illustration by Rivi Reiner of Jerusalem
No, this is not an Emuna News article; it's not timely either, because Erez was killed on Sunday and buried on Monday. My brain is still numb. The lump in my throat won't go away. I can barely see the keyboard through the tears. I never did learn how to refrain from crying when the true tzaddikim leave this world, especially those that were so close to my heart.
Erez wasn't a person - he was a universe. He was the epitome of everything beautiful - the Land of Israel, the settlement of Bat Ayin, the Judean Hills, Rebbe Nachman's teachings, Judaism, Jewish outreach, brotherly love, humility, holiness, Chassidism, and the mellow strains of a sublime guitar.
Erez devoted his life to Hashem, to Rebbe Nachman, and to Jewish Outreach. He spent the last seven summers roaming the boondocks of India looking for lost Jewish souls that he could bring back to the fold with the magnetism of his ever-so-gentle personality and sweet guitar.
Words defy description of the evil that could extinguish such an exquisite candle. Erez was murdered while talking to Hashem in personal prayer, at one of his favorite spots for hitbodedut. People ask, "Why?"
Since we don't have the Holy Temple and ritual sacrifices that atone for our sins, Erez of blessed and saintly memory was undoubtedly taken as a flawless sacrifice for all of Israel. We are therefore required - wherever we may be - to mourn his death.
As a martyr who was killed in the sanctification of Hashem's name, Erez shall reach the loftiest portals of Heaven. May he intercede for all of us, amen. Baruch Dayan Emes.
Hear Lazer's mini-eulogy of Erez Levanon ob"m, to the touching background music of Erez singing his exquisite song, Lev ve'Maayan, The Heart and the Spring.