In his Forward to Michael Livni’s book Reform Zionism: An Educator’s Perspective, Rabbi Hank Skirball z”l wrote that Michael Livni’s success was:

“…in his contradictions and creative tensions. He is, in Achad Ha’am’s terminology, both a cohen (priest) and navi (prophet). He is a stubborn ideologue and a flexible pragmatist, energetic and contemplative. He takes his mission seriously but not himself when it comes to seeking praise and crest. Not shrinking from the controversial and unpopular, he is courageous and compassionate. He is at home in the halls of academia and washing dishes in the kibbutz.”

Michael Livni breathed his last breath this week. Tuesday he was laid to rest in the rocky desert earth of his beloved Kibbutz Lotan – coincidentally appropriate as we begin reading the Book of BaMidbar (literally “in the desert”) this week.  The world lost a giant in Michael Livni. Michael was the visionary and grandfather of Reform Zionism, leaving behind a tremendous legacy and vision.