Remembering Nissan Yakubov

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It is with sincere sadness and shock that I write these words about a very prominent figure in our community. Nissan Yakubov was many things - A father, a husband, a son, a professor, a comedian, a friend. Most importantly, he was courageous, explosive, and sincere. A man of exceptional talents and creativity which allowed him to serve as an amazing role model in our community. Loved and remembered by so many.

Nissan was a special person whose essence touch and enriched the lives of those around him. One of the many things that made him so special was his unique ability to connect to others. He did so with his distinct wit and delightful humor - and who can forget his contagious smile, and his prominent laugh. He was able to humbly walk into any room and yet everyone wanted to be around him, to be his friend, and to connect on a deeper level. The comedy and unique humor he possessed was only a gateway to the true depth that was within him - a way to lure others to the light of Torah, and Hashem. I remember his excitement when he discussed a piece of Dvar Torah. Even if it was a verse that I have read many times over the years, it was like looking at it with a whole different set of glasses when Nissan explained it. His love of Hashem and passion for Torah was what put him above so many others.

We all go through our various struggles. Some more than others - and Nissan was no different. Despite it all, I don’t remember ever seeing him without a smile or a lowly spirit. While many may remember Nissan as a comedian and an impersonator, I remember him for something so much more. He left me with profound insights on relationships, connecting to people, and focusing on what matters in life. Our conversations were personal and deep. He shared insights with me that I carry till this very day.  I regret to say that we lost touch after he moved to Israel, and while I was not involved in the last few years of his life, my memories of Nissan will always be of his unique ability to enrich the lives of the people around him. 

Remaining consistently joyous and keeping a positive mind frame is hard on its own, but what’s even harder is to kindle that joy and positivity in others. This is how Nissan excelled - he did so with energy and excitement. It is this tragic loss that we mourn today. Nissan, I thank you for everything that you have given me, and our community. I am grateful to have met you, to have learned from your deep lessons, your appreciation for life, and your constant search for truth.

May the Yakubov family, and the community be comforted.

By Shay Yonaiev