Among my neighbors, Marc and Ariella Goldhammer have an open door, with strollers parked outside on many Shabbos afternoons. Since their arrival in West Hempstead, their home has become a magnet of hospitality. Sadly, this past week, it was a home of mourning after Ariella’s brother, David Moshe Henoch, 18, died in a scuba diving accident in Florida this past Sunday.
“Marc has known Divi since he was seven,” Ariella said. “Remember that Marc was 19 when he met me, so they’ve known each other for many years.” My neighbors met at a relatively young age. After their marriage a decade ago, they maintained a tight-knit sense of family that brought the Goldhammers, her parents Avi and Aviva, her sister Britt, and her husband Noam Weinreich, and Divi, together on vacations and holidays at home.
I’ve never met Divi, but having met Marc and Ariella’s parents and her sister, I recognized elements of Divi in them. He was well-rounded in his academic pursuits, deeply learned in Torah while pursuing technology and engineering. “He had a long life, though he did not live long,” Marc said.
The Henoch family of Riverdale values education, Yiddishkeit, and family. At their table, discussions touch on many subjects, and Divi articulated his views in a brief and strong manner. “When Divi was younger, we often hung out. We always set aside time to talk about life,” Marc said. “He led the way at the table.”
The family was well-traveled, using their destinations to reconnect, rest, and pursue hobbies. “He and his father found distant relatives in Calgary, so they also went snowboarding over there,” Marc said.
Towards his graduation from high school, Divi had his future planned out. “One of the reasons why he chose Torah Tech for his gap year in Israel was that it was a hybrid yeshivah. He was setting up his kovei’a itim. Divi was into the Gemara that writes to teach your son a trade,” Marc said.
Having quit watching television, Divi used the time to learn skills, such as his renovation of an old garage at his parents’ home.
Two weeks before his death, Divi had the honor of announcing the kibudim at Britt and Noam’s wedding. Unsure of the proper decorum, he acted naturally. He entertained the crowd with the kibudim, making one-liners for each person.
David Moshe Henoch was buried on Tuesday, July 12, in Israel at the same cemetery as his grandparents. He is survived by his parents, sisters Britt and Ariella, and her children Leila and Coby. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
By Sergey Kadinsky