Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
The 104th victim of the coronavirus in israel is a former Sephardic Chief Rabbi, the Rishon Le’tzion, Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron. He passed away yesterday at the age of 79. I read the Haggadah that he authored and found an educational message. He wrote about our greatest story – the story of the Exodus – and about the necessity of educating children through stories:
“In my old age I collected stories that I wrote down and passed out to family members. I was then asked ‘How can someone whose time is so precious occupy himself with tall tales?’. I answered that my work taught me to tell stories – my work as an educator, as a rabbi and as a father to my children.“When our children were small, I would tell them stories – sweet as poetry – before they went to sleep. The children loved the stories and became attached to me through them. I loved to recall the days of my youth in Jerusalem with all the characters and experiences from those days. I strived to bring up from my childhood the beautiful and the good. When they grew up, they asked me to continue telling the story. I always endeavored to tell stories that would teach them something. There is enormous importance to a story by which it is possible to pass along a particular message through the thoughts conveyed. And therefore it is written ‘So that you will tell it in the ears of your child’. A story with content and meaning can bring others close and strengthen them, can provide encouragement and consolation. Where our children are concerned, we tell them stories so that they will continue to walk in our path and in the future proclaim: ‘And this is the story our fathers told us.'”
May his memory be for blessing.