The untimely passing of Gavriel Simcha Daitchman, 32, left the greater Jewish community of New York in shock this past Sunday evening. Gavriel, who grew up in Kew Gardens Hills, happily lived with his wife Rivka, nee Warman, and their bubbly daughter Molly in the vibrant community of North Woodmere. Together, they built a house of Torah filled with all the joys and excitement befitting a budding family.
“He was a remarkable man who had tremendous emunah and bitachon in HaKadosh Baruch Hu,” mentioned Rabbi Herschel Welcher, mara d’asrah of Congregation Ahavas Yisroel of Kew Gardens Hills. “Gavriel did not have an easy life, but he was always happy with himself and brought joy to others.”
“He always had a good joke,” reminisced Tzvi Sklar, a lifelong friend, to the Queens Jewish Link. “He was the type of person who was always willing to help out another in a heartbeat.” Gavriel fulfilled his tafkid in Olam HaZeh by living to the full potential of his name each day. Using Hashem as his source of strength, Reb Gavriel, born on October 2, 1988, in Queens, brought joy to those he encountered daily. Peer after peer described Gavi, as he was affectionately known by his closest friends, as being full of life and able to put a smile on everyone’s face. Both his signature laugh and his wide smile were infectious. “He opened his home for me during my visits to New York,” added Sklar. “Unexpectedly, I ended up living there during these times.” Sklar noted how Gavriel would travel to the airport to welcome him on these occasions and act as his personal chauffeur simply because he was the ultimate friend who desired to complete a mitzvah to its fullest. “His warmth and happiness are qualities I will never forget, and that I will strive to emulate as a legacy to my dear friend.”
After graduating Mesivta Ateres Yaakov in 2007, Gavriel continued to Eretz Yisrael where he studied at Yeshiva Ner Yaakov under its rosh yeshivah, Rabbi Yehoshua Liff, for three consecutive years. Gavriel then progressed further at Yeshiva Shalom Rav in Tz’fas during a six-month stay, where his formative years were solidified and strengthened under the famed Rabbi Rafael Weingot, who strictly follows the teachings of the late Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld.
“Gavriel was a people person who cared about others,” commented Rabbi Welcher. “He was close with his family and his parents and content with his siblings.” The rav offered the grieving community a sense of direction and purpose with a final note: “We all need to learn from his concern for others.”
Gavriel’s pure neshamah was embellished by the joy of music that permeated the walls of his family home growing up. His mother Karen is widely recognized by a host of local yeshivos, the camping world, and through various album sales for her unique talents behind the keyboard and her keen ability to energize any classroom or auditorium. His brothers have each made their mark in their respective communities and in the Jewish world through the effervescence of Jewish song and a love for the Jewish nation. Gavriel’s years of work with the special needs community enabled him to gain a unique appreciation for the inner workings on mankind and Hashem’s miraculous Hand. Gavriel’s loves of sports added to his upbeat character and embodied his exuberant outlook on life. Gavriel later entered a skilled career as a real estate agent, an assistant project manager for a construction firm, and more recently was building his career with a transportation company.
Devastated and left with an unexpected void and a longing to bring some solace to his wife and daughter, Gavriel’s vast array of exceptional friends embarked on a mission to raise half a million dollars for his family. In a mere few hours from its launch, the campaign raised nearly $120,000 from 600 donors – Mi k’amcha Yisrael! You can add your contribution at gofund.me/46729553.
The l’vayah was held at Boulevard Riverside Chapels in Hewlett and k’vurah followed at Wellwood Cemetery in West Babylon. Gavriel is survived by his beloved wife Rivka, their daughter Molly, his parents Jay and Karen Daitchman of Kew Gardens Hills, and their sons Eli, Ezra, Doniel, and Akiva, as well as his extended family, including the Segelsteins. May Hashem comfort the family and friends of Gavriel among the other mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim and may they know of no more pain.