Gadol Hador, the greatest rabbi of his generation, sic.
Rav Ovadiah Yosef has been laid to rest in the fullness of his years. Headlines today, tell us that this was the largest funeral in the history of Israel. What I thought? Larger that that of David Ben Gurion? True, we were a smaller country then. He died on at 11am on Shabbat 2.12.73. When Shabbat ended he was placed in a coffin, draped with the national flag. The following morning at 11am, the whole country came to a standstill. Watching from a window overlooking the Knesset, as the helicopter brought him to lie in state, I was moved, to see an Arab gardener in the grounds, drop to his knees in prayer.
I did not go to his funeral. I did not even go to Rabin’s funeral. Was the Rabbi’s funeral even larger than that? What does that say, what does that mean? Who turns out on mass and why? Enough, has already been written about……… that.
Yesterday as those of us at home followed the surreal scenes with disbelief, police spokesmen were saying” There will be a disaster here, its getting out of control”. Yet neither Deri, who was sobbing into the microphone, or any other leader, of that assumedly, spiritual and God fearing mob, demanded of the crowd “respect and order”. I wonder what Ovadia would have thought of that?
Everyone will give credit to his scholarly wisdom. Many, for his purely human interest in the Ethiopian aliyah or the situation of agunot,following after the Yom Kippur war. Detractors will highlight his bigotry towards those, who did not hold his beliefs.
He will be remembered as colourful, extrovert and unpredictable. To quote the British Ambassador “My face is still stinging from the slap I received”!
No one interviewed said “We must look forward, that’s what Rav Ovadia would have wanted, at least he’s at peace now.”
It was as if they were left, helpless orphans.
It was not a road accident. They all knew, what was inevitable.
He was a man after all, not a God!
Yitshak Rabin was mourned by the world at large. He was seen as a pragmatist, a man of war and peace, genuine in the extreme. He was a bashful, shy, introverted. Never actually, sought the limelight.
We did not kiss his hands.
His shocking death and the aftermath, dwarfed his amazing achievements and did not make him an icon.
This year the anniversary of his death is not organized, officially.
On motzei shabbat at 8pm in Kikar Rabin, there will be a coming together, of those who loved and believed in him.
Those, who see a real growing threat to our democracy. Those who want to believe that such a thing could never happen again.
Last year at the memorial, I was stunned by the numbers of youngsters there. They, were not even born, in 1995. I asked them, “where are your parents, why aren’t they here”?
Its 18 years since that fateful night, those babes who came into the world that year, are now preparing to serve their country. The Rabin’s of our society put the country before all. The young people will do the same despite, the fact that at this moment in time, our leadership is, doing our heads in.
Loud voices both in his party and coalition, are pressing, the PM to back down on the two state solution. He meanwhile, belts out a smoke screen of threats to our very existence, jumping from Iran to terrorism and all things, between.
The best we can do if we care at all, is first to show, Prime Minister Yitsak Rabin, the respect that he deserves. To demonstrate publicly, that we are not only united about putting an end to conflict, but, also to support our current Prime Mnister.
Remember, we called for his head, following Rabin’s murder!
Over 50% of the population are thirsting for a sign, that peace with our neighbours is possible. Trusting, that he will not let us down, we can show by our presence, that, we are backing him.
So come out everyone and bring your friends.!
Let us stand together as Israelis, who have the courage of their conviction. We can be a light unto the nations, even at this late stage.
No unsightly behavior, no insults, just respect and order and a commitment to our future. Be there!