Transporting myself from 2007 to now, I’ve come very far. I would not recognize my life at all if I had teleported here from 8 years ago. Stranger still are the connections I’ve made.
One is a Chabad Rabbi who I somehow made contact with after my Yanklowitz piece on organ sales. This guy runs runs around testing matching donors and he needs money to do this. He found my piece and contacted me. He is a libertarian Chabad Rabbi.
We talked, and I gave him some money and will continue to donate to his organ donation causes, because as much as I hate hypocrites who donate but rail against organ sales (Yanklowitz no longer falls into this category as he has changed to an organ sales supporter, thank God) I do fully support voluntary organ donation since it is a great thing. Exchanging organs for love (or whatever it is you get from donating) is just as wonderful as exchanging organs for money.
So anyway, this Rabbi and I became acquaintances. And the other day he messages me out of the blue that he is the Rabbi who happened to speak at Irwin Schiff’s funeral, which I wish I could have attended. It would have been so meaningful to me both as a Jew and a libertarian to be there, and to be menachem aveilim on all cylinders.
I discovered that a mutual acquaintance of ours, who is involved in the Feiglin movement, suggested to the Schiff family that this Rabbi officiate at the funeral. The Schiffs wanted a likeminded Rabbi to speak, and this guy was the one.
It’s just great that the libertarian movement in the US and Israel is connected at these critical “pressure points”. I love it.
The coolest part, which I will not share photo evidence of out of respect for the privacy of spirituality, is that I have a picture of Peter Schiff with tefilin on. It is not doctored or photoshopped. It’s Schiff wearing tefilin.
From what I know of Schiff, his family is not religious, but he and his family are infused with Jewish identity. That is what matters most. I am told that a gentile drove three hours to speak out of the blue at the funeral, promising to keep up the fight against the income tax and broke down crying. What a perfectly beautiful Kiddush Hashem, on every single level.
The whole Schiff family makes me proud to be a Jew.