I feel deep sorrow at the passing of a wonderful friend, and wonderful person—the late Sheldon Adelson.

With a broken heart, in the name of my wife, Sara, on my own behalf and in the name of many people in Israel and the world, we send our heartfelt condolences to Miri and the family. Many of the Jewish people, in Israel and the rest of the world, share in the heavy loss.

It is difficult to describe what Sheldon did for the Jewish people and for Israel. Sheldon was one of the biggest donors in the history of the Jewish people. He gave to Zionism, to the settlements and to the State of Israel. He made enormous financial contributions to many institutions—to medical and scientific research, to higher education, to Ariel University, to Taglit-Birthright, and to his immense projects in every field. With his wife, Miri, he gave generously to many enterprises that save lives and brought Israel renown throughout the world. Sheldon was a huge Jewish patriot. He worked to strengthen Israel, bolster its standing in the United States and strengthen ties between the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora.

Sheldon grew up poor, in a Boston suburb, and became one of the biggest entrepreneurs and philanthropists in the world. He did so through his keen intelligence, his honest thinking, his powerful personality and his courage. Sheldon could face down anything and did what he believed. And what he believed in, more than anything else, was the promise of the Jewish people and their state.

Sheldon truly loved America—America, which gave him every opportunity he could dream of. He wanted everyone in the world to have those opportunities and that freedom.

I have to say that I’ve met many wonderful people in my life, but this giant, a personality like Sheldon, comes along once in a generation. We will forever remember Sheldon and his enormous contribution to the Jewish people and the state of Israel. His influence will remain with us for generations to come.

May his memory be a blessing.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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