Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
Sunday morning, March 27th, started as a cloudy day, but at 1:30 pm the community gathered under sunny skies at the corner of Highland Avenue and 2nd Street for the dedication ceremony of the Moshe Yitzchok Rubin Memorial Square. Afterwards, the crowd marched the Treitel Family Sefer Torah to Etz Chaim Bais Medrash Moshe Yitzchok for a hachnossos sefer Torah in honor of Moshe Yitzchok Rubin.
Moshe Yitzchok was the son Rav Chaim Boruch and Rebbetzin Raizel Rubin. The Rubin shul made its home on the corner of Highland and 3rd Street. While Moshe Yitzchok’s stay in this world was not as long as we would have preferred, he was warmly embraced by one and all and made an everlasting impression on those fortunate enough to enter his daled amos. When speaking of his son, Rav Rubin says, “Moishe was a real Yiddishe neshama.”
The Rebbetzin adds, “I have always felt that the story of Moishe Rubin was a very big story. His life was a very big life. I think his greatest attribute was his purity. He was a pure soul.”
With the assistance of the City of Los Angeles and Paul Koretz, member of the Los Angeles City Council representing the Fifth Council District, Moishe’s family was able to establish a remembrance for this young boy who managed to influence so many, young and old, leaving an indelible mark on their souls. He was a guidepost to remind us to be thankful for what Hashem has given us.
The speeches began with the introductory remarks from shul president Alan Stern, recognizing the Treitel family for contributing their sefer Torah. The dedication of the Moishe Rubin Square followed. At that moment, each person reconnected in their mind’s eye with the child Moishe, a neshama who taught us all lessons in life and sensitivity.
Mr. Stanley Treitel spoke next about the 40th yahrtzeit of his father, who loved Torah and yiddishkeit and raised a family of shomrei Torah u’mitzvos.
Councilman Paul Koretz took his turn at the lectern and formally announced on behalf the City of Los Angeles the naming of the intersection of Highland and 3rd as the Moshe Yitzchok Rubin Square. Councilman Koretz concluded by saying, “Naming the square after Moshe is more than just a tribute to a spirited young man with Down Syndrome. It is also a tribute to a person who has demonstrated to the community, as it says on the plaque, the meaning of love, tolerance, and acceptance. In recognition of the amazing life of this individual, I am pleased to present this certificate from the City of Los Angeles. ”
City Controller Ron Galperin poignantly pointed out that “[t]he names that we choose to give to our streets and to our squares say a lot about who we are as a society. We have many streets named after sports figures, Hollywood stars, and even generals. This, however, is a very unique dedication for a young man who did not have nearly enough years on this earth, but managed to bring a tremendous amount of goodness in the time he had…Moishe Rubin serves as an example to us all.”
The next to speak was Rabbi Yaakov Krause of Young Israel of Hancock Park. Rabbi Krause spoke on behalf of the Treitel family, and also described Moishe Yitzchok’s years as a student at Toras Emes. The audience then rose as Cantor Arik Wollheim, the chazzan from Congregation Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills and a relative of the Treitel family, recited the prayer, “Kel Maleh Rachamim.” Everyone remained standing for the unveiling of the plaque and naming of the Moshe Yitzchok Rubin Memorial Square.
The last to speak was Rabbi Chaim Boruch Rubin, mara d’asra of the Etz Chaim Bais Medrash Moshe Yitzchok. Rabbi Rubin thanked the Treitel Family, the Councilman, the City Controller and Mr. Brian G. Cartwright, former general counsel for the SEC.
The talented Shloime Dachs, a friend of the family who years ago bonded with Moishe, made a special trip to participate and perform on this occasion. Additionally, the celebration included refreshments, including hot dogs, drinks, popcorn, and other treats for the children. This auspicious day fittingly concluded with everyone joining in the dancing and singing.