by Stephanie Gros
March 28, 2004
Amiri was generous with his friendship and appreciative of the love which he received. Last weekend, Amiri and I spent Shabbat together in my apartment in Los Angeles. One of the best weekends of my life – it included deep conversation into the wee hours of the morning, a long jog in which we delved into each others lives, and a Saturday night roller coaster ride on the Santa Monica pier where I screamed so much my throat hurt. Amiri even impressed my roommate by washing the dishes after our Shabbat guests had left on Friday night.
I was struck by how happy Amiri was. It made sense. Having known Amir for many years, he was at a point in his life when he had found what he wanted to do – merge computers and education. And he had found where he wanted to do it – Stanford. As a fellow 27 year old, professionally, what more could we ask for?
I remember September 1990 – my first day of high school. The boy next to me in math class introduced himself as Amir Lopatin. “The Amir Lopatin – so this was Uri’s little brother.” We instantly felt the bond between us. We sat next to each other in math every year after that.
Our brothers had become best friends as they went through Ramaz. Pirkei Avot teaches us about the ultimate, highest form of love – the love between David and Yonatan.
-Our brothers, Uri and David-Alexandre have that kind of love.
-Amiri and Jonathan Wolfson have that kind of love.
Amiri was my friend with the open, sensitive eyes. He took in the world around him. He was always asking questions. He was always analyzing everything. In the words of Pirkei Avot: [ASHIR, HACHAM, GIBOR] [Who is rich? Who is smart? What is strength? What is happiness?] Our conversations always reinforced the answer: Who is Intelligent? He who learns from everyone. Amiri learned from everyone and everything around him.
Amiri felt a tremendous bond to the Jewish community. Over the months when his father was ill, he was openly appreciative and deeply touched by the warm spirit and loving support that the community displayed. It made him want to contribute to the wider Jewish community. At Stanford, he made daily minyan a part of his regular routine and found great solace in saying kaddish for his father.
Amir, you taught me about friendship.
Amir, you taught me what it means to love and care … for a father … and a mother.
Amir, you taught me to open my eyes and be sensitive to the world.
Amir, you gave me a forum to talk about things that I couldn’t talk to anyone else about.
Amir, you taught me about life.
Amir, you have been my teacher and my friend.
Wherever, I go – whatever I do – what I have learned from you will influence who I am and the decisions that I make.
To me, the Lopatin family is the model of friendship.
I will miss you.
— We will all miss you.