Israel’s ninth President and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies at 93 after suffering a major stroke.Mr. Peres was often the object of my blogging wrath. Now he will stand before the Divine Judge, who will weigh his merits and other deeds much better than a blogger.
Israel’s ninth President and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres has passed away at the age of 93, two weeks after suffering a serious stroke and being admitted to the Tel Hashomer Hospital.
I wonder what Peres was thinking as death approached. I cannot help but think of what is written in Berachot 28b:
When Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai was on his death bed, his students came in to visit him. When he saw them, he began to cry. The disciples asked him, "Candle of Israel, the right hand pillar, the mighty hammer, why are you crying?" Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai responded, "If I were being taken before an earthly king who is here today and tomorrow in the grave, whose anger is not a permanent anger and who if he imprisons me it will not be a permanent imprisonment, and I might be able to appease him with words or bribe him with money – would I not anyhow cry in fear? Now I am being taken before the King of Kings, the Holy One Blessed is He who is eternal. If He is angry with me, it will be an eternal anger and if He imprisons me, it will be an eternal imprisonment. If He kills me, it will be an eternal death. I cannot appease Him or bribe Him. Not only that, but I have two paths before me – one leading to Gan Eden and one leading to Gehinnom and I do not know on which path they are taking me. Should I not cry?"May his friends and loved ones find comfort, and may we all be written and sealed for a good year.