This was never supposed to be a regular thing on this blog.
When Shaindy passed on, I felt the need to pay a tribute to her for creating such an amazing academic program. When Teddy Kollek passed away, the loss was felt nationally. Ido's untimely death is something entirely different.
Ido Arad was my neighbor. He lived in the next building over. He and his wife and daughter moved a few blocks away several months ago, and I hadn't seen him often since then.
I got to know Ido a few years ago when I moved into this apartment, but I sort of knew him before that. He had davened at my synagogue for a while. I knew that my sister and her kids knew him too. He had the uncommon job (for a man) of being a kindergarten teacher. He'd worked in the afterschool program my nieces and nephew attended. More than that, he was one of the ones that parents actually liked, my sister included.
On Friday nights, a few of us walked home from synagogue together. I always joined the group - I hate walking alone. Ido was part of that group. He was always listening, joking, smiling.
When I'd walk my dog, sometimes I'd catch a glimpse of him and his family eating dinner together. I remember thinking how warm and cozy his family dinners looked. When he sold his apartment, I wished I could buy it, because such a warm family had lived there that I would want to live in that warmth.
Last summer, during the war in Lebanon, Yaakov and I were coming back from Tel Aviv one evening, and Ido met us at the train station. He was in uniform, heading back from his assignment in the north. When I asked him how he was, he said he was tired, but overall, just happy to be getting home to his wife and daughter. When we got on the bus, he apologetically ended our conversation so that he could get some sleep.
On Friday, Ido was driving home for Shabbat. He never made it home. His car went off the road, into the foundation of a building site, falling some 15 meters.
On Sunday, we buried Ido. The rabbis who spoke at his funeral couldn't contain their tears. Men and women alike cried openly. Everyone who spoke about Ido said the same things - they said that he always had a smile for everyone, always had a kind word. They said that he was full of joy. So many people really loved Ido. Why does G-d take such beautiful people away from us?
* The picture in this post is of Ido with a girl who was in his kindergarten. I was unable to find a picture of him alone or with his wife and daughter.