A translation of Yaniv’s eulogy at Eli’s funeral, June 2011
BT, Efrat, Rami, Assaf, Miri, Yishai, Goldratt family,
When emotions overflow – words evaporate,
And yet, within the pain, I find the strength to say farewell to a man I had the great honor of knowing his greatness first-hand and of being a partner to his vision and to its realization.
Eli for me was a spiritual father, who served as a source of inspiration and who made me believe anything was possible. He knew how to take pleasure in the moments when we disagreed, and how to torment me for every misunderstanding, so I learned enormously from him.
There was in him a rare combination of strength and softness, of a rabbi and a researcher, of stubbornness and flexibility…
He was a philosopher and an inventor, and the extremely precious time we spent together exposed me to the ideas that were born that very moment, to new processes, new insights that one minute earlier we had no idea about their very existence. He never stood in one place – always renewing, progressing, storming forwards and swept us to follow him. In his presence, the brain cogs were always on overtime, never resting, for he demanded of us, his disciples, to try and run with him at the speed of his thought – and so many times we failed…
Since your passing, Eli, we have received hundreds of messages of pain, wonder, and enormous sorrow at your passing; thousands of students across the globe will continue in your path, the path you paved, always uphill, with no shortcuts or compromises, which you paved from a great love for mankind, from an extremely sensitive introspective ability, and above all from an analytical ability and cognitive freshness second to none. For me, Eli, you were a true revolutionary, there was no “holy cow” that you didn’t slaughter, no “accepted rule” that wasn’t re-examined.
There are many people whom, for me, are missing here today, your students, and mates along my road who are not here. Most, if not all of them, are at this very hour about to receive the lesson you just taught us, of the fourth pillar we must develop, of “never say I know”, to always look for the next significant breakthrough, that there is no limit to the ability to progress, to be a scientist, to lean on the existing knowledge, but always know it is not enough, to aspire for the unattainable – and what a wonderful example you have set for us…
Eli, I have been most privileged and honored, I received a wonderful gift – to be one of your students, and I will close with the last words of our last conversation, from only a few days ago – I told you, there are no words with which I can thank you, Eli, only actions! Together with all our friends at GC, we will continue on the path. We already know it will not be easy, we are much more alone now, but we stand firm, determined, equipped with all the insights and lessons you gave us, and moreover, Eli, we are standing on your shoulders, the shoulders of a giant – who held colossal faith that this is the correct way to manage organizations, to think, and with great love of creation.