A shocking tragedy: A day before his firstborn son’s wedding, the father suddenly leaves this world
>>> In only several hours from now, HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Malka zt”l anticipated donning his Yom Tov clothes, holding the hands of his firstborn son and bringing him to the chuppah- his day of rejoicing. Instead of this, he was wrapped in the Yom Tov clothes of the Heavenly yeshiva, leaving here in the world of the living eight fresh orphans and a widow, wounded and shattered* The tragedy which sent shockwaves through the Ashdod community
A terrible tragedy, deeply shocking- no words can adequately describe it. HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Malka zt”l was a person completely dedicated to Hashem and His people, always concerned about others and about spreading Torah and yiras Shamayim to other Jews. He always thought about the other person. He was only 47, at the height of his accomplishments, when he was suddenly taken away.
It was so sudden he didn’t even have a chance to part from his children, from his wife; he didn’t manage to take leave from his family. He went to sleep that last night but did not get up. Hatzala was summoned to the scene and attempted resuscitation for a long time, but at the end were forced to confirm death from a heart malfunction.
Consider the fresh widow; the orphans who, out of the blue, had their world crumble around them. On one clear day, they were left without a father, without guidance- he left this world so unexpectedly. Terrible.
But the tragedy is a double one; in just another day Rabbi Eliyahu Malka zt”l anticipated marrying off his firstborn son; in another several hours the deceased had anticipated wearing holiday clothes and bringing his beloved son to the chuppah, a moment that every parent anticipates and looks forward to.
Instead, he was dressed in the holiday clothes of the Heavenly yeshiva, and here in the land of the living he left his son the chassan and another seven children broken-hearted and devastated; his wife the widow is crying and devastated. She doesn’t know how she will marry off her firstborn son; even before, their financial situation was dim- but now that her husband is in a world that’s totally good, she can’t even imagine how she’ll cover the wedding expenses.
The house is miserable; everyone is grieving and desolate. Abba is no longer with them; the oldest son is supposed to get married but they don’t have the means; the situation is very difficult; they desperately need help. This is our moment to gladden a widow and to gladden orphans; to merit the wonderful mitzvah of bringing the orphaned chassan to the chuppah, to help him rejoice on his special day. This is our moment, and we can’t be insensitive to their needs.