Continuing his legacy, Chabad opens a fund in memory of the young kosher chef

The Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt University has begun the Aryeh Fund in memory of Zack “Aryeh” Freeling, a former student who ran a kosher food truck at the university and is remembered for his perseverance in working for his community despite personal difficulties.

Freeling was shot and killed last week and his death is being investigated as a homicide.

“This is a tragedy built on tragedies and words cannot do justice,” Rabbi Shlomo Rothstein of Chabad Vanderbilt wrote on Instagram last week.

See this post on Instagram

Freeling, who graduated from Vanderbilt in 2017, lost his brother, Sam, to suicide in 2013 and founded Aryeh’s Kitchen, an on-campus kosher food truck, with his father, Ken, and Rothstein in memory of Sam in 2016. The food truck temporarily closed a few years ago, but has since reopened and been renamed Holy Smokes, which continues to operate to this day.

In a Tripping Kosher video from last year, Rothstein said the food truck was important to Freeling’s father because “it was a way to bring the goodness and goodness he found in Judaism and bring that to other Jews and to campus. overall. and he also felt this was a great way for him and his son Zack to have a constant conversation and something to work on where they could guide their son and play the role of an active parent. “

In another tragedy, Freeling lost his father to suicide in 2017 and his mother, Sue, in 2019.

In the Tripping Kosher video, Freeling stated that after losing his father, he thought to himself “What does this mean? It has to mean something else. It can’t end like this.”

Freeling made the decision to donate the food truck to Vanderbilt Chabad in the hope that they could continue the legacy of what Aryeh’s Kitchen was: “To be the focal point of the Jewish community, to be a nice fixture on the Vanderbilt campus and also continue the legacy of me, my father and my brother. “

He added in the video that the food truck still on campus is “a symbol of hope and is a physical representation of what can come out of such a tragic story. What can come after devastating losses. These things can happen”. And it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. You can always go back and do something good. “

“I have never met a person with as much family tragedy as Zack,” Rothstein wrote last week. “I had all the excuses and reasons to give up life, but I didn’t have them.”

The Chabad rabbi added that Freeling loved his Hebrew name, Aryeh, which means lion. “He spoke about courage, fearlessness and strength and how to use that in a positive way. However, underneath his tough and funny facade, there was a sweet, caring and confident young man. I can’t imagine the battles he fought in But her heart won and she decided to live a life of generosity and service to others. “

“My story is inspiring and creates strength through difficulties and perseverance. I want to be able to share my story helping others in need during their hardest times. With my successes, I will see the memory of my family forward through charity, humility and compassion, to pay tribute to my faith and to society, “reads a quote from Freeling on the new fund’s page. The fund is intended to “continue the work and community that Zack held dear.”

Rothstein emphasized that Freeling was driven to help people, using his experiences to ease the pain of other people and even hiring employees to help improve their lives. Freeling also dedicated the new Torah scroll that the house of Chabad had written for Vanderbilt.

“Zack made a deep impression on anyone who met him and he also made a practical difference,” wrote Rothstein. “This, along with the internal battles he won, is more than most people achieve in a much longer life. And of course he did much, much more than this.”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *