them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which
have no hope.—Thessalonians 4:13
"Why, God, why does he punish me again with one of his awful obituaries?" My readers are right. The Obituaries section is a disgrace. Not all the persons featured are dead; one appears twice. Most of them didn't want to be remembered by the actions I mentioned. Some of them may have even spent their last years praying for being spared the honor.
On October 20, 2013, Rabbi Avraham Zuckerman died and was buried at Kfar Haroe, his home since 1940. Unluckily, he died at the age of 98. Had he died thirty years ago, this Elder of Zion would have made headlines.
He was featured as the main headline of Settler Channel 7, below is their obituary banner. They were broadcasting live the burial ceremony and warned that viewers could suffer delays due to bandwidth issues. I could understand that, after all, in Bolivia there are bandwidth delays even while checking emails! Against all odds, the video looked fine.
After reading the relevant details, I opened the Ultra-Orthodox media. Expectedly, there was not even one word about the event. Ultra-Orthodox and Religious-Zionists are not best friends these days.+
Zionist media held the main surprise. After the burial ended, not even one of their main newspapers had mentioned it. Quite shocking considering that Zuckerman was one of the leading Zionist-Religious rabbis, the movement that had allowed the foundation of the Zionists' dream.+ "Don't worry Rabbi Zuckerman, I will write you an obituary," I decided on the spot and the still warm body stirred in horror.
Nowadays the place looks innocent; yet, it is geographically and religiously at one of the Zionism main junctions. Located between the towns of Netanya and Hedera, just north of Tel Aviv on the coastal plain, the village was founded in 1933 on one of the first valleys conquered by the Zionists. The name means Haroe Village, Haroe being a Hebrew acronym of Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, the founder of Religious Zionism. In a fashion favored by Hebrew, the acronym forms a word, meaning also "The Seer."
In the impossible mix-up of ideologies that characterize the Zionists, this religious settlement was created as a socialist moshav, a settlement slightly less communal than a kibbutz. Part of the HaPoel HaMizrahi movement, it became home to one of the most important Zionist-Religious colleges. The Yeshiva was created in 1940, and Rabbi Zuckerman was one of its founders.
He encouraged his students to pass the secular Bagrut exams so that they will be able to study in a secular university and afterwards find work in the secular society. "Torah and Work" is the ideological center of Bnei Akiva, the educational part of HaPoel HaMizrahi.
The Religious Zionism was represented in the Knesset by the National Religious Party (Mafdal). After many years of decadence, the party was dissolved in 2008. Over the hot ashes, The Jewish Home was created under the leadership of Naftali Bennett. Since then, Rabbi Zuckerman was awarded the unrealistic, but honorific last place in their list of candidates to the Knesset. Following the 2013 elections, the party became the 3rd largest party in Netanyahu's current coalition. This surge in the party's strength is due to the massive vote of West Bank settlers, many of them American citizens unrelated to historical Religious Zionism.
The only politicians to attend the burial belonged to this party. This was the reason why Rabbi Zuckerman became the unlikely recipient of this website obituaries section. Religious Zionism is dying. With it will die the only existing bridge between Ultra-Orthodox Jews and the secular fanatics calling themselves Zionists. Upon this bridge rests the State of Israel. Today, one of its supporting columns collapsed into the deepest waters of oblivion.