my father’s favorite boys

Fred and Harold and my dad were like the Marx Brothers. Or the Coen Brothers. Or the Brady Bunch. Or. Or. Or maybe there was nothing like them at all.  A team. A pack. A family. A coven.  A comedy show. My father loved ‘those boys’ with all his heart, and all his might and all his soul. And they loved him back.

Finally, I’ve asked Fred and Harold for copies of the beautiful eulogies that they presented at my dad’s funeral, when I presented mine.  And finally, I have their words right here.  Another gathering of the sparks.

So here, finally, we have all three eulogies for my father collected in the same place.  My father’s boys, and my father’s only daughter.

Probably I should say, for the record, just how jealous I was of those ‘boys.’ They were both about my own age, and both gave my father intense joy, pleasure, and laughter.  I never saw my father as happy as when he was with them.  It was as if they had a secret code, a secret handshake, or maybe their own private language. I think for my dad, Fred and Harold — more than any of the others — made up for the fact that my father had no ‘real’ children of his own.

One daughter was probably enough. He certainly taught me plenty, protected me, and gave me the world. But he had so very many boys who needed him and sought him out.  Harold’s eulogy speaks in part to this and gives a flavor of how my father ‘saved’ so many lost souls.  Joe Hoffman’s letter speaks to that as well. Fred’s eulogy speaks more of my father’s larger gifts — the institutions that he influenced, and the creative lives that he transformed.

I’m still collecting these tales because each perspective brings some new element to bear.  My father influenced so very many lives.  Please check out Fred Rosenbaum’s and Harold Lindenthal’s eulogies for my father. They are more than moving.  They help keep my dad alive.    — Mira

About mira

Mira Z. Amiras is Professor of Comparative Religious Studies and founder of the Middle East Studies Program at San Jose State University. She is past-president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, and has served on the Executive Council of the American Anthropological Association. She is co-founder, with Ovid Jacob, of Beit Malkhut, a study group in Jewish sacred text. She's most attached to the creatures of her body and her household — first and foremost, her kids, of course: Michael and Rayna — and then the other folks large and small of various species, including Roshi and Vlad, a whole lot of hummingbirds, the old parrot who lives next door, and a beautiful garden that does what it will.
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