Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Funeral Sensitivity

Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF, was thrown out of the funeral for Yehuda Greenfeld, who was killed defending Israel. Perhaps its just the difference in Israeli mentality, or that some soldiers aren't the best politicians (its hard to argue with a gun, there's no need to be nice) but his response strikes me as inappropriate. The same for the Yesha Council [I doubt the Greenfeld's care about the Yesha Council's objections, what the council sought to accomplish is beyond me.]

After being thrown out by Yehuda's sister, who shouted that he (Weiss) was responsible for throwing people out of Gush Katif, Weiss replied in an interview: "They humiliated me. You can say to a person in the most humane and cultured way in the world, 'Please get out of here,' but to do this in front of a crowd of people - this is [tantamount to] murder."

First, don't make comparisons to murder at the funeral for a soldier killed.
Second, someone should have done their homework to find out if Weiss was even wanted at the funeral.
Third, and perhaps most important, the sister just lost her brother. Someone who she grew up with. Presumably, those who lose close relatives aren't exactly in the most rational state of mind. A little sensitivity on Weiss's part is called for.

What should he have said? "Losing a loved one is difficult, and I can't imagine the stress what Shoshi [Yehuda's sister] is going through. I apologize for any trouble my presence caused, and met only to pay my respects, and those of the country, at the funeral for one of our young men, struck down in his prime, by Hezbollah terrorists."