SERVING OTHERS NO MATTER WHAT
“I lost my eyesight due to retinal detachment and I had to leave my job. At that time, life was difficult. We are not very affluent, but nothing worried me that much. All our friends were wondering, ‘What are they going to do? How are they going to manage?’
I just prayed to God. I said not only I needed money to carry but also something to do so I don’t get so bored. Both things God granted.
You want to see my books? They are connected with religion to bring people closer to God. We pray in Hebrew, right? Now, we don’t understand what we are praying. We just can read the language but cannot understand. What’s the use of praying or saying what you don’t understand? Prayer is calling unto God, giving Him thanks, asking for something…but we don’t understand. So what I did was I translated those prayers into [the] local Marathi language. So my books are small—some are 250 words—but they contain both transliteration and translation… pronunciation and meaning in Marathi so that people will know what they are praying.”
In Mumbai, India I was blessed to meet a true ish tzaddik [a truly righteous person]: Samson Korlekar and his angel of a wife, Diana. Samson and Diana are members of the Jewish community of Mumbai and every day they live a very humble life of serving others despite Samson’s blindness.
In order to keep his mind sharp and to help others, Samson began translating Hebrew prayer books and texts to the local Marathi language. Diana reads to Samson the English and he translates to Marathi. To date, they have published numerous volumes, including a translation of Tehillim (Psalms), which he did in honor of my parents, Dr. Howard and Sondra Epstein.
When I reflect on my own life, I see that I had a victim personality for so many years and I have to struggle even today to stay positive at times. When I meet people like Diana and Samson, they teach me yet again that life is about service and that I must serve others with all the gifts that God has given me. I love the portrait of Diana and Samson because Diana’s constant love and support of her husband comes through so clearly. What a blessing to meet this amazing couple.