Yesterday, the 102-year-old Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv passed away from a combination of old age and sickness. Baruch Dayan Emes.
Maybe I should be sorrier that he's dead. I should be weeping. But I'm not.
Maybe it makes me an evil person, but I can't get that worked up. Yes, he was a learned and influential rabbi. He may have even been a gadol. But, in all honesty, I'd never met him. I'd never even heard of him until a couple of years ago. I know very little of the decisions he'd made. My impressions were of an aging man, slipping into ill health and possible senility, allowing himself to be manipulated by those closest to him. Maybe that was true, and maybe it wasn't. But either way, I don't see it as a great tragedy, except for those closest to him. (For instance, I would never show up at the shiva and express these views to the grieving relatives...which I can't say for everyone...Chavie.)
However, death is death, and any death is a tragedy to those who were close to the deceased.
Baruch Dayan Emes.