Jewish tradition says zichrono livracha, “may he be remembered for a blessing.” Hal was a blessing. To be sure, those that knew and loved him remember him each and every day. We remember his plans, we remember his laugh, and we remember the last time we were with him. We remember his lofty accomplishments, his easy company, and the next time we were going to see him. No one will forget his fervent hopes, his unique mind, or his forest green eyes. It will be impossible to forget his untimely death.
Hal loved movies and had an uncanny ability to remember and quote lines. His dry, self-deprecating, and sarcastic sense of humor, paired with his talent as a mimic, kept those in his company constantly laughing. ”Always the funniest in the room“, his friends conceded. Hal had a following from a young age and soon it was realized that he was smartest in any room, as well. He was better read than most people twice his age and his recall of that information was almost unmatched. Also unmatched was his parallel modesty, never putting on airs or a desire to make others feel inadequate. He accepted, with grace, the input of everyone.
At 23, Hal was full of extraordinary promise and potential but ultimately lost an ongoing battle to depression and despair. His main, and often articulated, wish was that he not suffer anymore. There were many individuals, schools, and doctors that tried to help him along the way and he was ever appreciative. He certainly would have supported giving others help, hope, and a new chance in life.
Although Hal came from a life of privilege, and never knew homelessness, neglect, or abuse (like many of ELEM’s beneficiaries), he felt the pain of desperation and the loss of hope that life would ever improve. In memory of Hal and in an effort to alleviate the suffering of other youth, his family has created The Harold Rubin Memorial Fund at ELEM/Youth in Distress in Israel.
Please join us in partcipating in this fund by clicking here.