Murray Goodman

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Grodin, June 7 2004

Each of us here is connected to Murray in our own individual and unique way in the case of my wife Janet and myself, as friends going back to our undergraduate days at UC Berkeley with Murray and Zelda.
But I am confident that we all share similar feelings, similar emotions.

  One is a feeling of inestimable and irreparable loss. Murrays death has left a tear in each of our hearts, and it is hard to imagine when or how that tear can be repaired.

  But along with this feeling of loss is an awareness of the enormous and incalculable gain from having had Murray as part of our lives.

  Murray has enriched our lives with humor and wisdom, with love and understanding, with generosity of substance and spirit.

  He taught us what it is like to embrace life in its fullness with an insatiable appetite for everything from knowledge, to people, to good food and wine, to spiritual inspiration.

  And he taught us what it is like to be a mensch. Leo Rosten the joys of Yiddish defines a mensch as someone of consequence; someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.

  To be a mensch, Rosten says, has nothing to do with success, wealth, status. A judge can be a zhlob; a millionaire can be a momzer; a professor can be a schlemiel, a doctor a klutz, a lawyer a bulvon [I had to look that up; it means dolt, or blockhead].  The key to being a mensch is nothing less than rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right.

  Murray was all that and more. A mensch is someone who steps up to the plate, someone who assumes and embraces responsibility for his family, his friends, his community someone who can always be counted upon to be there and provide support when it is needed someone who cares, and above all someone who loves.

  Murray the mensch filled all of our lives with gains which no amount of loss can ever take away