I had been living for just a few months in Israel the first time I met Izhak. I was studying the language in classes for new immigrants, or ulpanim as they call the schools here. My classmate told me that she knew another Swede living in the same city. I was overly happy to hear my native language being spoken with the same southern accent as mine. Izhak and I quickly struck up a friendship. There were a calm and an optimism around him that were contagious. He always had a smile on his face and he was always willing to help out whenever he could. This is how I will remember him.
He had been living here for a number of years and although his mentality was still to a large part Swedish, he was deeply in love with this country of his. He came here together with his father to pursue a more religious lifestyle than what is possible for a Jew to have in Sweden. He devoted his last living years to God and religious studies. It was obvious to everyone who met him that his faith gave him much strength and happiness. While his father headed back north, Izhak was rooted to the Israeli land, where he remained.
In the end his lungs gave in to his disease and not even his deep faith and optimism could save his life. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his wife and parents.