnosed with leukemia I was certain he would become argumentative and complain. But Stephen didn’t complain. He wouldn’t argue. Never once did he revert to what I mistakenly thought was his true self.

We all came to discover the true Stephen; the Stephen of strength, of courage, of dignity.
A week and a half before his petira I waited to see him for 45 minutes. He’d had a torrid night. I walked into his room three times to watch him sleeping on his side. I eventually accompanied the doctors on their rounds, and spent less than a minute with him. What did he say? He apologized for my having to shlepp out to see him. He begged forgiveness again the following day when we spoke.

On the Sunday before his passing we spent an hour together. He wanted to talk about me. He asked me where I got the strength to deal with life’s hardships? He was asking ME! I sat there stupefied. It was hard to comprehend how he could feel so concerned for me. He was confined to a hospital bed, not me. He was suffering intolerable discomfort, not me.

How, as I got up to leave, he told me how much he loved me. I told him I loved him, too. But that wasn’t enough for Stephen. I had walked from the edge of his bed, passed the curtain, and had my hand on the door when he called me back.

“Rafi!”

“Yes, Stephen?” I asked walking back to the curtain’s edge.

He blew me a kiss and said, “I really mean it.”

Despite leaving the hospital crying, I promised to remain upbeat. I’ve cried often since, but I snap myself out of it when I think of his strength. How could I not?

No, Stephen never reverted to character. This was no aberration. He was always that man.

Thus my confession of love for a wonderful human being, a proud Jew, and above all a man who will remain in memory as a inspiration to everyone who had the honor to know him.

Yehi Zichro Baruch
Rafi Sackville (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
It has been an honor having spent so much time with Stephen this last year. He had such strength, such courage, such dignity. Keren and I feel especially honored to have spent what was, for me, the most inspirational of Shabbatot I can recall.
Yehi Zichro Baruch
Rafi Sackville (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
Stephen - through your most difficult times you found a way to be an inspiration to us all. We'll always love you and miss you.
Sam Gliksman (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
Over the years we meet so many people but how many friends do we have that we can say 100% that they will always be there for us no matter what .
Steve--was one of a kind and Yael and the family are a reflection of the special man Stephen was and always will be.
Peter Adler (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
Stephen was brilliant at the barmiztvah and it is incomprehensible that he is no longer around. I miss and mourn for him.

Words can not describe my appreciation for Yael. A true Eshet Chayil
Paul Leiba (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
Anyone fortunate to see Stephen in the past few months was taken by his strength, determination and optimism despite his illness and its terrible challenges. In my mind no word better describes him than gallant. Stephen was always good for a story and a talk, and my heart aches to think he is no longer with us.

The best Stephen story I know I didn't witness myself but heard him tell a number of times.

Mr. Rubenstein a Hebrew teacher at Mount Scopus would send disobedient students to stand next to the bin with a classic "Rubbish to Rubbish".

One day Stephen and Naomi Medding were talking to the annoyance of Rubenstein, who sent Naomi out of the class and made Stephen stand inside the bin with his face to the wall.

It just so happened that that day Rabbi Rosen the Chief Rabbi of Rumania was visiting at Mount Scopus. Rabbi Lubofsky who was a leading Rabbi in the community, accompanied Rabbi Rosen on a tour of the school together with the school principal and board members. Part of the plan was to enter Rubenstein's class and impress the Rabbi with the standard of Hebrew spoken there.

Unannounced, the door opens and the entourage enters the class. Taking a view of proceedings, Rabbi Lubosky without missing a beat turns to the visiting Rabbi and says, Rabbi Rosen may I introduce you to Mr. Rubenstein our distinguished teacher, the students of the top Hebrew class in the school and to my eldest son Stephen who by chance is standing with his face to the wall in the corner.

Stephen will be sorely missed by his friends

Paul Leiba (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
Having been close friends with Stephen for some 45 years , I was privileged to go to New York and participate in Daniel's barmitzva 3 weeks ago.Following the Barmitzva, i spent the following Monday with Stephen at the hospital whilst he waited for his room to become available . Watching him talk to his Mother and brothers , talk to people on the phone , cracking jokes with the nurses whilst waiting for the room --it occurred to me that no matter how long in years we may know someone , people will always surprise you and we can never know the true depth and character of a person until we see them deal with real adversity.

Over all the months of his illness , and never more so than on that Shabbat and in the hospital afterwards I became acquainted with a Stephen I had never known .If at the end of school someone would have asked me to nominate who from our school year would become an inspiring individual , I don't think I would have nominated Steve. Kindhearted,warm, caring , comitted --yes but inspirational and awe -inspiring , I don;t think so . Well over these last 6 months and on that last Shabbat Stephen showed how much i had sold him short 30 years ago.

During all his battles with the leukemia, all his disappointments he never showed any bitterness, he never blamed anyone or anything , he never asked why me --he took every hurdle in his stride, never gave up, never lost his determination . He would always ask after others wanting to know how they were doing, always apologise for being a burden , always put others first --So Stephen I owe you an apology and ask for your forgiveness for selling you short and not realising what character and strength you had in you . Thankfully I learnt this before it was too late --so Stephen --just know , you are not only my dear dear friend, you are also an inspiration to me and so many others . I miss you desperately , Love Peter



Peter Adler (Friend)
October 31st, 2010
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"I went to school with Stephen at Mount Scopus College and I remember him as warm and friendly. To his Family - wishing you sincere condolences and a "long life". Lane Shmerling, Melbourne"
Lane Shmerling
November 6th, 2010
"I am so sorry to hear the news. Steven was one of those people who you went to school with but never forgot- in a nice way. I remember him as being open friendly and funny. Whishing his family a longlife."
Ruth Belleli
November 2nd, 2010
"How sad to hear the news of Stephen's passing. May his memory be a blessing to his family & friends.."
Linda Teese (nee Brand)
November 1st, 2010
"Really sorry to hear such sad news. I remember Stephen as a fun loving boy at school, always laughing. I wish you all strength in these sad times. It is lovely to read the tributes. It is a big honour for him to be so loved. Sue Moskowitz(Zimmerman)"
Sue Moskowitz (Nee Zimmerman)
October 31st, 2010

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