In Memory of Two Great Jews
Herbert Eser Gray (1931-2014) was born in Windsor, Ontario, the son of Belorussian-Jewish immigrants. He practiced as a lawyer after receiving a degree from Osgoode Hall, before being elected to parliament in 1962. He became the first Jewish cabinet minister in Canada’s history. He would go on to be re-elected a whopping twelve times, setting a record as the longest-serving Canadian parliamentarian in history. During this time, he served in multiple roles including Leader of the Opposition, Solicitor General, and even Deputy Prime Minister. After retiring from politics, he was the Chancellor of Carleton University. Awarded a great many honours, including the Order of Canada, he was just one of a few people to be granted the title “The Right Honourable”, and was nicknamed the “Godfather of Politics”. Beloved by his constituents and on Parliament Hill, Herb Gray sadly passed away last week.
Just two days after came the sad news of the passing of Rabbi Zalman Posner (1927-2014). Born in Israel to parents who fled the Soviet Union, Posner’s family later immigrated to the U.S. to help in stimulating Jewish community life. After the Holocaust, Posner went to Europe to help survivors and refugees in DP camps. In 1949, he took up the post as Chabad rabbi of Nashville, Tennessee, and went on to serve as Nashville’s rabbi for 53 years. During this time, he helped open the community’s first Jewish schools, brought Jewish life onto university campuses, became renowned internationally as a profound lecturer, published eight popular books on Judaism, along with penning dozens of intriguing articles, and inspired countless people around the world. Rabbi Posner passed away last Wednesday, and is survived by his five children, and many more grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Words of the Week
A well from which you drank, cast not a stone into it.
– Midrash Rabbah, Bamidbar 22:4