Arthur Nissman—1939-2021

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza      December 10, 2021

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Arthur Nissman—1939-2021
Arthur Nissman’s daughter, Zoe, drew this sketch of her father that truly captures the depth of the man we will remember. A celebration of his life will be held some time in early 2022.
Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas’ poem seems to capture so much of who Arthur Nissman was on earth because he was the human epitome of raging “against the dying of the light.” He brought joy to so many. Arthur died on the first night of Chanukah, a time of joy and light in the Jewish tradition. On the last night of Chanukah, eight days later, Rabbi Dovid Weiss led the Kaddish prayer and blessings. He also remembered Arthur with great joy and humor, turning tears into laughter among their many friends sitting shiva* with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Zoe. Son, Max, had to be out of town but was palpably present in spirit. Susan thought it was appropriate that Arthur chose that time to depart, book-ended, as it were, by the coming and going of the season of light. It was “so Arthur,” she said. In an exuberant, celebratory flare, we ended Chanukah by lighting not one, but two menorahs, and the dark dark outside turned to bright light in our hearts. For me, Arthur’s memory will always be a blessing with a big grin...and maybe some tears.
Flavia Potenza
      December 10, 2021

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December 10, 2021

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