Based on the Song of Songs (Chapter 8: 6-7)
We place you Bob as a seal upon our hearts
We place you Bob as a seal upon our arms
For love is truly stronger than death
A fire whose flame burns eternally
For all the waters of the world
Cannot extinguish our love for you
Rita and I both lost our precious fathers many years ago; they were men like you Bob, strong, powerful men, who were warm with their love, made friends easily and expressed the depths of their love in the flow of tears and words of sweetness.
Bob, your heart fills this room. Your warmth and sincerity, your compassion for those who were in need, for those who suffered fill this room. Your heart was huge, your embrace wide, but with all your community service, for all the people and causes you championed, the inner chambers of your heart were reserved for intimacy. The love you shared with your dearest Robyn, (the love for your parents), the love for your children and grandchildren and for a thousand others, your intimate circle of friends.
Bob, you were a strong, powerful man, a man’s man with your cigar (lit or unlit) and a competitive streak unparalleled (at our yearly Chanukah cook-off your latkes were always better than mine). You were tenacious, insistent, your convictions immovable. You would strong arm others with your love and get others to dig deeper into their pockets and upward to their potentials. I know for a fact that you are still raising money and I mean this in the most literal sense. Bob, you are still asking us to give—to be generous—we are in your embrace, in the clutches of Bob Loup’s compassion and conviction.
D’layt Atar Panu-ee Me-nay—there is no place empty of you. This meditation from the Zohar has been a steady companion for you Bob, every day for the last ten years and was with you as you were dying.
While death is our destiny, it is not a destination. Life is the destination. Life arrives with every breath—every moment. Bob, you took this lesson in—you took an insight from (Kabbalah) class when you asked:
“I understand being present when the present is good but why would you want to be present, say, in a concentration camp? Would it not be better in that present moment to hope for the future or remember the good times of the past?”
In our discussion, we came to an understanding that your friends Ernie Michel and Gerda Weismann and other Holocaust survivors, Viktor Frankl and Elie Wiesel, indeed hoped for a future (to be reunited with loved ones) or recalled the past (the taste of chicken soup) to make it through another day. And yet they were exquisitely present. How else could they have written autobiographies with the most minute details of their concentration camp experience to act as witnesses of the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust? This was a revelation for you Bob and once learned you made use of it every day, every moment—you lived in the present moment, no matter how difficult some of those moments and days were for you.
You made your destination life.
Every breath your lungs inhaled and exhaled. You lived fully and humbly. Your love transcends death—your flame will never be extinguished.
My love for you Bob, our love for you Bob, will never be extinguished—for love is truly stronger than death.
~Dr. David Sanders and Family