The head of the Jewish Home party MK Shuli Moalem Rafaeli spoke this morning (Thursday) about Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, head of the Tzomet Community Center, who passed away last night.
"Rabbi Yisrael Rosen represents for me the perfect combination of the Torah of Life, where he was full of life and full of Torah..Who does not know the Tzomet Institute? Both religious and the secular were aided by the wonderful combinations of technology and halakha that were produced by the Institute established by Rabbi Rosen. Who did not buy, beg, or borrow one of the "Techumin" volumes to understand a topic relevant to our lives, to prepare a lesson, or to expand and deepen knowledge. Who among us didn't read his words about public issues on the back page of the Shabbat bShabato newsletter and knew that he had to deal with matters raised by Rabbi Rosen for discussion.
"I always knew him from a distance and five years ago in the first primaries of the Jewish Home I approached him and made sure to consult and hear his views on many varied issues that I needed as a public emissary. Rabbi Rosen was always clear about the role of religious Zionism in the State of Israel and our role as Knesset members. He never let up on us when he demanded that we make our voices heard on issues on the agenda," she added.
"At the request of Rabbi Rosen, I was privileged to write a column for two years in the newsletter Shabbat bShabbato. I've written about public and private issues, and I most remember the article that dealt with the eradication of prostitution and the bill to criminalize prostitution clients. Rabbi Rosen supported me from the very first day that I decided that this subject was essential to my soul and to that of Religious Zionism, and the first venue to allow me to expound on it was Shabbat bShabato. I remember the gentleness with which we went over my original draft together and at the Rabbi's request moderated the language because it is after all a Shabbat pamphlet distributed in a synagogue, but just as Rabbi Rosen told me to 'refine the words without giving up the stomach ache people will get when they read the article and understand that it is also their business and that of religious Zionism'. It's incumbent on us all to continue the legacy of Rabbi Rosen - through the Torah of Life and deep concern over questions of conversion and Shabbat and mostly serious, ongoing clarification of our role as elected public officials."