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e Figer
Excerpts of a Farewell Address at the Funeral of Gershon Jacobson
By Dr. Elie Wiesel

I am deeply saddened today. How does one eulogize an intimate friend for close to sixty years?

We spoke often; we worked closely together as journalists. During my travels, Gershon replaced me as correspondent for Israel's daily Yedeot Acharonot, until he replaced me at the paper permanently.

For all the years that I knew Gershon, I never heard him engage in small talk, in gossip, in loshon harah. For a journalist that is rare, and Gershon was a great journalist.

Gershon had many virtues. This is known to all of his readers. But very few knew the depth of these virtues. He was a true man of love, an idelastic fighter for his people, his tradition, his land. Most importantly, he was a fighter for truth. Gershon loved truth and could not tolerate when truth was eclipsed or subdued.

His passing is not only a loss to the family; the world has become a more impoverished place with Gershon's death.

According to Jewish law, children mourn for their father's death; students for their Rebbe's passing. But what about mourning for a very close friend who passes on? There are no explicit laws for this.

But the heart has a set of laws all its own… So today my heart mourns for the passing of such a close friend, a true idealist, a great fighter for truth, for Jews, Judaism and the land of Israel.

What can I say? Gershon! With your life you have enriched us; with your death you have orphaned us.

Posted on June 1, 2005
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