Gene Wilder z”l: “What Would You Give Up for the Torah?” (6-Minute Moving Video)
Actor Gene Wilder passed away yesterday at the age of 83. Gene Wilder was a self-proclaimed atheist but a proud Jew, writing in 2005, “I have no other religion. I feel very Jewish and I feel very grateful to be Jewish. But I don’t believe in God or anything to do with the Jewish religion.”
But I think, nevertheless, that Wilder’s soul will have certain outstanding mitzvot on the meritorious side of the scale when his soul is judged in the World to Come. He will be rewarded, I think, for his dedication to an array of charitable causes, especially the battle against ovarian cancer which took the life of his wife, Gilda Radner, in 1989. And, I think also, he will be rewarded for inspiring thousands of people in this moving scene from The Frisco Kid, in which his character, a rabbi, is willing to give up his own life for the Torah. The surprisingly sincere kiddush Hashem of this scene moved me to tears.
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