Acharei – Kedoshim 5780

April 29, 2020

Leaving a Legacy

 

Is it possible not to be on LinkedIn, yet have hundreds of thousands of followers?

 

In 2012 I was honoured with the privilege of organising a trip to London for a Very Important Person.

 

This might be controversial especially on LinkedIn, but this person had hundreds of thousands of followers and……..no social media! His success with his followers continued until recently.

Is that at all possible in 2020?

How can one be successful, content and lead an empire without the use of social media?

See my Facebook page for more

 

This man started investing in human resources many years before the advent of internet, and was able to keep all his followers.

How?

It’s something that sometimes goes overlooked.

The personal touch, the care, the understanding, the passion and the devotion to Judaism and G-d and humanity.

I am talking about Rabbi Bakshi Doron Z’l.

 

 

The Rabbi, who was born in a simple home in Jerusalem and began his career in Bat Yam, was known for promoting dialogue between faiths, emulating kindness and rejecting violence.

 

The Rabbi served as the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel from 1993 -2003, and was the leader of the institutions “Benin Av” in Ramat Shlomo and “Dabei Eliyahu” in the Beit Dagan area of Jerusalem.

Over the past few years the Rabbi was unwell and recently passed away due to the coronavirus. Current Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said that “the Rabbinic world, the Torah world and the Halacha [Jewish law] world lost one of its first pillars”

His passing leaves a great void in the Jewish world.

Although due to the current pandemic he was buried only surrounded by family, the burial was followed online by millions of views.

What made him so popular? How does one get to be such an influencer without the use of social media?

His son related the tip of the ice berg in a few words;

“He was available for every Jew, he had a devotion to the public. He did not belong to any particular sector; his big heart contained the entire State of Israel. He was a man of the people of Israel.”

“The Rabbi was a man of kindness and giving who worked to bring the hearts of the people of Israel closer together,”

He was an important link in the chain of the tradition of Torah in the Jewish nation. His vast knowledge of the sources of learning, along with his unique character traits, and his accepting of all people really stood out.

He was a Rabbi, a teacher, and a father to many communities in Israel and abroad, bringing together Jews of all backgrounds.

I will share one personal short story that really made an impact on our lives.

We come from a traditional background and at one stage my elder brother started becoming more religious. He showed passion into wanting to know more about our roots, understand more about our purpose in this world and wished to come closer to G-d. He decided to go to Yeshiva!

In those days it was a real taboo to go to Yeshiva. Only a few people went from his school, and they were from the “more religious” families. This “Yeshiva idea” was news to our parents, who at the time were pushing for him to go straight to university (not just any university – he excelled in his studies and was accepted to LSE!).

Deferring LSE for a year was not really done. The likelihood was that if he did they would not accept him again, nevertheless the need for truth, clarity and purpose led my brother to one of the best Yeshivot in the world – Kol Torah. At the time his Rosh Yeshiva was Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurbach Z’l.

After a year of intense Jewish Study my father wanted him back. Of course, my brother wasn’t contempt with one year and asked to stay for a second year.

It was already a miracle that LSE accepted him after a year’s deferral would they now accept him if he defers again?

My father was concerned, until he received a phone call from Rabbi Bakshi Doron Z’l.

The Rabbi asked my father for a favour. The conversation went something like this.

“Sure, whatever it is Rabbi, I will try and help”.

“Unfortunately, there is a Sefer Torah that has been stolen in London,” said the Rabbi.

“So sorry to hear,” answered my father.

“I need your help, I know you are a good contact in London, I am sure you can help”.

“Of course Rabbi, we will make every effort to find it and bring it back to its original place.” Answered my father.

“Great, thank you so much”, replied the Rabbi.

And then what he said shocked my father.

“The Sefer Torah is your son!”

There was a long pause, and the Rabbi continued, “He has so much potential, he has so much passion, yet he has been lost, stolen away from his tradition. He is in Yeshiva now catching up on all that lost time, please allow him to finalise his studies, you will not lose out and don’t worry about the place in university.”

My father smiled in awe, what genius, what care for someone else’s son and how amazing it was to have a Rabbi who really valued every person so much that they could call him a Sefer Torah.

Needless to say my brother stayed another year, received his place the next year in LSE and graduated with honours.

Let’s focus for a moment on this story. What amazes me, is the Rabbi took from his busy schedule to make one small short call. It had resounding effect.

It’s the small acts we do that transform us. And when the individual is transformed we collectively are transformed.

So if you desire followers, desire to be an influencer then start with the small short direct acts. I guarantee they will last for ever in the echelons of many people’s hearts.