Baruch Dayan Emet, Blessed is the True Judge.
It is with a shared broken heart that Debby and I bear the sad news that our brother and teacher and friend, Rabbi David Zeller, may his soul be in paradise, died quietly in his sleep early friday morning in his home in Israel.
Reb Dovid Zeller was buried a few hours later with a thousand people joined together to remember him, davennen and singing sweet nigunnim. Indeed, David was the heart master of sweet nigunnim with prayerful singing that bound together mind and heart and soul.
Early in his return to Judaism, Reb Dovid made a spiritual home in the Aquarian Minyan. When he first connected with his late wife, Etti, of blessed memory, he brought her to the Minyan to experience the power of the high holidays with Reb Zalman and with our holy community. Reb David was a high holiday service leader for the Minyan during the late seventies and early eighties. He joined us as a teacher during the great days of the Joys of Jewishing.
Reb Dovid traversed many worlds in his short life. He was a sadu in the forest in India, a Jungian Psychologist and scholar, a founder of the California Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and a living gateway to Jewish spirituality. His connection to Reb Shlomo and Reb Zalman brought his soul home to Jewishing and he delved into the tradition with passion, intensity, open heart and clear intention.
His humble demeanor perhaps obscured the fact that Reb Dovid was truly a master. He lived his life with authenticity, integrity and a sense of humor and as with all great Rebbes, he was always ready to standup and be present wherever he was needed. As the Carlebach foundation eulogized him, "Living in Israel, heartspace between East and West, David weaved together the heart and the mind, inner and outer, the spiritual and the material, the theoretical and the experiential, and the orthodox and the pluralistic into a colorful and creative fabric...his work focused on touching the heart as much as the mind and his quiet presence informed his presentations with a unique power."
He was known around the world, from Berkeley to Daramsala as a holy musician, soul-piercing thinker and teacher and leader in Jewish mysticism, spirituality and meditation.
Reb Dovid Zeller had been struggling with a rare blood disease for more than a year. We spoke with him last week and he told us his body was weak but his spirit was strong.
We send our deepest condolences to his family. May they draw strength from their Abba as their hearts heal.
Barry Barkan, Old Root.
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