Memorial for Walter Blum – Pitchu Li

by Brian on May 5, 2010

in A Parent in Israel,Jewish Holidays and Culture,Music

(תהילים קי”×—, ×™”ט)

This is the second in a series of posts from the memorial for my father, Walter Blum, who passed away last year. The event mixed music and humanistic interpretations of Jewish texts to try to share what my father was like and what he was passionate about.


The words for the next song we’ll sing are also from Tehilim, but most people know them from the Hallel service. The opening words “Pitchu Li Sha’arei Tzedek” mean “Open for me the gates of righteousness.”

The key word I want to speak about here is righteousness or justice. One of the qualities that was central to my father – and I hope to my brother and me as we grew up – was doing what was right. My father was honest to a fault. He would never cheat, never lie.

He was loyal, especially to my mother, despite all the difficulties they had during their nearly 53 years of marriage together. And he believed in justice. That the bad guys should get their comeuppance.

He was opinionated, a quality that could both draw you to him and turn you off, depending on whether he was waxing philosophical or just being paranoid. But either way, it always revolved around the idea of justice. For example, growing up, the idea that President Nixon might get away with what eventually brought him down was abhorrent to my father. He had similarly strong feelings about President Bush along the way.

We didn’t always agree (we tried to avoid discussions of Israeli politics) but I will always respect the legacy he gave us – this very Jewish characteristic. So let’s sing Pitchu Li.

To view the entire memorial evening on a single page, please click here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Ron Fox May 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Thaks for sharing Brian. It’s wonderful that you discovered and have taken the memory of your father to another level.
All the best,

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