Appealing (In memory of Jhan Moskowitz)

Frivolity by bobmendo
Frivolity, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.
This morning I'm gutted. My friend and colleague Jhan Moskowitz died yesterday and the news is riveting me to the realities of life and death. Jhan was born Alan Moskowitz and during his teenage years changed his first name to something quirky and it stuck. And quirky he ever was. And changing he ever was. He loved change and sought to keep things fresh and alive and renewed as often as he could. No doubt he had some things in mind about changing his situation when the doctors were working on him to the last.

The random fall in the New York City subway yesterday that caused his head to hit the stairs and his death seems so misfortunate. Yet, it's so terminal and so informing.

Death does inform us. Dying makes us ponder what is beyond the grave. Jhan's death will teach many how to live their lives in these days.

This photo was taken a little over two years ago at a memorial service for Moishe Rosen, Jhan's mentor and friend for nearly 40 years. After the painful and joyful memories were shared, after the meal was eaten, after the conversations died down, there was Jhan, along with Stephen Katz and Josh Sofaer sharing some good times, and finding frivolity consistent with the occasion and the one who was being honored.

Moishe would have been happy to know that others were enjoying each other.

Even in this photo Jhan is appealing (hands open and palms upward) to Josh. I liked that about Jhan. Ever negotiating, ever considering, ever pondering. He never lost sight of the greater goal, but he always wanted to ponder and wonder.

Emotions are not my usual state of choice. I prefer the ease of emotionlessness. But today I have no choice. I'm riding the roller coaster of personal thoughts and better wishes for Jhan's wife of 35 years Melissa, and his adult daughters Kayla and Jessie. I'm considering all the moments of history we shared and rejoicing, saddened, even wanting to change things with the Almighty if I could.

I'll share more memories over the next little while about the man Jhan Moskowitz. God has welcomed him into his loving arms and appealing hands.

PS. (More photos on my Flickr site:


Anonymous said…
Thanks for the post Bob. Good insight into the man who has touched so many lives.
Guille said…
Jhan taught me how to teach an interesting Bible Study. He would find slogans for each book he taught and always made it interesting. I will never forget his "God is God" slogan for the book of Daniel or his "Gospel of action" for the Gospel of Mark.
Anonymous said…

It is possible that he was martyred.

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