Translated by Jerrold Landau
From Or Ishim, published by Am Oved, Tel Aviv, 5715 (1955)
His path was not simple, the path of a cautious and evenhanded treasurer of a poor nation whose hands had been chopped, among his comrades who were strong in energy and had stormy wills, in this generation when all of his activities were strong and stormy. It was not always easy between his friends and him. More than once, they complained about his no, that seemed too frequent and definitive. However his pure spirit without any stain, and his personal prominence within the lofty vision, along with a faithful acceptance of leadership of the movement, the fierce battles over his opinions before accepting a decision, and his faithful service after accepting all of these traits set for him a special place in the fabric of the movement and the state.
His wonderful expertise in the variegated enterprise that continued to branch off; his penetration into the details of matters, large and small; burdened by many numbers of which we said we were bent beneath them, whereas he lived with them, breathed their air plentifully, as they enlightened the setting of his own path and showed him what was permitted and forbidden in the setting of the path of the enterprise. His constant diligence without bounds and without pity upon himself, his restrained imagination and his controlled outbursts won over also distant hearts, for support and politeness.
From Minsk, the home of Avraham Michaelev Kaplan his uncle, he brought a popular Zionist tradition, imbued with Lithuanian wisdom and sober practicality. When Leizer was still a ten year old boy, all of Minsk was talking about the Zionist convention that had convened in its midst. Minsk Zionism had a fruitful bounty when Leizer was still a lad. They called it the first organization. Shimshon Rosenbaum, a genius and a lawyer, who later became a government minister in Lithuania and a legal researcher in Tel Aviv, invested their stormy spirit in it, as did Yehuda Zeev Nofech, the father of the lawyer pioneers; Chorgin, the chief spokesman at all Zionist organizations in the city; the talented Brotzkus brothers; and my dear friend Michael Shimi Horowitz. Even Kaplan's friend who was older than him by only a few years, the wonderful youth Alexander Goldstein, already poured water on their hands. Of course, his uncle, his father's brother and later his father-in-law was among them the populist Zionist, practical and with his own ideas, Avraham Michaelev Kaplan. A similar funeral to the one which Tel Aviv had recently conducted for Eliezer Kaplan was also conducted for his uncle Avraham Kaplan in Minsk during the stormy days of war. Even the evil government was affected by the essence of the demonstration and was forced to answer Amen.
From the podium of meeting and congresses until his final budget speech in the Knesset, he brought the essence of his soul, enveloped with the cloak of numbers of facts, dunams and farms, taxes and loans, with taxes and loans leading to demands for saving, budget cuts, volunteerism, demands and hope, hope and fears for the future.
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Updated 13 Oct 2008 by LA