Photo Credit: Noa Kirel
Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon and Noa Kirel.

This is a translation of the WhatsApp text accompanying the photo above. The photo and text have gone viral in Israel. The photo is of Chief Rabbi of Gush Etzion Yosef Zvi Rimon and Noa Kirel, who represented Israel in the Eurovision contest. Noa came in third place with her song “Unicorn”. The message is what he wrote to his family.

“I’m on the plane. On all the screens it’s written ‘Well Done Noa. We’re proud of you.’
I saw someone in a seat adjacent to me (it’s separated, because it’s Business). I asked her: Do you know who Noa is? And she said: It’s me!
I said to her: So what did you do? Why are their signs in your honor? And she said to me: I won third place in Eurovision.
So I asked her: What is your family name? And she was surprised I didn’t recognize her: Noa Kirel…
And then she and her mother told me that the grandfather had been a rabbi and a scribe. And Noa said that in the Eurovision in the morning she said the morning prayer blessings. She didn’t use her phone on Shabbat.
She asked me what I do. I said I am the Rabbi of Gush Etzion and if she ever has a question she can ask me. She was moved. She asked for my number. She took a selfie. And sent me the photo…
It’s a shame that Tal and Hallel weren’t here….”


After the photo made its rounds, Rav Rimon sent out a follow-up clarification message.

“Hello everyone,
I sent the picture and the story about the meeting with Noa Kirel in the family group. A friend of one of the girls took a screenshot and sent it out, and suddenly it spread on the internet. I really didn’t want it to be distributed, but after it went everywhere (I wish they would publicize at such a rate Ratzim L’Mishnah or the halachic books or the charity project we do with the Ethiopian community or with soldiers from challenging families…), it doesn’t bother me (therefore, now it is possible to forward it to groups, etc. I am not interviewing about it, even though all the newspapers called… but it is possible to publicize, because it is already in huge circulation anyway).
Our aim is to be nice to everyone, to people and especially to the people of Israel, and this way we will get to connect with the people of Israel with great love.”

So many different Kiddushei Hashem (sanctifications of God’s name) in the story above.


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