Eddi Benjamini, z”l, passed away this week. He was a true Son of Israel. Born in Tel Aviv in 1934, he was a member of the Jewish people who rose, broke free, and formed a state of their own – the Jewish State. He also helped protect and build it, serving in the Israeli Air Force as a pilot and helping develop cutting edge technology to make Israel the “Startup Nation” it is today. He was a committed family man, a devoted Israeli and American, and a proud Jew. He leaves behind his beloved wife, daughter and son, niece and nephew, five grandchildren, two grand-nephews, and two great-granddaughters (with one more on the way). Below are a few lessons we, his family, learned from him. May his memory be a blessing.
- Love your spouse with all your heart. Upon first meeting his wife, Dorit, Eddi told her “you don’t know it yet, but you are going to marry me.” Turns out he was right. They were married for 65-years. Eddi loved Dorit, who he called, “buba,” with all his heart, everyday. They showed us all what devotion means and what a committed marriage looks like.
- Know where you come from, don’t forget it, and teach the next generation. Eddi would repeatedly teach us about the importance of “national memory.” Without knowing where you come from, it’s hard to tell where you are going. Keeping traditions, learning Torah and Jewish history, and being proud of the Jewish nation were paramount to him. They are now paramount to us, because of him.
- Collect good people and keep them around. Eddi had a knack for finding good people, befriending them, and keeping them around. He valued his friends and his community and treated them like family. They did the same.
- Be a patriot. Eddi was a patriotic American and patriotic Israeli. He loved both countries and did what he could to make both better.
- Don’t stop learning. Eddi was a voracious learner. Whether it was torah study, lecture series, learning the bass after retirement and playing in a jazz band for decades, or engaging in philosophical conversations, he never stopped learning.
- Enjoy the little things. Work hard, take care of business, but take time to enjoy the little things. A piece of chocolate, rugalach, or a Kit Kat bar will do the heart and mind good.
- If it’s right, you should say it. Eddi wasn’t shy about voicing his opinion. If he knew he was right about something important, he would express it. He didn’t let things fester or go unsaid. There wasn’t enough time for that.
- See the world. Eddi and Dorit saw the world and took every opportunity to travel. Journeys to places like the USSR, China, and Morocco expanded their horizons and enriched their lives.
- Fight for what you believe in. If you believe in something, fight for it. Don’t be a bystander, be an active participant and make your mark on this world. Eddi’s determination to advocate for his convictions encourages us to be proactive contributors to positive change.