I will never forget November 17, 2000. I had flown from Florida to New
York the night before (it was Thursday) to attend Rabbi Schindler’s funeral
in Westport, Connecticut on Friday morning. I drove from New York,
arrived very early at the synagogue, and walked into the sanctuary – empty,
except for rows of pews and hundreds and hundreds of empty chairs. There,
in front of the bimah, stood a lone, simple, closed, unadorned pine casket.
Two thoughts rushed through my head; first, the enormity of the realisation
that this warm loving friend of over thirty years was in fact gone; and second,
the symbolism and honesty of that plain pine box.