In Memory of Amir Lopatin    
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 Jon Novich Remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:42 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Jon Novich, a friend of the Lopatins, shared the following at Chabad at Stanford's memorial service for Amir, March 29, 2004.
______________________

I’m no linguist and I don’t know what "Lopatin" means. I knew Amir since high school and I’ve known Shoshana since college. I spent a weekend in DC with Shoshana and Uri – it was a blast. If I had to translate Lopatin (I’m not a linguist) it would be "passion" - they all had this incredible energy.

The thing that I’m struggling with is, why do we need to challenge that passion for life – because I just don’t get that. I just don’t get that.

   

 Chris Griffith, Dean of Graduate Student Life at Stanford, remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Chris Griffith, Dean of Graduate Student Life at Stanford, shared the following at Chabad at Stanford's memorial service for Amir, March 29, 2004.
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I did not know Amir, but I work for Stanford, and I respond to crises, so I got the first call about Amir and communicated it. But over the last few days – working with Amir’s advisor; Dean at School of Ed, I have a sense of him; I was struck by the kind of community he was able to create and nurture around him. When I talked to his roommate, to whom he had been randomly assigned, he was quite devastated and said, "He was the only roommate I ever got along with" – and he’s a 4th year PHD student...

   

 Amichai Magen Remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Amichai Magen shared the following at Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir, March 29, 2004.
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I didn’t know Amir for very long, but he found a way to approach me. He would stop on his bike and say hello – and he would listen – he cared about the response he got...he was sincerely fascinated by philosophical questions; by the religious dilemma. Having been in the Israeli army – I have had to bury a few young friends – and nothing is worse...

Amir was a man of education; the notion that to save a human being to save one human being is the most powerful thing; I want to take it upon myself – the next person that you save in this world – do it for Amir and dedicate the saving of a human life to him – to the memory of him as an educator – it won’t bring him back; it won’t take away from the tragedy of his passing, but it will be something that he would have wanted – as an educator – that people recognize that what he was doing was trying to make the life of others richer and fuller – and if we can take that lesson – we can do something to honor him.

   

 Sarah Gershman Remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Sarah Gershman related the following at Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir, March 29, 2004.
___________________________

I know Amir through Shoshana, his older sister. Throughout the time of their father’s illness and after his death, Shoshana talked to me about what an incredible support and source of love her brothers gave her – and how deep and loving was her relationship to Amir. I feel like I knew Amir through the unbelievable amount of love his sister expressed towards him – the love they shared. I have never met a sister who talked about her brother like that. Through Shoshana, I met a person who knew what it meant to live and to love so deeply – whose sense of family was powerful beyond words.

   

 Rabbi Menachem Spira Remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Rabbi Menachem Spira lead the gathering at Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir (March 29, 2004) in a Tehillim; Psalm 15.
_______________________

A Psalm of David.
Within thy tabernacle, Lord,
who shall abide with thee?
And in thy high and holy hill
who shall a dweller be?
The man that walketh uprightly,
and worketh righteousness,
And as he thinketh in his heart,
so doth he truth express.
Who doth not slander with his tongue,
nor to his friend doth hurt;
Nor yet against his neighbor doth
take up an ill report.
In whose eyes vile men are despised;
but those that God do fear
He honoureth; and changeth not,
though to his hurt he swear.
His coin puts not to usury,
nor take reward will he
Against the guiltless. Who doth thus
shall never movčd be.

   

 Mark Axelrod remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Mark Axelrod related the followind during Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir, March 29, 2004.
_____________

Its amazing to me what a good listener Amir was – I’d see him at services; we’d talk about how hard our work was and how we need to do other things; and yet we had that conversation every week- it goes to show how many things were happening in his life at that time.

I wrote something last night for Amir:

In a world where it often seems that a lot of people don't think for themselves, Amir made it very clear from the first time I met him that he was an independent thinker. Whether discussing Middle East politics, culinary preferences, or Jewish beliefs, he seldom presented a position that I had heard before. And he was not one to condescend either, hoping that any dialogue would be a mutual learning experience. To me, that is the essence of community, an environment in which thoughts are shared, accepted, and eventually improved for everyone's benefit. But more importantly, Amir was always around to lighten up the day, always excited to see you, and always the familiar face you wanted to see. He was a great companion for sharing stories about camping trips, or school, or literature. And he was interested in whatever interested you, and excited to hear what was going on in your life. He was a truly thoughtful listener in a world of voices always trying to be heard.

I lamented, on a number of occasions, that we always seemed to be on different schedules -- Amir would be at Chabad and I would go to the co-op. Or vice versa. And that brings up his amazing commitment to principled action. This is a guy who one time responded that he would be joining the Greenbergs for Shabbat dinner, and just couldn't be persuaded to join the
rest of a crowd headed in the other direction after services. He made it clear that it wasn't that he didn't want to hang out and share dinner. It was that he had made a commitment to people who were counting on his presence, even if only as part of a big group. But that's exactly the point, he wasn't just one among the masses. The Greenbergs would have missed him if he didn't come because he was absolutely one of a kind. And we did miss him in his absence that evening. And now we'll all miss him together, I guess. So I think it is most appropriate that we have chosen to commemorate Amir's life together here as a community, because he taught us all how important an individual contribution could be to the life of a community. And I hope we can take Amir as an example as we carry on in this community without him.

   

 Rabbi Feldman, Rabbi of Emek Bracha, the Orthodox shul of Palo Alto, remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Rabbi Feldman, Rabbi of Emek Bracha, the Orthodox shul of Palo Alto, shared the following at Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir, March 29, 2004.
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I didn’t come here to speak, but to praise...

Amir would come to say Kaddish at Emek Bracha. We spoke in the beginning, and then weeks stretched into weeks/months, and we didn’t have a meaningful conversation, so I told him 2 weeks ago that I was telling my wife about him and invited him to come for Shabbes. He said, I won’t be able to until after Pesach...am I in trouble? I said, you’re not in high school anymore – the Rabbi doesn’t invite you for Shabbat just because you’re in trouble!

There is very little to say for these very, very significant events. One thing that I appreciate very much...the only thing that can sort of serve to envelop this pain is a community. I appreciate that this community was able to come together, but one coming together is not going to do the job. That is why there are these sets of mourning periods – the week, the month, the year. I would urge people not to rely on a single cry but to continue to talk this out and share – there is no way to turn it into a livable scar, a livable scar unless it can be understood in the context of community...

   

 A fellow student remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time
A fellow graduate student shared the following at Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir, held March 29, 2004.
_____________________________


I’m waiting for the alarm clock to ring and have this be over; The whole thing hasn’t hit me.

I want to read a song by Jackson brown – “For a Dancer” – it’s a song for someone who has died. I never thought I’d be singing it now.

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you'd always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found

I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It's like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can't sing
I can't help listening
And I can't help feeling stupid standing 'round
Crying as they ease you down
'Cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(Right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(There's nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone

Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
(The world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know

   

 Doug Daher, psychologist at Center for Religious Life at Stanford, remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Doug Daher, psychologist at Center for Religious Life at Stanford, shared the following thoughts during Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir, held March 29, 2004.
______________________________

The Navajos have a saying when someone leaves, "something great has happened" – great means large – it is so apparent that this is true now.

I did not know him extensively - We offer a grieving workshop each quarter and Amir found his way to our workshop this fall, and that’s when we met; I was surprised when he sought me out individually – we had only exchanged a few words beforehand...

...The loss of someone in their 20s can be very baffling for a community and for individuals – I’ll share with you one experience I had...
My son four and a half years ago had graduated from Stanford and was killed a year later at 22.
The following spring break, I was at a home near where I live having a rough time... I was picking up the various Redwood branches that fall near my house – the way Redwoods fall – well, one Redwood can grow for 100s of years, and then it drops it’s seedlings. When that Redwood dies, it creates a "sacred circle" of Redwood seedlings. When the sun is at its peak, it can illuminate this sacred circle. It dawned on me that these seedlings probably aren’t going to make it to full trees...the privilege of being in the sacred circle comes at this dear price.

   

 Amy Finklestein Remembers Amir Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 From:  Anonymous  
 Dated:  Friday, April 09 2004 @ 01:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Amy Finklestein shared the following thoughts at Chabad at Stanford's memorial for Amir, March 29, 2004.
_________________________

I found out about the accident – I started thinking about where I knew Amir from – we went to Brown together – we were both a part of the Jewish community there... as soon as I saw him at Stanford - people were already looking for him, because Daniel had told them to - I was looking out for him.

Recently it really feels like I saw him a lot...

When I read Dov’s email, I thought about a conversation Friday night at David Singer’s – there were 4 or 5 of us – and Jen brought up Amir – and this was one of the most positive conversations about a person I have ever been a part of – it was almost like a five minute speech about how wonderful Amir was; I feel really good knowing there was this great conversation about how great he is; somehow it makes me feel a little better knowing he was on his way out of the world with all these positive thoughts about him...