Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rabbi Michael Signer

Yesterday Michael Signer lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Michael was the Abrams Professor of Theology and Director of Notre Dame's Holocaust Project, whose research focused on various aspects of Jewish-Christian relations.

I had the good fortune to have my office next to him for several years, some of the best I've spent at Notre Dame. When I first began to travel to Jerusalem, I audited 4 of his courses, took Hebrew classes with his help, and learned the traditions of Judaism through the hospitality of he and his wife Betty. Notre Dame is richer for his time here, I wish it had been much, much longer.

This is a message from Betty, with funeral and donation information included --

Dear friends,

On this Shabbat, the heavens opened up so that my dear Michael could be at peace. He so wanted to linger and not miss out on one moment of life, but his body was not as strong as his spirit.

He didn't want anyone to be sad about his life since he told me he was so blessed to be part of a great adventure that he felt he had experienced. So on this day, this very sad and lonely day I will try and celebrate the spirit of how he lived, the many friends, students and family who enriched his life and the love he had for books, learning, ideas and promoting and nourishing relationships.

His absence leaves a huge void in the world but I know each of you carries a part of him in your heart. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow him and he shall dwell in the house of the Lord peace, calm and love. May his memory be a blessing.

Michael's service will be at Mount Sinai Cemetery in LA, probably Tuesday. In lieu of flowers donation funds will be set up at HUC and Notre Dame.

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