Shuli Golivinsky z”l, the Father who Loved Kah Echsof
One Thursday morning a few years ago I was listening to my favorite radio program, Radio Kol Chai’s Hitorerut morning show with Yedidya Meir, when Yedidya announced that it was 7:43 AM which meant, of course, that it was “Kah Echsof Time.”
Over the years of listening to “Hitorerut” I’ve gotten the sense that Yedidya looks forward to those minutes when he plays the Karliner Shabbat song “Kah Echsof” in preparation for Shabbat Kodesh more than any other minute of the almost eight hours he spends weekly on the air.
And that specific morning a few years ago, Yedidya told us the sweetest story.
That week he had received a FAX from a father named Shuli (Meshulam) Golivinsky who wrote that Thursdays are his day to drive the carpool to his children’s school, Noam Raanana. He wrote that in his carpool the kids look forward to “Kah Echsof” time with great anticipation. Shuli hands out zmironim with the words and the kids and Shuli sing the song at the top of their lungs as they drive to school.
About a year later, Yedidya announced at “Kah Echsof Time” that he had received another FAX from Shuli Golivinsky. Shuli told Yedidya that he had invited an emissary of the Karliner Rebbe to come and address the students of Noam Raanana at an assembly where the children sang Kah Echsof, and the principal introduced the new weekly tradition (which Shuli had lobbied for) of playing Kah Echsof over the school loudspeakers every Friday morning as the kids sang along.
I wondered who this Kah Echsof loving activist from Raanana was…and imagined he was an idealistic, mystically-oriented young Torah scholar in a white shirt and large Merkaz HaRav kippah.
This morning at 7:43 AM, before Yedidya played Kah Echsof he had some very sad new to share.
Yedidya read a FAX he had received from the principal of Noam Raanana. She wrote to tell Yedidya that the day before Yom Kippur Shuli Golivinsky had suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 38 leaving behind his bereaved wife, Pnina, and 5 young orphans: Nitsan, Tahel, Leah, Shani, and Aluma.
This morning, I wept into the peanut butter I was spreading on bread for my kids’ lunches as I heard the tragic news…And I decided I would post something about this young father and his rare love and passion for the song Kah Echsof.
But when I googled the name Shuli Golivinsky, I was surprised by what I discovered. Shuli Golivinsky, I found out, was not the geeky, young Torah scholar I had imagined. He was a popular international lecturer, the CEO of Newtonstrand Innovations who won the Bill Gates Innovation Award twice.
And he looked very different than what I had imagined. Here is an interview with Shuli Golivinsky that was conducted at an industry conference:
And I cannot help thinking of Shuli Golivinsky’s legacy…of what will remain from Shuli’s too-short life.
Almost certainly, a few years from now his clients will have forgotten about him, and his coworkers and investors and students.
But for as long as they live, Shuli Golivinsky z”l will fill the hearts of his wife and children, and I am certain that one of their brightest memories for the rest of their lives will be those mornings when the holiness of Shabbat Kodesh filled their car as the kids sang Kah Echsof at the top of their lungs with Abba.
Let’s sing it one more time now for Shuli…