Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Reb Shimshon Stock ע״ה

Shimshon Stock and his wife Martha ponder the state of
Jewish matchmaking in the film Make Me A Match

The passing of Shimshon Stock on Purim has caused shock and disbelief to so many people in Lubavitch around the world. Shimshon - as he was known simply to all his acquaintances - was a "do-er". He was concerned about everyone - whether it was individuals or families who needed to put food on the table or young people who needed a shidduch. He also organised weddings for those who could not afford them and did countless acts of chesed.

Shimshon was a social commentator and would not remain silent in the face of injustice. His article of May last year about the practice of "flipping houses" in Crown Heights is typical of his no-nonsense approach. His down-to-earth articles about family life in the Nshei Chabad Magazine are classics.

Many of us remember Shimshon passing around his silver foil covered basket in 770 before the Rebbe's farbrengen collecting donations for his organisation Chevra Simchas Shabbos v'Yom Tov. CSSY distributed food for the needy throughout Crown Heights and also in Flatbush, Boro Park and Williamsburg. Shimshon actively worked together with similar organisations in New York, such as Tomchei Shabbos, to ensure that the best use was made of the money he collected and that the most people benefited from his generosity. As far as I know he never took a cent for his work.

I am sure that there are many people reading this who benefited from Shimshon and his wonderful wife Martha's help finding shidduchim. He didn't just put couples together but he counselled them before, during and after the shidduch. Many ba'alei teshuvah looked to him and Martha as supportive parents.

Shimshon's philosophy was that all people should be treated equally and with respect. I remember well that when he helped couples pay for a wedding he would insist that, rather than have the wedding in a small hall maybe with a minimum number of people, they should have a wedding like anyone else in Crown Heights. He made sure that they could have the wedding in Oholei Torah with all the trimmings.

Shimshon, we'll miss you!