Memorial for Walter Blum – Ma Gadlu

by Brian on June 10, 2010

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

(תהילים צ”ב, ו)

This is the seventh 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. Next week I’ll post the eighth and final video.


“Ma Gadlu Ma’asecha Adonai. Maod Amku Machshevotecha” – How great are your works O Lord, Your thoughts are very deep. The words here reflect one of my father’s greatest gifts to his children – the ability to think, to discuss, to debate on a wide range of subjects. My brother describes my father as a true “Renaissance Man.”

My father worked for more than 30 years as a feature writer for the San Francisco Examiner’s Sunday magazine. He arrived home from the paper at exactly 5:25 PM. Dinner was served precisely at 5:30 PM. We ate together nearly every night where we discussed politics, philosophy, science, history, religion. My brother and I were expected to participate. I credit my father’s love for intellectual pursuits as having given me my own abilities to pontificate at the Shabbat table.

Every night, after dinner, my father would retire to his den where he would work for 2 hours writing his book. He wrote many books over the years and unfortunately none of them ever sold. But he kept at it – another example of his ability to persevere in the face of adversity.

The words of this next song should, I think, speak for themselves. “Maod Amku Machshevotecha” – My father’s thoughts were very deep indeed. “Ma Gadlu Ma’asecha” – And his works were very great – his years of writing, both published and not.

What about your works and thoughts? Are they as deep as you can make them? Can you do more to achieve your full potential? Let’s meditate on that while we sing the next song.

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

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