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Eulogy to My Dad

Isaac Bloch: 1942-2018

Motti Cohen used to call Isaac, 'Hacol yachol', 'the guy who can do everything'. He was pointing to the fact that the stroke that nearly killed him – he recovered from it.Cancer? He never complained about it and it was something to be managed.

When I was thinking about the eulogy for Isaac, I realized that Dad would whip up a beautiful eulogy in no time.My Dad loved speaking – in private settings and social settings.At my wedding he just got up and gave an unprepared and eloquent speech.We would go to a restaurant and I would tell you – "Dad, let's keep the conversation at this table", but of course by the time we left you had made friends with the adjacent tables.

My Dad was a Zionist, not in any cynical way.He truly believed in our right to recreate the Jewish homeland.He was born in 1942 in Cape Town, the same year as the infamous Vanza convention.He came here first in 1960 to Kibbutz Sde Boker for a year, and then stayed for good after 1968.

Dad, you are going to be buried here in Herzliya, in a place that couldn't be more centrally located.Near the squash club and Beth Protea that you helped create.Near your home and the sea that you love so much, near to Beit Corex which was the center of your business, and close to Raanana where you lived for many years.You created so many things and never took credit for them.

In many respects, Dad's success in life mirrors the country.When my parents moved to Raanana in 1970 from Ramat Chen, it was a slow moving town of 11k with no restaurants and no traffic lights.In fact when we moved to Raanana, people asked Isaac how come he wants to live so far away from Tel Aviv.

Dad was the first GM in Israel for Ford, but early in 1973 he started his own real estate development company – Corex, together with Gadi Golan, his long term business partner.Dad was always independent-minded and entrepreneurial.

My Dad also took a small career turn on the way.In October 1973 the Yom Kippur war broke out.Being a new citizen to Israel, Isaac was not yet drafted into the army, but since pretty much every able-bodied man was drafted for months, he took over the postman's route – in his old Peugeot.Now, this Peugeot was the kind of car that probably explains why the French are not renowned for their manufacturing.I often remember that the car simply wouldn't start – especially when it rained.My Dad would want to leave for work in the morning and would spend a good few minutes tinkering under the hood to get it started.

My Dad was a very determined postman.He used to take me in his car to do the deliveries. I was only four years old, but I distinctly remember his driving through the back roads of the Sharon valley.I remember him driving very fast, maybe it was my imagination or simply the fact the he was covering for several postmen.Being a postman is not the most exciting job in the world, but I'm sure my Dad was trying to break delivery records and pushing himself to do it faster and better.

My Dad was always full of bundles of energy.After selling his company in 2008 you'd think he'd kick back and relax.Not Isaac.He immediately started a set of new real estate projects.After 35 years with one partner, he then partnered with Michael Shine and Mor, and started doing investments in Atlanta.A cursory look at the map will show you that Atlanta is not exactly close to Israel.It's also not close to any of our family.This didn't stop Isaac from hopping on a plane to work with his foreign partners every couple of months.

When he wasn't working, my Dad loved hiking – anywhere.And he loved Africa.A few years ago we combined these passions by doing a walking safari in a remote part of Northern Tanzania.A walking safari among big wild game is as thrilling as anything I've done.It happened to fall on a severe el-Nino storm in eastern Africa, which meant we were walking completely wet and cold.But Dad never complained.In fact he loved it.

I rarely remember my Dad sitting still, chilling, watching TV.If he wasn't working he was talking to someone, usually over the phone, if not that he was in the shed doing some carpentry, or jogging, or pretending not to eat a cheese cake, or playing with my sister Shelley and me or playing with the dogs.You get the picture.Shelley says that she remembers our vacation either climbing mountains or climbing tall buildings.

Everything he did Isaac did with full intention and commitment.No half-assed stuff.After my parents divorced, my Dad found new love in Hannah and was as committed as ever. Hannah was his rock and took care of him in the last six years, as he got back on his feet and fought the cancer.

If Isaac got to a city he hadn't been to before, he'd study and memorize the map – the paper map - and then probably go for a jog.He used to always tell me jogging is the best way to get to know a new place.

I once walked with Dad on a Cape Town beach.We stopped by to chat with an old girlfriend of his from when he was a teenager.She turned to me and told me that "Isaac couldn't wait to start his independent life as an adult.He had so many things he wanted to do and he wanted to get on with them all".I think he continued this mantra to his last day.He certainly lived life to its fullest.

Isaac has six grandchildren. They would always say that my Dad gives the biggest hugs and wettest kisses, and he would always say a very long goodbye.Dad, we're saying goodbye for now but you will be in our hearts forever.Thank you for bringing so much love and light in our lives.

May you rest in peace. 

 

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Saturday, 13 August 2022

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