Hanoch Vasserman, friend and former study partner of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was murdered in a shooting attack near the Samaria community of Havat Gilad on Tuesday night, spoke with Channel 20 about his friend, whom he described as a “Torah giant of the generation” who was involved in all areas of Torah both theoretical and practical.
“I was Raziel’s study partner for 3 or 4 years. I merited to spend hundreds of hours with him, in the yeshiva, on hikes, on visits to the graves of tzadikim. He was a special person whom it is hard to describe in words.
“The Jewish people lost a Torah giant - not just of the coming generation, but of this one. I don’t think there was an area of Torah which he did not cover - not only theoretically, but practically.
"He studied the laws of ritual circumcision, and went on to become a mohel. He circumcised, I believe, close to 300 infants - he stopped updating me after the first 100.
“We studied laws of ritual slaughter, [and] he performed ritual slaughter [...] He would slaughter a chicken at my house [as part of the kapparot ritual] every eve of Yom Kippur, he slaughtered a lamb to teach the yeshiva the laws of ritual slaughter.
“He studied to be a mediator...he studied everything. We studied the laws of mourning, and he told me jokingly that if he continues to practice everything he learns, he will now have to bury someone [...] A short while later, in fact, with a heavy heart, he buried someone who did not have much family. He purified the body, as halakha mandates, wrapped it in a tallit, everything.”
Vasserman said that Rabbi Shevach “had an amazing sense of humor, and in every situation he would lighten the atmosphere. He had a vitality that it’s hard to describe.”
“I hope that, as we will have to lift the spirits of the bereaved family, we will manage to lift our own,” Vasserman said.