Late as it is, after grieving for a number of months now, I too have some thoughts on the beloved memory of Ira Silber, Z"L. I was a very big fan of Ira's from the time I was a kid in the '70s and Ira and Shmoo and Myron, Steve and even Dov were in their prime as Ruach, the glory days of Ruach, were a major inspiration in my music and becoming a keyboard player and singer myself. Ira will live on in my memory forever.
First and foremost, Ira was a mentch. Too achieve mentchlichkeit is greater than to achieve musicianship. Especially in the Jewish Music world today. Ira was not selfish. Everything that was said at his levaya was true. If we all lived our lives and conducted ourselves by the following credo: What will be said about me at my levaya? What will I have to say about myself when I get upstairs and I'm at the gates of shomayim? We would be better people. There aren't too many things which count for anything in both this world and also the world to come. Chessed is one of them, and how we treated one another is another.
Ira always had a smile and greeted people b'sayver panim yafos, the way one is supposed to. I had the honor of being his roadie in the early '90s. As a keyboard player and singer myself, I wanted to help him and hang with him during his gigs just to absorb as much of his talent as possible. Even back then his health was waning, and still he smiled and put people in a real simchadikeh mood with his smile as well as his music. Years later when my wife and I walked into a shmorg and we saw Ira on keys he would smile and say an enthusiastic mid- song "Yitzy how are you?" No one else in Jewish music ever cared enough to even say hello. Ira was special. If only we could all take something with us from his funeral, and start conducting ourselves with proper mentchlachkeit to each other we'd all be better people for that. Is it possible for us to help each other out every now and then with a smile, in Ira's memory? Kol yisroel arayvim zeh lozeh.