The murder of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, the “Baba Elazar,” on Thursday night saved the people of Israel from other tragedies, leading rabbis said Friday.
“Harsh punishments were decreed on the people of Israel, and he wanted to nullify them,” said the slain rabbi's brother, Rabbi Baruch Abuhatzeira, also known as the Baba Baruch, speaking at Rabbi Abuhatzeira's funeral.
He added, “As he nullified many harsh decrees for us...We ask you, Rabbi Elazar: go before the Throne of Glory and pray there for the people of Israel. Pray for the entire family. Pray for your sons, your daughters, your grandchildren and wife,” Rabbi Baruch continued. He said, “There is much to say, but the mind is confused.”
Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, made similar comments to Arutz Sheva on Friday.
“Who knows what kind of decree G-d's people was under? And [Rabbi Abuhatzeira] was strong for us, and he bore the atonement for our generation,” Rabbi Amar said.
“Alongside the great sorrow and terrible shock, we must arouse our hearts to return to G-d with all of our hearts, and search our deeds, both those between man and G-d and between man and his fellow man,” the rabbi continued. “Bloodshed in particular has grown more common among our people in recent years, and has become a routine thing. We hear about it and return to our routines.
“We must wake up regarding the education we give the children of Israel, we must teach them to be of good character and treat their fellow man properly, and each individual should make a true effort to rid himself of hate or jealousy, and to increase in love and unity, to avoid anger and strictness, and to be pleasant and forgiving and good, with G-d and man,” he concluded.