Memorials for two memorable Jews took place this weekend, though they stood, perhaps, on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
The Matriarch Rachel, wife of the Patriarch Jacob and mother to biblical figures Joseph and Benjamin, was remembered on the 11th of the Jewish month of Cheshvan, being visited by a reported 70,000+ of her and her husband’s descendants. Jews from all over Israel and all walks of life came on Friday and Saturday night to pay their respects to the beloved matriarch, who is considered to be the mother of aliyah, said to be weeping for her exiled children by the prophet Jeremiah.
On Saturday night, a somewhat different Jew was also remembered, albeit by a significantly smaller and less pious crowd. Less than 25,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to remember former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. Less a celebration of his life and accomplishments than a nostalgic gathering for Oslo and reflection on his murder, the Rabin memorial this year was themed “Remembering the Murder: Fighting for Democracy”.