On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank all of you for your compassion and for being present here today. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Mauri-Lynne, and I'm Lionel's daughter. Dad was devoted to every one of you. We all hope that you'll share your memories of him with us, if not today then in the weeks and months to come.
My father was committed to the practice and preservation of Jewish life. His religious beliefs informed everything he did. Particularly fond of traditional music, he and I spent many hours listening to the treasured recordings he'd collected over the years. We spoke regularly about our spiritual and communal responsibility as Jews, particularly our responsibilities to G-d.
Jewish mystics explain that before manifest creation, everything that ever would be was contained within the Creator as pure potentiality. This field without end created vessels through which its divine energy could pass and differentiate, each representing a specific attribute, such as wisdom, compassion, kindness and strength. The energy being transmitted was so powerful that the vessels shattered. It is said that some of these shattered pieces of divine energy fell to earth as sparks where they have remained all these eons.
He and I believe that one of our primary responsibilities to G-d is to repair the world. In Hebrew, we call this process tikkun olam. We accomplish this by performing prescribed mitzvot or good works. We believe that every mitzvah or honorable act, raises those divine sparks. Traditional teachings state that when the repair is complete, we usher in the Messianic Age.
Of the many mitzvot, performing acts of loving-kindness, or chesed, is considered one of the most important. No one understood this religious obligation more clearly than my father; it was one of his primary life directives. Each of you is here today because you've experienced my father's kindness, concern and generosity in some...