In the days before Yom Kippur Rabbi Mordechai Gifter was really working hard on his spiritual growth. His children relate that he would sit at the table trembling from the fear of G-d’s judgment and would not take part in idle chatter. But his wife’s birthday was in this same time period and buying flowers for her birthday was not something insignificant. He took it very seriously and every Yom Kippur eve he would make sure to buy her flowers in honor of her birthday.
When he completed his afternoon prayers before the festive meal before Yom Kippur he would ask a student to drive him to the florist and he’d come home with a bouquet of flowers for his wife. Every Yom Kippur the table was adorned with flowers for her.
When he became ill and needed a wheelchair to get around he sent someone to buy the flowers and he made sure he held them while in his wheelchair and delivered them into his wife’s hands. A year later when he was considerably weaker he put the flowers on his lap and rolled in to give them to his wife.
When he could no longer move she went out and bought silk flowers and she showed them to him telling him that she was continuing his noble custom of getting flowers for her birthday. The vase with the silk flowers still adorns the table. When the flowers get dusty his wife washes them so they’re bright again for the past 15 years since Rabbi Gifter’s death. May his memory be blessed.