I sit here sad as I reflect the terrible news of the untimely passing of a friend – David Menachem Gordon.
David was a lone soldier from the U.S. and a corporal with the elite Givati infantry brigade.
He bravely fought in the recent Gaza operation and returned to his base. On Sunday he left his base for dental treatment and after receiving his treatment he disappeared.
Two days ago he was found dead, at age 21,not far from his army base. There is an ongoing investigation regarding the cause of his death. Regardless of the outcome, David’s story is one of courage and one that touched my heart.
He will be buried with full military honors on Har Herzl Military Cemetery.
I spent a year in yeshiva with David and his constant kindness and respectful nature made him the guy everyone wanted to spend time with.
He was a deeply caring person, always with a smile and spot-on advice. David was loved by everyone and we kept a connection over the years.
David was an activist, journalist and blogger. He began his writing career as an intern at The Suit Magazine, a New York City-based business publication, eventually earning his way up to the position of Staff Writer and Middle East Correspondent.
According to the Huffington Post “He has emerged as a champion columnist specializing in security, business and finance while using a delicate combination of professionalism and personality in his writing”
The post added “His inspirational blog Sparks of David has gained worldwide popularity it infuses practical spirituality and self-help and psychology”
We can get a peek into his life, and an appreciation of his essence, through his own words. David wrote this blog post last year:
“Today is a New Day, but this is not my time to go, grace has brought us another day but if tomorrow were to bring my turn;
What would I leave unsaid?
What would I leave undone?
What would I leave behind?"
-String Cheese Incident 'SIRENS'
Today is a new day with new opportunities:
To face my fears
To be free
To be me
To believe in myself
To love myself
To care for myself
To trust myself
To introduce myself to myself
To have faith
To give thanks
To connect with friends and family
To connect with a community a unit
To develop a lifestyle
To achieve or at least pursue my goals
To try new things
To express myself
To be happy and experience pleasure
To grow and feel good in the process,
To love – to hope
To hope to love
To see what I am capable of
To pursue knowledge, clarity, and understanding
To better myself
To face reality
To break barriers
To love – to give
To give to love
To contribute in conversation
To break bad habits
To make good habits
To use my imagination
To reach out
To get involved
To be a leader
To change the world
To realize who I am
To recognize who I am not
To identify with who I want to become
To find rhythm
To be aware
To pursue my dreams, goals, and ambitions
To be responsible
To be positive
To give it one more shot
To make one more effort
To live life
Have a great day: D”
He added: “This is a timeless piece – for today and every day. There can definitely be more on the list so feel free to add your own. And pass it on!”
David’s tragic passing brings his message home: appreciate all the opportunities for growth we are given each day and to begin accomplishing TODAY.
David was also a warrior in his spiritual pursuits. He was a staunch activist against sexual abuse. He shared his story publically of being abused as a child because he had a burning desire to help others. Instead of remaining silent, he bravely fought for others.
In another bog post he wrote: “In a mighty gesture, God reminds us of His provisional power in a wondrous way. In the midst of a rainstorm – yet another form of sustenance – a lightning bolt illuminates the sky”
Through the storms and troubles in his life, David always strove to see the light in the rain and tried to bring that light to others who only saw darkness.
The amount of hearts David has touched in his lifetime are just beginning to surface. Some of it we will never know.
David was a hero to his family, friends and the entire Jewish nation. His writing, wisdom and kindness was a gift to us, and he will be missed by all.
Let us all try to do a simple good deed TODAY, in the memory of Dovid Menachem ben Rivka Leah.
May his memory be blessing to us all.