In memory of Isaac Meyers O"H

Thursday, 3 April, 2008 - 5:29 pm

I would like to wish my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Oxford alumnus and Harvard classics student Isaac Meyers O"H who died tragically two weeks ago in Harvard Square at the young age of 29.


During his time at Oxford at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Isaac was a regular at the Chabad Society and his quality of character was always a great source of inspiration.


As a transient city, Oxford changes its population regularly and therefore few will remember Isaac, who studied here about 4 years ago. This allows me to indulge a little into the greatness of his personality.


Isaac was a very refined person, extremely intelligent and talented while also humble. The one thing that continues to impress me whenever I think of him was his dedication to Judaism that I have never seen before or since in Oxford.


Isaac stayed at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Yarnton Manor about 5 miles outside of Oxford in a village called Yarnton. There is no easy way to get into Oxford other than by a bus that runs periodically from the Oxford Playhouse to Yarnton. This makes keeping Shabbat very difficult, due to the fact that Jewish life is celebrated in the city, where most of the students and academic community live.


Despite the distance, to my constant astonishment every time I think of it, Isaac would walk regularly from Yarnton to Oxford for Shabbat to join the Chabad Society or the local Oxford synagogue for Shabbat dinner and services.


During his time here it further baffled me when I found out that, although many times he would stay over night at the Chabad House, there were many times that he chose to walk back and forth a few times over Shabbat as if it was around the corner.


He did this as he also felt attached to his friends at Yarnton, who were either non Jewish or did not keep Shabbat. There was a sense that he knew how to focus on what was for him a priority despite his material discomfort. His personal comfort was irrelevant and never an obstacle in the face of what he perceived as the right way to lead his life, even in difficult circumstances.


This remains to be a source of inspiration, and indeed Isaac will continue to be remembered in this ancient historic city, where he spent one year of his short but inspiring life.


Comments on: In memory of Isaac Meyers O"H

Cinderella wrote...

Finlaly! This is just what I was looking for.