This blog is dedicated to our dear friend, Nosson Deitsch OBM, who was tragically torn away from us on Lag B’Omer 5770.

Nosson was a one-of-a kind Bochur who influenced many people, from all ages and backgrounds. He had a perpetual smile on his face and an extremely generous heart. He would do the biggest favor for a friend with only a moment’s notice. All those who knew him feel they had a unique relationship with him.

There are many untold stories of his selflessness, kindness, and the affect he had on countless lives. Please share your story, so that others can get a glimpse into his unique character and towering accomplishments.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

U'Mareh Ponim Soichakois L'Kulam

U'Mareh Ponim Soichakois L'Kulam

By Leibelovitch

A legendary heart & contagious smile. A love for learning and a passion to make a difference. These are all justifiable, but yet inadequate and attempted descriptions.
Let's just say this: there is only one "Nosson" in Lubavitch.
* * *
Although the following incident has always stayed clear in my mind, a friend - Shimmy Piekarski -
filled me in on a part I was unaware of, highlighting once again to what extent Nosson would go out of his way to do a 'gutzkeit' for another:
To preface:
Although a few grades senior, I feel both fortunate and grateful to have known Nosson, spending well over a decade together with him and many of his grade-mates. Many a memory brings a smile and much to reminisce.
I remember the first time meeting Nosson. I was walking with Shimmy Weinbaum, crossing the corner of Crown & Albany when a young 7th grader was crossing the street and approached us. With the most radiant of smiles he greeted us, asking how we were doing and 'what's new/the latest'. His eagerness & excitement, paired with his youthful maturity made quite an impression on me. "I gotta get to know this guy! (I'm sure I'm not alone with that thought after meeting Nosson for the 1st time...)
As we shared common friends we would meet every so often. One thing is for certain: with Nosson around, you were made to feel at ease and very much part of what was going on.
When Nosson's grade entered their Mesivta years, 10 of them banded together to help establish a new Mesivta in Staten Island (run by Rabbi Zalman Heller). Knowing many of the bochurim that went there, I thought of joining them; in the capacity of a yoshev or similar. Knowing Reb Zalman, I went over to him numerous times offering my services. I remember 'till today telling him that he has 'from the best bochurim in Lubavitch'. The closest I got to a yes was, "I don't know... Let me see... Ask me later". I therefore settled for second best, becoming a yoshev in Oholei Torah Mesivta during the day.
The next year came around and Staten Island expanded to 16 bochurim. The additional 6 bochurim greatly enhanced the Yeshiva. Headlining the group was Nosson Deitsch.
After giving up hope the year before, the new shipment injected a renewed interest to join the Yeshiva.
There were a number of bochurim there who expressed their interest in having a yoshev come. Knowing that I was interest, they'd make mention of me, but nothing ever happened. One of the bochurim I'd speak to often was Nosson. More than once I'd find myself striking up a chasidishe bull-shove with Nosson. I'd asking how it's going there (with an air of jealousy), and he'd right away ask, "Nu! Maybe come along! It's be great to have you" (That's Nosson: always making sure to make another feel good!).
Knowing my interest in joining the "elite rank of Staten Island Bochurim", he would tell me that he'd mention it and try to get me in. I thanked him but didn't think of it as much; just like all the others, he was well-meaning, but how much could he do already.
During Pesach - I remember, it was in the back of 770 - I saw Nosson. Again the same story unfolded. However, this time there was this determination in his voice. "The bus is leaving this-and-this time at this-and-this corner! Make sure to be there!" His excitement and conviction were certainly catchy and somewhat convincing.
It was the day or two after everyone left when I got a call from Reb Zalman asking if I was still interested in coming to help out. The next thing I knew I was in Staten Island. Nosson was the first to greet me. He was beaming from ear to ear; victory!
I naturally thanked him for his help and efforts.
As I mentioned above, this is where my knowledge of this incident goes. Shimmy, who was learning in Staten Island enlightened me on what happened on the other end: he told me that for weeks on end Nosson would harass the hanhala, claiming that there were no shluchim or eltere bochurim, etc... He made it his business.

It was so nogeiya b'nefesh to help another, that he took it upon himself to see the entire effort threw and succeed where others didn't.
* * *

A few snippets of life with Nosson during his Staten Island period:
He'd up early to walk over to the mikva and then from there, take the early-shift van to Yeshivah.
Davening & learning was with his trademark koch.
His schedule was a full one, yet he'd have time for everyone, as if no one or nothing else existed.
I was privileged to witness Nosson work at his goal of learning the entire Tanaya both in comprehension as well as by heart, even having the chance to test him. Despite the young age, you could tell by the way he said the words by heart that he understood everything he was saying - all done with a feeling of joy and spirit of happiness.
Whatever he did, whether davening, learning, farbrengens, sports or socializing, he was there 100 percent.
Nosson exemplified how one should celebrate life. Later, when with him on his year of Shlichus in YOEC, you could see his energy bear fruit. Whether it be a poshute mitvoch, a Friday Mivtzoim story, Chanukah Mivtzoim or a Mivtza Tanya B'Al Peh.
In conclusion: Nosson had a special koch in Iyonei Geulah U'Moshiach. He lived every day and throughout each day. There is no doubt that he was - and still is - a Geulah-Yid.
If the above is any indication, Moshiach should be coming any moment. For something needs to be done for someone else - Klal Yisroel no less - you can be sure that Nosson will make sure to get his way & make it happen :)

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