The Shmooze

Sacrifice for Ailing Rabbi

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel’s Orthodox community is anxious, as the country’s most revered rabbi, Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, is in a serious condition at a Jerusalem hospital. The 101-year-old scholar has been in a coma for almost two weeks. In synagogues across the country worshipers are praying for him — but some people are going further.

One Orthodox Jerusalemite, identified in the religious media just as Aaron B, has reportedly made a deal with the Almighty to shorten his own life by a year and give the time to Eliyashiv.

He is quoted as having said that “we are in a time that the gedolei yisrael [great rabbis] as the pillar of our existence and without them we won’t be able to continue maintaining a proper lifestyle. We need Rav Elyashiv and other gedolei hador to lead and guide us.” He said that he would do the same for other rabbis. “During laining [the Torah reading] I was seated aside a chossid wearing a shtreimel, who asked me ‘why are you smiling. Would you give a year for me rebbe, the Satmar Rebbe too?’ I told him yes, of course. To all the gedolei Torah, Rav Kanievsky and Rav Ovadia too for they are protecting our generation.”

The original-thinking Beit Shemesh Orthodox rabbi Natan Slifkin (aka the Zoo Rabbi) draws an interesting conclusion from this strange sacrifice. He says that if Haredim are okay with this kind of sacrifice, how can they maintain their opposition to organ donation from brain-dead people? “For a person to volunteer in advance to give up that life in order to save several healthy people is surely even more worthwhile a sacrifice than for this avreich to give up an entire year of his life for a 101-year-old,” he argues in this thought-provoking blog.

Hat tip to Jeremy Godley and Ben Vos.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Aaron B, Shalom Eliyashiv

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.