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A message from Canadian Diplomat Eli Lipshitz

ראש ממשלת קנדה ג'סטין טרודו עם משה ורעייתו רבקה, ביום השואה

Diplomat Eli Lipshitz from the Israeli embassy in Canada wrote me as follows:

"Shalom Sivan,
I think that the following story will interest your followers and will also help fulfill the mitzvah of accompanying the deceased to their final resting place.
Aside from Rabbi Gershon Edelstein who passed away last week at the age of 100, there was another Jew of the same age who also passed away last week. His name was Moshe Shimon Kraus, a man with a fascinating life story.
He was born in Czechoslovakia and was sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the Holocaust. There he received the nickname of "Moishele der zinger," Moishele the singer. He would pass among the barracks of the Jews and sing parts of prayers in order to uplift their spirits. The commander of the camp heard him sing and took him to the officers' barracks. He was commanded to sing songs in German to the officers and, in exchange, was thrown a few slices of bread. And so Moshe was saved from death.
With liberation of the camp, Moshe Kraus arrived in Israel. He was drafted into the IDF and began his tour of duty in the tank corps until Chief-of-Staff Yigal Yadin heard him sing the Sheva Brachot under the chuppah at a wedding. "I have enough tank drivers," Yadin told him. "What we need is a chazan (cantor)." And so Moshe became the first chief chazan of the IDF. He sang at memorial and prayer services and for a variety of other ceremonies with great distinction in the early days of Israeli statehood.
After his release from the IDF, he became a chazan with an international reach. He lived in Canada for 50 years, inspiring and strengthening thousands of Jews on holidays and Shabbatot.
He was married for 72 years to his dear wife Rivka but, unfortunately, had no children. Since his passing, the Israeli embassy in Canada has assisted the community in bringing his body for burial in Israel. He will be interred in the Eretz HaChaim Cemetery in Beit Shemesh tomorrow at 14:30 in the afternoon. From Canada to Israel, I wanted to request that people come to accompany Moishele the singer to his final resting place. Although he passed away without descendants, the legacy of his amazing life lives on."


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