Two Funerals: Rabin and Kahane

The fact that the Yohrzeit dates for Yitchak Rabin and Rabbi Kahane are so close (the non-Hebrew date is the same) is no coincidence. The sages also compare two funerals, one of a righteous leader, and one of a wicked leader. The following was written by Binyamin Zev Kahane for the third Yohrzeit of Rabbi Kahane:

“and they shall look towards me, regarding those whom the nations have thrust through. And they shall mourn for him (that is slain) as one mourns for an only son, and shall be in bitterness over him, as one that is in bitterness for a firstborn. ON THAT DAY THERE SHALL BE A GREAT MOURNING IN JERUSALEM, LIKE THE MOURNING OF HADADRIMMON IN THE VALLEY OF MEDGIDON.(Zechariah, 12)

Rashi: “Our rabbis interpreted this to be on Meshiach Ben Yosef who was killed”

Targum Yonatan: “At that period of time the mourning over the loss of Jerusalem will match the mourning over the murders of the King of Israel Ahab son of Omri who was killed by Adarimon the son of Tavrimon, and the King of Judah Yoshiya son of Amon who was killed by Pharoh in the valley of Megidon.”

The funeral of Rabbi Kahane, HY”D, left a deep impression on its participants. According to estimates, between 100,000 – 200,000 people walked from the Shmuel HaNavi neighborhood to the cemetery Har HaMinuchot. (This does not include the 30,000 – 50,000 people who escorted the coffin in the US before it was flown to Israel). It is also important to point out the heterogeneous mix of the participants, from all levels and circles of Israeli society: religious (all kinds), secular, Sephardi and Ashkenazy. Everyone escorted the coffin, crying over the great leader who fell – the leader who the people didn’t merit to give the power or support to so that he be able to save them.

Many prestigious rabbis, including the great “Mikubal” Rabbi Getz (RavHaKotel), ZT”L, called Rabbi Kahane Meshiach Ben Yosef who was killed, bringing the above-mentioned verse from Zacharia as proof, which according to chazal speaks of the great funeral of Meshiach Ben Yosef.

And behold, a year ago exactly, (according to the non-Jewish calendar), five years after the death of Rabbi Kahane, the Prime Minister Rabin was murdered. The media fanned the flames in creating a nationwide atmosphere ofmourning, presenting it as the funeral of funerals. Indeed, more realistic estimates spoke about 30,000 to 40,000 who passed his coffin (or tried to). In any case, more important than the numbers was the impression that these funerals left people with. This is what reminded many of the above “Targum Yonatan”, comparing the funeral of Meshiach Ben Yosef to two of the biggest funerals of the past – the funeral of the righteous King Yoshiya who created a Torah society for his kingdom, and the funeral of the wicked King Ahab who caused the Jewish people to sin.

It is as if the verse hints to two huge funerals that will occur close to the time of redemption – one of a righteous person who symbolizes Meshiach Ben Yosef, and one of a wicked person who symbolizes the opposite – that is, someone who fights against the cause of Meshiach Ben Yosef.

The struggle between “the students of Yoshiya” and the “students of Ahab” is in full swing. And most of the people, despite the constant incitement and brainwashing, are still on the side of Yoshiya, as witnessed by their massive spontaneous participation six years ago to honor the memory of a leader who really felt the pain of the people, and went out to his brothers to see their suffering – and tried to save them. May his memory and actions protect us, Amen.

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