“I am profoundly saddened by the news of Rabbi Hirsch’s passing. I met Rabbi Hirsch in Israel back in 1993, on my honeymoon with a Reform rabbi – Alejandro Lilienthal, z’l – who wanted to introduce me to him. He was warm, kind, witty, and brilliant. We were not in touch for a long, long time.
Fast forward many years. I had moved from Brazil to the US and was teaching in several places, including Boca Raton. To my surprise, one day Dick and Bella come in! From there, our relationship flourished. I saw them every month, and after my lecture, I would sit down with them and enjoy their stories and learn much more from them than they learned from me. What an amazing couple they were! When Bella passed away, I visited Rabbi Hirsch a few times and he was determined to continue active, although his pain was huge. We would talk about his amazing children (which he would always attribute to Bella’s raising, and took no credit for it), about what he had built, about what he saw was wrong in the Jewish world.
There are many rabbis, but there are few giants. Rabbi Hirsch was a giant. I will keep and treasure each of his emails to me. The world is poorer without him, but I can envision Bella and Dick together, in a new beginning of two enlightened souls.
May all of us who were inspired and touched by him do everything we can to keep his memory and teachings alive.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet,”
Sandra Lilienthal, Ed.D.
“I consider myself extremely fortunate to have known Dick personally for over 30 years. Dick was my mentor, introducing me to the World Union.
One of the experiences that I will always remember was standing on the roof of Beit Shmuel as Dick looked at the empty space between Beit Shmuel and the Old City and described what would become Mercaz Shimshon, the beautiful home of the World Union.
Dick Hirsch was truly a visionary and he will be sorely missed.May his memory be a blessing.”
“‘We have come to the Land in order to build, and to be built up’
For Rabbi Richard Hirsch, whose death we now mourn, these words were more than an empty slogan. He lived them. He came to the Land, built it, and was built up by it.
Rabbi Hirsch – known to his countless friends and colleagues around the world as Dick – lived out the foundational drama of the return of the Jewish people. In the words of the psalm, he was as a dreamer – an alert and practical dreamer. In parallel to the great drama of the Zionist movement, Rabbi Hirsch worked tirelessly for the fulfillment of a specific denominational vision – the creation of a flourishing and creative Progressive Jewish voice in Israel.”
Click here to read the full testimonial.
Rabbi Michael Marmur PhD