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Monday, June 05, 2017

NAPHTALI WACKS HAS PASSED AWAY

Naphtali Wacks passed away Saturday from injuries he sustained in a criminal hit-and-run event last week.  He was buried Sunday. 

Born In September, 1959, he was 57 years old.  Naphtali was part of what made our small courthouse and legal community fascinating and unique. He will be missed. 

May his name be a blessing and may he rest in peace.


27 comments:

REAL FORMER JUDGE said...

I am heartbroken. We are a family.

Why don't we be kinder to one another from now on. Why don't we recognize the solo practitioners that do so much good for the folks that cannot afford hotshot lawyer's? It would be nice to say their names on the blog once in a while, before they pass away!!!!

Anonymous said...

A true gentleman.

Anonymous said...

God bless this kind man. Heartbroken. Please let us have an ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE for our colleagues in the court system who depart us. WE CAN DO MORE.

Rumpole said...

Right now he's having a cup of coffee with Sy. He and Sy were friends. Sy always had time and a kind word for anyone in the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

What a tragedy. A fine man on his way to the REG for another day helping his clients. It seemed like any other day in a long and distinguished career -- but it wasn't. May he Rest In Peace.

Anonymous said...

Fuck.

Anonymous said...

I pray he felt no pain. He always had a smile on his face and an upbeat attitude. Never heard him complain. This has touched me very much and so have the kind comments so rarely heard expressed by this often cynical group.

Anonymous said...

So sad. Sorry for the loss of this good man.

Phil R said...

I confess that I never spoke with Naphtali although I would frequently see him in the cafe at the courthouse, a big smile on his face, with a cup of coffee. Often he would be reading, which is my life long hobby as well. A friend of mine (the yenta Kenny Weisman) once told me that he bumped into Naphtali in a bookstore perusing history and Kenny mentioned that he and I would have a lot in common. I'm sad I never reached out to him. He certainly was a unique guy, and the end of his life is a tragedy. I've always said that we judge a person by how they lived, not how they died. And it speaks well of this man that he devoted his legal talents to the indigent who needed assistance. May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted by the kind words of people remembering him.

Lorraine said...

I did not know this man, but I ran his story in the Miami Herald . He sounded like such a great guy... always giving his time to people who couldn't afford counsel. May you Rest In Peace Mr. Wacks. The world has one less angel.

Steven Bustamante said...

My contacts with him were always pleasant. He was a soft-spoken, decent guy. I'm sorry for his passing.

the trialmaster said...

Unfortunately it was Naphtali. It could have been any of us on our way to the REG for morning hearings, depos or trial. We all should make sure that the SAO uses all available resources to put this piece of sh## behind bars for as long as possible. Let him get a court appointed lawyer from Broward. No one in Dade should represent this scumbag. He certainly deserves a fair trial, competent counsel and when found guilty receive the max...

Itai Polatnick said...

[1/2]

On the day we buried Naphtali the rainy and gray sky joined us in mourning. The daily study spoke of the Jewish people as being neirot, lamps of light, and this is very apropos as Naphtali was one of the biggest and brightest in our synagogue family. It was such a joy to sit near him at shabbat dinners and lunches as he would talk with verve and depth about current events, tanya, classic movies, domestic and international politics, military history and strategy, philosophy, law, English literature; seemingly everything and anything. The breadth of his knowledge and interests was vast and deep. We would sit and talk for hours, long after the tables had been cleared and others had left. He was very strongly opinionated, and had great courage in expressing it, despite the inherent risks to friendships, egos and reputation.
He had a great love and respect for America, and he would complement and recall her history of liberty and valor, her economic success, technological sophistication and military prowess. He had misgivings about unrestricted immigration and entitlements. He did not want the government to go bankrupt through profligate spending. He did not believe we should incentivize bad behavior from unfit and irresponsible people, or reward them for their carelessness or indifference. He favored an aggressive approach to dealing with violent Islamic fundamentalists. He recognized that Trump was an imperfect candidate, but he supported him on balance. He did not want to see America decay into an unrecognizable banana republic. He delighted in relating how he had managed to irritate the more leftist members of his Boca discussion group with his conservative and contrarian opinions.
While I did not always agree with him, he was an engaging and captivating speaker. I always told him he should take a second job as a radio host, or at minimum start a podcast. I looked forward each week to seeing him and hearing his lively discussions with his other friend Isaac, and there was much to talk about these last few years as the drama and pace of political developments in America and abroad intensified.
Despite his politically incorrect and sometimes acerbic opinions, he always expressed great geniality, sense of humor, warmth and generosity of spirit and time. His work as a public defender for many impoverished juvenile defendants speaks to this.
He had great courage and integrity and intellectual curiosity. I was initially amused and surprised by the seeming contradiction between his philosophical outlook and Jewish religious doctrine, ["There are no dinosaurs in the bible." he said with his heavy hands clasped across his chest, leaning into a pregnant pause. "...Ya think g-d spoofed the fossil record?" eyebrows rising below tufts of ginger hair, big cheshire cat smile] I came to appreciate that he attended service and studied not out of dogmatic duty, but out of the great love and sense of oneness he had for our people and our heritage.
Naphtali had health challenges. He did not always eat as well as he could. He was always welcome to join my family for a home cooked dinner. After he recovered from his stroke, I offered to accompany him regularly during the week for walks, but he said he needed to come down more in weight before he could exercise without injuring himself. He questioned doctors, but when satisfied with their reasoning, he diligently followed their recommendations and dosing schedules.

[pardon me rumpole for exceeding character limit 1/2 ...continued below]

Anonymous said...

[2/2]
While I was under no illusion of his immortality, I was shocked by the violence, irony and improbability of his injury; stunned he had died so suddenly when there was an optimistic impression that there would be some chance of recovery; that I would be able to say goodbye or let him know directly how much he was loved. I miss Naphtali tremendously. It greatly saddens me that I may never again be illuminated by his mind, warmed by his presence, challenged by his views, stimulated by his stories; that I may never hear the unique music of his voice again. I fear my memory of him will dim. I wish he had had children. I am staggered I will never know the true depth of what is lost; that our time was so limited. His absence as palpable at kiddush as it is at Rabbi Korf’s table, where we shared shabbat afternoons studying the thoughts of the sages. Like a burning lamp, he brought light, warmth and color to my life and to many others.

http://www.chabad.org/dailystudy/hayomyom.asp?tdate=6/4/2017

Anonymous said...

Yes. We should pack as many of us in the courtroom when that piece of shit has a hearing.

ASA said...

I had a trial against Mr. Wacks not too long ago. It was pleasure to witness his skills as a principled and disciplined trial attorney. When the life of someone you know as an acquaintance is cut short in a tragic manner, it brings rushing into sudden relief your own fragile existence. The bells on Sunday tolled for him and for all of us.

Anonymous said...

5:08pm. What a perfect description of a decent human being and a friend. I am sorry for your loss. May you keep his memory alive and know that others share in your grief. Please say prayers for all of us in our small family in the court house. God bless you.

Myles Raucher said...

I met Naphtali more than twenty years ago when we both did defense work in dependency court. Thereafter, from time to time, I would see him at Justice Building cafeteria.

Naphtali always had a book in his hand and a smile on his face... a gentle unassuming soul with a kind word.

He enjoyed discussions about politics, religion, and history. He was one of the truly unique individuals that we are privileged to meet.

I hope the kind comments made by others in these postings brings a small measure of peace to his grieving family

Rumpole said...

I am fascinated and find it truly heartwarming to see these comments about our colleague. Very nice.

REAL FORMER JUDGE said...

In Mr. Naphtali's honor and memory --

Why don't we make it our mission each day to say hello in a sincere way to someone in the Justice Building that we see all the time, but don't know, and acknowledge that they are important.

Let's be kind to one another!!!

Anonymous said...

I doubt that he would want vengeance. It just was not in his nature.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes did depos with Mr. Wacks. I also observed him in trial. He was never antagonistic with a witness, just went in there, tried every case well with his immense skills, and let the chips fall where they may. He never took it personally. He often shared stories about his youth in New York. You could see that he had a lot of nostalgia for those old times. We have lost a true professional, and a very fine human being. RIP.

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article155124539.html

Anonymous said...

Ervin Gonzalez passed last night. Committed suicide in his home. Very sad.

Secret Judge said...

What a tragedy. Mr. Wacks, a fine gentleman. Ervin Gonzalez, who seemed to enjoy so much success, felt the need to take his own life and now I am hearing of the loss of Kenny White, also very upsetting. In discussing the fragility of life, Mr. Rumphole feels the need to remind us what a remarkable lawyer he is, when he is just a pompous ass. Prayers for the families of these fine gentlemen who left us way too soon.

Anonymous said...

Itai thanks for nothing. This is the most insulting eulogy since the big Lebowski. What does any of this have to do with Trump man? It's a travesty! "Banana republic " really? Trump voter? Did you despise this man?

Memories Sanitized for Your Political Palatability said...

Dear 10:06:00 PM, thank you for your critique. I have no experience writing eulogies, and hope to write as few as possible for as long as possible.