CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER with his father Shulem and mother Thea at his graduation from McGill University..
(photo credit: LEVAN RAMISHVILI/FLICKR)
Ask most Americans if they know the name “Charles Krauthammer,” and many will nod their heads, recognizing Charles Krauthammer as the renowned American political writer and Fox commentator, who died this past June at age 68. For most Israelis, however, the name will elicit a blank stare. For Rabbi Shmuel Krauthammer, 60, rabbi of the Young Israel of Kfar Ganim synagogue in Petah Tikva for the past 27 years, the name is familiar, because Charles was his first cousin. Though Rabbi Krauthammer is not intimately familiar with Charles’s body of work – his coining of the term “Reagan Doctrine,” his numerous essays and articles on such disparate topics as baseball, chess and Winston Churchill – he is aware of his late cousin’s staunch support of Israel, both in print and on the air. Rabbi Krauthammer was so moved by Charles’s passionate support of Israel that he recites kaddish for him daily in his memory.Says Rabbi Krauthammer, “I say kaddish for him at least once a day – not just because he was my first cousin, but because I held him in high esteem for his love of the Land of Israel. It is not always easy to write positively about Israel, even in Israel. But outside Israel, it is even more difficult. Charles did it with great respect and honor. He never renounced his connection to the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and for this reason I decided that I would perform this service for him.”