From the Chief Rabbi of South Africa

Dear friends, We are all so heartbroken at the passing of our dear beloved friend, teacher and leader, Rabbi Zev Kraines. Our hearts go out to Rebbetzin Nechama and all their children, whose loss is indescribable. We share your pain. We feel like family, bereft and distraught to lose such a righteous man, so humble and saintly, so kind and compassionate, so learned and so wise, so gentle and caring, so deeply connected to Hashem and to people, so refined and elevated.

He dedicated his life – his days, years and decades – to serving Hashem, spreading Torah, and caring for and teaching Klal Yisroel. He did so with devotion, sincerity and selflessness, touching and uplifting and illuminating and inspiring the lives of countless people, who had the privilege to be in the orbit of his warmth and light. He was a visionary and bold pioneer in building Torah in Johannesburg, through his wonderful shul, Ohr Somayach Sandton, through the Shaarei Torah schools. As a rabbi, teacher and leader he inspired us all.

Without him, our world feels darker and sadder, and less kind. And yet that is our calling, his mission to us, to continue his legacy of spreading Torah and mitzvos, and making the world into a brighter and better, gentler place for all. Rabbi Kraines leaving this world during Chanukah, is his final sermon to us all – spread the light and the beauty and the power of His Torah with as many people as we can, continue his legacy to bring Klal Yisroel closer to our Father in heaven.

May Hashem give Rebbetzin Nechama and her children comfort and strength at this time of their grief and sorrow. May Hashem also give our entire South African Jewish community comfort and strength for our loss. May He wipe away tears from all faces, and may He make death to vanish in life eternal with the coming of the Final Redemption, which we are all so desperate for.

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein