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Monday, February 26, 2007

Two deaths

Two German Jews just died at great age: Horav Mordechai (b. Shimshon) Breuer zetza"l, and Mr Heinz Berggruen za"l.

Rav Breuer was a an immensely important Torah scholar, respected by Orthodox Jews as well as by atheist bible scholars, who might not have cared so much about his ideas concerning parallel narratives, though still considering them worth a thought, but acclaimed his important work in the edition of the text. He was from a family that formed large parts of German Jews.

Mr Berggruen was an art dealer and collector with a good nose for Picasso, Matisse and the like when they were already well-known, but before prices started to skyrocket. Some ten years ago, he returned to his native Berlin after 70 years of emigration in the US. Some five years ago, he basically gave his 750 million dollars art collection to the state for free. Oh, and he got back his German passport and voluntarily returned his US citizenship. He was German society's darling. An old, and so by default, wise Jew, with the Jewish sense of art and the Jewish sense for big money, not at all mad because of this unpleasant episode back then.

I deplore every human being's death.

German Google news about Mr Berggruen's death: 148
German Google news about R' Breuer's death: 0

US: 100 vs 1 (from Haaretz' English edition)