Borough Park, NY – Hundreds of people thronged to the Skver Beis Medrash today in Borough Park to attend the levaya of the fourteen year old Israeli boy whose beautiful middos and golden voice captured the hearts of countless listeners including superstars Avraham Fried and Lipa Schmeltzer.
Dovid Hill passed away this past Friday afternoon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan after a five year battle with cancer.
Dovid and his parents had come from Jerusalem several times over the past few years and, most recently, the entire Hill family was relocated to New York to help facilitate treatments with the help of Chai Lifeline, who assisted in sponsoring the cost of airfare.
Dovid’s face and his melodious voice became familiar to many this past winter after YouTube clips captured him singing several songs at the Bein Ish U’Bein Achiv Melava Malka an Org. to countless seriously ill patients and their families this past January, one of which was an original composition.
In below video Dovid signs.
“He was extremely musical and part of a very talented family,” Shlomo Gombo of Bein Ish U’Bein Achiv, told VIN News.
“Avraham Fried came to sing with Dovid not that long ago and hearing Dovid sing Aleh Katan, with lyrics about how life can sometimes be difficult, Avremel was mamash tearing up. Knowing that Dovid’s medical situation was grave, he told us to take Dovid to a studio and in order to capture his beautiful voice while we still had the opportunity. Baruch Hashem we were able to do that.”
Singer Lipa Schmeltzer recalled that while the release of his previous album Meimke D’Lipa took place at a gala concert, the release of his newest album, Leap of Faith was far more poignant.
“I premiered this latest album with none other than Dovid Hill,” said Schmeltzer. “I didn’t tell anyone, but I went to see Dovid and he got the very first copy of my CD in his hand and we sang all the songs. I remember another time I sang for Dovid and he was unconscious but he had tears coming out of his eyes. I hope he will be a meilitz yosher for all of klal yisroel.”
Another singer who spent time with Dovid recalled him as “the sweetest kid in the world. He was a talented composer with a gorgeous voice.”
Dovid’s Bar Mitzvah took place last year at Cornell Medical Center where Dovid, who was in a coma, had been transferred due to respiratory difficulties.
Chai Lifeline coordinated a gala Bar Mitzvah celebration for Dovid several weeks later, attended by doctors, nurses, Lipa Schmeltzer, Michoel Schnitzler, family members and countless volunteers who literally devoted their lives to Dovid, who spent the last two summers of his life at Camp Simcha.
“We put tefillin on him on the day of his Bar Mitzvah,” reminisced Bein Ish U’Bein Achiv volunteer Mordechai Aron Tirnauer, “but when Dovid came out of the coma he was shaking because he had missed the opportunity to put on tefillin on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. We told him that he had indeed worn his tefillin on that day but Dovid was concerned that perhaps since he was in a coma he hadn’t properly fulfilled the mitzvah. One month after his Bar Mitzvah, Dovid put on tefillin for the first time with the Skverer Rebbe.”
Dovid was also remembered as someone who went out of his way to thank everyone who ever helped him.
“He was unbelievably special,” said Tirnauer. “People came to give him chizuk but he gave chizuk to everyone who came to him. That was the way he acted with everyone.”
Dovid was taken out on a boat trip from Seagate this past Thursday with volunteers from Mekimi and Bein Ish U’Bein Achiv and all appeared fine, but was hospitalized Friday morning with respiratory difficulties.
“We came to see him on Friday afternoon just moments before his petira and when we walked into the room we asked him ‘How are you? Are you uncomfortable?’” said Tirnauer. “He replied ‘I’m perfectly fine.’ That is how he answered and that is how he died.”
In the last week of his life, Dovid continued to be the recipient of the love and affection of the many volunteers whose lives he touched.
“We had a beautiful birthday party for Dovid on Tuesday,” said Chai Lifeline volunteer Baruch Schwartz, who coordinated mincha/maariv minyanim for Dovid over the winter. “On Wednesday, we took him to the wedding of one of our volunteers, where Dovid received a bracha from the Klauszenberger Rebbe.”
Thursday brought a boat trip from Seagate with volunteers from Mekimi and Bein Ish U’Bein Achiv and all appeared fine, but Dovid was hospitalized Friday morning with respiratory difficulties.
Maspidim at the levaya included the Skverer Dayan Rabbi Michel Steinmetz, Rabbi Yitzchok Horowitz of Bein Ish U’Bein Achiv, Rabbi Yonasan Hill, Dovid’s father, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Hill, an uncle, Yaakov Shalom Moskowitz, a Chai Lifeline volunteer and Rabbi Chaim Shea Lichter, a member of the Skverer kehilla.
Dovid was remembered at the levaya as both as an outstanding baal tefilla who loved to daven for the amud on Friday nights as well as a bochur who was so serious about his learning he had three chavrusos arranged daily. Dovid was hoping to finish Maseches Taanis before Rosh Chodesh Tamuz.
Kevura will take place tomorrow in Israel and the family will be sitting shiva at 1639 55th Street in Borough Park.