JERUSALEM (VINnews) — One of the high-profile Baal Teshuva families in Israel, Eden Harel and Oded Menashe, became religious after becoming acquainted and close to the Edelstein brothers, Rabbi Yaakov, who was the rabbi of Ramat Hasharon, and Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, the Ponovezh rosh yeshiva.
Harel, a former model, and Menashe, who were an iconic couple even before they became religious, both work in the media, performing popular shows together as well as hosting individual programs. During the course of her morning news show on Israel’s channel 14, Harel received news of the passing of Rabbi Gershon Edelstein. Overcome with emotion, Harel said that “I can’t say this, I’m not capable of it” and then announced the news. She said that Rabbi Edelstein, who had assisted them during the course of their becoming Baalei Teshuva. Breaking down in tears, Harel said that the rabbi had died “at a very old age- one hundred years old” and recollected how close her family had been to the Rabbi.
Harel in tears after hearing of Rav Gershon’s passing
“Many people speak of the great Tzadik, Rabbi Gershon,” she added later. “My heart doesn’t comprehend the terrible news we received this morning. People talk of his greatness in Torah and spirituality but I wish to focus on his softness and understanding for Baalei Teshuva, he knew how to listen to us. Maybe we didn’t speak the correct language, maybe we weren’t respectful of his stature, but he understood.”
Harel later said that “it was the most difficult broadcast of my entire life. I didn’t believe that in my life, as an anchor I would have to announce such terrible news. We were close to Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein z’l and received blessings from Rabbi Gershon. It is a sense of emptiness, sadness, it is so sad. May we learn from their good attributes.”