A Man Of High Rank – BY ROSALLY SALTSMAN

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14 OLAM | SEPTEMBER 16, 2016
F E AT U R E
Uri Shlomai left this world a few
days shy of his 49th birthday after a
9-month battle with cancer. He left a
grieving father, a heartbroken wife,
a devastated son and three daughters
and two distraught sisters. But
more than that, he left a legacy of a
life devoted to the nation and country
of Israel.
Born to two Hebrew teachers
who spent many years of shlichut in
Canada, Uri served as a lone soldier
while his family was in Montreal.
He rose to the rank of Lieutenant
Colonel in Intelligence and had a
long and distinguished army career.
After the army, in keeping with
the practice of stationing an honor
guard near the flag for Yom HaZikaron,
he instituted a rotation of at
least two people learning mishnayot
every half hour near the flag on the
main street of the Petach Tikvah
neighborhood where he lived.
Uri volunteered for Magen David
Adom and was part of an army
contingent that was sent on a rescue
mission to Nepal by Israel after an
earthquake there in 2015.
With his high energy and commitment
to contributing to the klal,
Uri looked for gaps to fill. Even
while in the throes of his illness
he launched a Parshat Hashavua
initiative.
Uri personified the ideal of the
Mizrachi philosophy which has
given Israel the cream of its society:
people with dedication
to hearth, home
and community, an
impeccable army
service record and
Torah learning.
After the army,
Uri , who had a
Master’s Degree in
organizational consulting
and strategic
development as well
as being a licensed
life coach, sought to
teach mastery of life
both to individuals
and companies. He
not only believed
in giving everyone
the opportunity to live up to his or
her potential, he insisted on it, but
without being pushy or intrusive.
He was a devoted and loving
father to his four children and a
wonderful husband to his wife Rinatya
who also serves the klal in her
job as an occupational therapist and
matchmaker.
Despite the late hour, the heat
and the humidity of August, and
the short notice, hundreds of people
came to say goodbye to this young
man who had accomplished
so much and
died so young. It was a
very long and difficult
goodbye as he was eulogized
by rabbis, his
father and his children.
A few days before
he died, Uri’s 11-yearold
daughter Tamar,
somehow instinctively
knowing that to wait
till his birthday would
be too late, gave him a small painting
she made for him depicting
all the things he was best at. She
called it “To the Best Father in the
World.” It showed him giving her a
big hug, his service to the country
as a soldier, his volunteer work in
MADA, and his hobbies, windsurfing
and cooking. It was like she
had prepared the canvas of his life
to present in Beit Din shel Maalah.
But she needn’t have worried. They
have a record of his deeds there – an
impeccable record for a soldier in
Hashem’s army, one who received
an early discharge with distinction.
Lillui nishmat Uri ben Asher Anschel,
z”l.
BY ROSALLY SALTSMAN
A Man Of High Rank