Search on Google for Eliyahu Avidan and about all you will find was that he was taken into custody by Swedish police in March 2002.

He was serving as Israeli Ambassador to Sweden at the time and police were concerned for his safety because of anti-Israel demonstrators.

Some people want and know how to get attention and generate headlines. Former Ambassador Eli Avidan was not one of them. He worked for decades in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, with postings – from Moscow to Washington, DC, and helped negotiate the peace treaty with Jordan.

Quiet, modest, honest, intelligent and hard working, never seeking personal attention, he was admired by all who knew him, both in and out of the ministry. Many continued to seek his advice even after he retired from government service in 2002.

If he knew that I was writing about him, I think he would look at me and just say “Sharon.”  An expert negotiator, his eyes alone could show disapproval.

Eliyahu Avidan passed away this week after suffering terribly for the last two years from a neurological illness. Only at the very end did his brain slow down as his body failed him.

Jerusalem funeral, funeral crowd, Jewish funeral

Even with short notice, hundreds crowded Har Hamenuhot for the funeral.

Rabbi Shalom Gold, Rabbi speaking at funeral

Rabbi Shalom Gold of Har Nof, spoke to the family

Rabbi Benny Lau, rabbi at Jewish funeral

as did Rabbi Benny Lau. Over and over, the theme was that of a “good man, honest, modest and religious.”

Eli Rubenstein, Chief Justice Eliyahkim Rubenstein, funeral procession, Jewish funeral

Israeli Supreme Chief Justice Elyakim Rubenstein, a longtime colleague and close friend, spoke and led the procession to the graveside.

Jewish funeral, Religious diversity

 

There were no religious divisions among mourners, for Eli loved all people, no matter what they believed or how they lived. 

cemetery , Jewish cemetery, funeral

As the burial proceeded on Har Hamenhot

flowers misrad hahutz, flowers funeral

flowers from the Israeli Foreign Ministry were placed on the grave by his former secretary, who was also a dear friend.

Former Ambassador Eliyahu Avidan was only 75 years old.

Eli’s passing is not only a great loss to his wife, his children, and his 18 grandchildren. It is a loss to all of us who appreciate his life-long commitment to the State of Israel and its status among the nations.

If we only had more representatives of his caliber.

Yehi zichro baruch.

May his memory be a blessing.