In Memory Of
David Scott Dornstein
United States of America / Seat 40K
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David Scott Dornstein
Alternatives in Jewish Education-NYC
April 03, 1963 - December 21, 1988 (Age: 25)

David Scott Domstein of New York, New York, was returning home from Israel. He had been working on a project for a New York based organization called Alternatives in Jewish Education. He leaves his father, Dr. Perry Domstein, of Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. The spirit of David is best summed up in an acknowledgement of a book dedicated to him. Jacob Neusner writes, "David Domstein graduated from Brown in the class of 1985. Later this year he would have been twenty-six years old, had he taken some other plane."

David was incandescent, a Roman candle, a sparkler burning bright in everybody's night. David could act, he could write, he could dream, he could charm. Oh, could he charm! Paper late—or never written? A smile would suffice. Appointment missed? A splendid question, elegantly framed, made up for it. What we hoped for David, all of us who knew him, knew no limit. The sky was the limit. Not that he was at the boundaries of his fate the day he died, not at all. He was here but going there.
He thought for a while of becoming a rabbi or a scholar of Judaism—or maybe he told me he was thinking about it to make me happy.

That was David, David of the burning eyes, David of the luminescent spirit, David of the vivid conversation, David of the vital argument, the one that mattered, the one you would remember. And that was the David who could write with fervor, but no discipline, who could dream of everything, but finish nothing. His was not a life that would ever get to finish anything. David floated through life with no clear direction in mind.

I always thought David was destined for something special, something great, and I think he did too. So did everyone who ever knew him. Now comes no disappointment, for there remain no unkept promises, no unfulfilled hopes: the youth lies dead, along with everyone else who took the wrong plane that day. There are brutal truths in life.

Blazing star, sparkling light, in the gloom of a Scottish night the light gave way to darkness. While he was among us, we already wondered what might be; we do not have now to ask what might have been. We know. How do you mourn the incandescent life, the star gone dark in the distant sky? Remembering the light from on high, I suppose. So David wept for Jonathan: `... glory... lies slain on your heights."

1988
Pacific Daily News - David Dornstein of Elkin Park, PA.
Posted By Joaquin Da Silva
Dec 26, 1988