Among his other accomplishments, David was a rabbi. Although he wasn't my rabbi – meaning he wasn't the rabbi I would go to for a ruling on halakha (Jewish law) – he was a rabbi whose intelligence and education I respected. A few years ago, I found myself interested in learning more about kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. I knew that David had immersed himself in the study of kabbalah; he had even written a game supplement for Ars Magica called Kabbalah: Mythic Judaism, and I believe somewhere I have an autographed copy. So when I wanted to learn more, I asked him if I could study under him over the Internet. David agreed, and for a semester I learned kabbalah from him. I still have all the lecture notes and lessons he sent me as part of the course, and I recall that he had hoped to turn it into a book one day.
David was also a man of great compassion. I last heard directly from him just after my mother died two months ago. When Nomi and I returned home from the funeral, we discovered that David had left us a long message on our answering machine, offering whatever spiritual comfort and emotional support he could. I have been so busy dealing with my own recent emotional upheaval that I never managed to get back to him. I made a note to send him a thank-you card as soon as I had a chance, and now I'll never get to do that.
David was a mensch, and he made this world a better place. Many of us will miss him. As before, I send my condolences to David's parents and to Alexandra. May they be comforted in this time of great sorrow.