“Our son said there were over 750,000 people at the funeral and while he wanted to go, he and many of his friends decided it would be too difficult to get into Jerusalem logistically.  How big a giant of Torah law and commentary was R. Ovadiah Yosef, z”l?  Imagine for every person who went, 1-3 wanted to go.  That equates to a quarter to a half of the Jewish people in Israel.  We have nothing to compare here in the US.  The same day we lost a very dear friend and mentor of two of my Rabbis, Stewart Harris, z”l, a true one of kind. I imagine yesterday was as good a day to die as any as the heavens were likely wide open.”

Eric Matheson is a Wexner Heritage Alum from Boca Raton 07. He can be reached at ericjmatheson@gmail.com.


“Despite his objections, I dragged my 14 year old son to the funeral last night. I knew the turnout would be huge and I wanted my son to witness what would surely be seen one day as an historic event. As we stood shoulder to shoulder among the thousands – indeed thousands of thousands — Sefardim, Ashkenazim, Chassidim, Mitnagdim, ultra orthodox, modern, secular — in short, Jews of every possible denomination — my son remarked: “Abba, I cannot think of any other leader for whom all of Am Yisroel would have taken the time to pay their final respects.”

Jay Solomont is Wexner Heritage Alum from Boston 1. A month after leaving Boston in ’93 as “Olim Chadashim”, Jay’s family was reunited with our Wexner Heritage learning partners for the culmination ceremony of their Wexner Heritage studies. 20 years have passed since then and they still count the events of that summer among some of their most cherished memories. Jay’s wife, Debra, will soon mark her 16th year of association with Pardes, while Jay has worked as an independent business consultant to technology start-ups and other business concerns. Their communal involvement includes, among others, Yeshivat Horev, Shaarei Zedek Hospital ,and the Israel Alumni Association of Maimonides School. Jay can be reached at jay.solomont@gmail.com.