My periods of acquaintance with Rabbi Eli and Dina were long. We met at all kinds of intersections, in the center of the rabbi, (where we were not so close yet, Rabbi Eli is older than me), but we met especially when we moved to Kiryat Arba, prayed together in the same synagogue for nearly twelve years and were very close with the Horowitz family.
Not many knew how Rabbi Eli would pray
His place of worship has always been by. In the old synagogue, we sat on exactly the same bench and in the more extended synagogue, Rabbi Eli sat behind me. I felt I always needed the strengthening of Rabbi Eli's prayer from behind, it would strengthen me.
Rabbi Eli's prayers were straightforward. He also had back problems, but he would also stand up straight and pray. Not moving, not moving, standing straight. Even when he sat in the verses of the Dzemra he would sit upright, very upright. When he stood he stood upright and did not sway.
The beauty in his prayer, it was a very strengthening thing to those who prayed around him and this stability is a show of very deep understanding. A person often has to swing in prayer to get into the atmosphere, but Rabbi Eli did not need this warm-up because he was a very sarcastic and emotional man, his inner strength to concentrate on prayer outweighed his need for this movement. Rabbi Eli would stand up straight throughout the prayer without moving.
Rabbi Eli would pray slowly. There were times when Rabbi Eli had to go out to teach in the middle of prayer on weekdays.
In general one can see two types of people praying in the morning and having to hurry. There is one type who prays abruptly, hurries and finishes the prayer and leaves, and there is another type that what he says he says in moderation, he is not stressed by the matter that he should come out. He prays his prayer as "Mona Ma'ot." So was Rabbi Eli. Rabbi Eli's prayer was understandable, word for word, honest, and there was no pressure. We did not see a state of pressure on Rabbi Eli.
Rabbi Eli felt that what he is doing now is his whole world and that is what he needs to do, and if he has to go on a trip then go on a trip and that is his whole world now. If I need to do a certain action then that's what I need to do and it does not interfere at all within the overall system.
He was like that in prayer too. I'm praying now so I pray, the fact that he had to leave early did not put him under pressure, his prayer was clear. A very, very orderly prayer. These things, this measure of his prayer, was very impressive to all who saw him when he was standing in his prayer.
Rabbi Eli was a very sensitive and excited person, but in prayer he would pray out of consciousness and intellect, clearly and powerfully. Things did not contradict the deep emotionality we knew in Rabbi Eli. The mind worked very hard.
"You know, this year Horowitz will be happy"
One Rosh Hashanah Rabbi Eli did not come to prayer on the first day. On the evening that begins the second day of Rosh Hashanah, I asked him:
"Rabbi Eli, where have you been?"
Rabbi Eli replied: "Rabbi Yehuda, what can I tell you, I had to go to the Cave of the Patriarchs."
I asked him, "Why did you have to go to the Cave of the Patriarchs?"
Rabbi Eli replied: "Look, Nehama has already reached the chapter and this matter is not working out for me and I felt I had to pour out my heart before our ancestor Abraham."
I said to him, 'Why are you upset? She's not yet at the age that it should bother you. '
Rabbi Eli replied, "I had to go."
That evening I came home and said to my wife, "Know, this year Horowitz will be happy." My wife asked, "How do you know?" I replied, "What do you care, I know. I know".
One day Rabbi Eli called me and informed me "we deserve good luck", I replied "well, this is not a trick, we already knew that on Rosh Hashanah".
I tell this because of the very great powers in the matter of prayer that Rabbi Eli had and therefore also this impression and nobility affected everyone around him.
Rabbi Eli often consulted with me as the rabbi of the synagogue and attended my classes on Shabbat and also communicated a lot on matters of halakhah. And once again I met with this thing. Rabbi Eli was a man of spirit, a man of thought, a man of faith. His entry into the details of the halakhah, he investigated after that. This thing was one of his points.
When he had to go to Eilat, two weeks earlier he had planned how it would work out halakhically in lighting candles and splitting him and Dina one day. He had a plan for all the smallest details. He dug his feet in the details of halakhah. Throughout his life he was guided by the laws and their details. And so one finds his faith and his great emotion combined with the mind and the life of the world and the life of an hour in prayer and the Torah that are both connected.
Another feature of Rabbi Eli. His 'maintenance' was talking on synagogue holidays.
His speaking style is worth researching, he was very beautiful and special. I don't know if his immediate family members liked his speaking style so much, but it was his speaking style, he was always accompanied by some family story, but he had a horizon.
It is true that he was a member of the Rabbi Center and he followed in the footsteps of Rabbi Kook and his son Rabbi Zvi Yehuda, but Rabbi Eli had a lot of horizons, he always read a lot of literature, not necessarily literature in this line, but he did a lot of books. From this literature he built for himself the harmony, the openness and emotion, the knowledge that everything he does is not the abrogation of Torah. Rabbi Eli was very happy even when he did things unrelated to the Torah.
On Shabbat Parashat Pekudi, the Shabbat of the horrible murder, I entered as the burial society, I entered the house. On the Shabbat table I saw two books. One book was the book of many salons. Rabbi Eli was very fond of the writing style of many salons about the holidays and he had a rare booklet that he received especially from the Hebrew University from their narrator who prays with us that he brought him this booklet every holiday according to its holiday. This was one of the booklets we found on the table.
On the stand next to it, was a lesson booklet by Baba Matzia. This is what we saw when we entered. This is what he dealt with. Apparently he learned about Purim with Dina at the Shabbat table. And the great book in the study of Baba offers.
One can again find Rabbi Eli's complementarity between the world of Hasidism along with the details of Halacha and the issue. This harmony was between them, even with Dina. That style whose questions were also very interesting. Whenever she would call to ask a question, usually around a matter of brides and grooms and all sorts of things like that, but she also had the matter of the details of how to guide, what to say and how to behave? What to say and what not to say.
When I try to think about them, I see the harmony of emotion and mind living together in one whole, not interfering with each other. They can go on a trip, study together, Rabbi Eli can do a lot of things at home and feel in anything that it is his destiny now and that is the meaning without pressure.
There was a wonderful blend of things between them
They were special characters that needed a lot to engage with and learn from and learn the specials and the special way of life they went through and developed
Rabbi Yehuda Amichai