Elana and I got married a week ago. And three days ago, one of our best friends, one of my groomsmen, and one of the best guys I’ve ever had the honor to know, passed away suddenly.

The blow of finding out a best friend died suddenly is an entirely new world of horrible. We know the world of disease. We’ve done the cancer. We’ve seen a brother, son, and friend battle a disease for years before succumbing to it. We know of drawn out death. We’re all too familiar with that kind of pain. But the early morning unexpected phone call? The “are you sitting down?” The stunned disbelief? This is news to us.

And so here we are, on the early morning before Ilan’s funeral, trying to come to terms with this new kind of punch to the stomach. This new kind of overwhelming pain and sorrow. This new kind of horror.

So I turn to what I know – the written word, and music. Though I was always a fan, Ilan really made me get more into the Counting Crows – especially their live stuff. And though this song is from a free show they did in NYC that Ilan decided not to attend with us – he had good reason for not coming; a famous chef was cooking in a kosher restaurant in Manhattan. So he traded one of his passions for another that night, in a way only Ilan could.

Ilan – you were the greatest. Soft spoken, but always heard. Dedicated to your friends, your passions, and your loved ones. And the best birthday buddy a guy could ask for. I’m really going to miss you.

Counting Crows – Richard Manuel

4 responses to “Ilan

  1. This is very powerful, I don’t know your friend but I’m sure he really appreciates this.

  2. Joel Parker

    Hey man,
    I’m sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv now, and you’d be surprised how far the reach of an enthusiastic spirit can go. I didn’t know Ilan personally, but it makes me very sad that he’s passed away so unexpectedly and so early.

    I new him virtually through a wine forum that focuses on Israeli and kosher wine, as well as any good wine that can be imported to Israel. Ilan seemed like a real adventurer and great soul, always willing to share his experiences.
    (If anyone is interested in the various condolences from the forum, you can link to them here: If you feel like joining the forum, even just to post a note about Ilan, the forum would thank you, since we’re kind of a tight bunch of wine nerds and all feel sad about his passing.)

    Thanks for your words and the song,


  3. I met Ilan about six weeks ago, or so in Sacramento. We hit it off. We really became instant friends. We were soon gchatting and texting, and spending shabbat together in Oakland. We went to a Grace Potter concert together in San Francisco. He went to cover a review for a friend of his with the music blog. I took some pictures that he was going to include in the blog posting. I’m not sure if he ever submitted the blog posting or not. He said he would send me the link. I’m so happy he was able to go to the show- he had been waiting a long while to finally see one of the most sincere divas in the industry.
    This past week Ilan and I made plans ago to spend shabbat in Oakland together. It was tricky to find out exact plans. Even in the complicatedness of figuring things out, Ilan said, it’s okay , just complicated. That was at 3:04 pm Thursday afternoon here. I was between classes and couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t getting back to me about our Shabbat plans. I went out Friday morning after I found out about Ilan. I went out and bought Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to have something tangible. It’s been playing on repeat since then.

    I’m so sorry for our loss. Ilan was in my life for a few short weeks, but all of my memories of him are so vivid. I see him laughing and smiling. Telling wonderful jokes. Making friends with everyone around him and making them feel so comfortable.

    I feel so lucky to have known him; he’s significantly touched my life. I’m sorry I can’t attend the funeral, but my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

  4. Besides the fact that all of my live CC music was directly imported from Ilan’s iPod, I’m sitting in my car, crying, because every song is reminding me.
    “All of a sudden she disappears, just yesterday she was here. Somebody tell me if I am dreaming.”