Dr. Michael Goldstein was an inspiration to me. He actually made me feel very uncomfortable at times for the respect he showed me as his Rebbi. Being that he was old enough to be my father, it was I who needed to show him the upmost respect and honor. He was a very unassuming, almost self-defacing, humble man. Ready to do anything for anybody and expecting nothing in return. Every Friday I heard him make his weekly phone call to Israel before Shiur to say Shabbat Shalom to his children and grandchildren, and to remind them again and again how much he loved them. The love he had for his family was palatable. The love he had for Eretz Yisroel was equally so. The only time he missed shiur until his illness was when he would leave to help in the hospital in Israel for months at a time. His love for our shiur was also the same. Before he knew what was happening, he came to shiur even though he was getting consistently weake. After it was discovered that he had a brain tumor, he came even more often because, unfortunately, his trips to Israel could not continue.
I called hours after his surgery was over and his wife Connie answered hi phone. She told me the first thing he said when he woke up was, “I hope I’ll be up to going to the Rabbi’s Medrash class again.” She then put Mike on the phone and we cried together; he was going to be ok.
He started coming again as soon as he could. Sometimes he came with his head in bandages, sometimes with wires and electric stimulators attached to him; but he came for as long as he could. There were times I’d wake up not feeling well, and considered canceling the class, but then I thought of Mike and I knew I had to give my Shiur. I spent many years in Yeshiva hearing talks from great Rabbis about dedication to learning and Middos, but the lesson I received from watching this unassuming elderly gentleman made the greatest impact on me.