web analytics
January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


‘Arik Charbi’ – Arik Is My Sword

This past Shabbos, as we read the weekly Torah portion of Bishalach, my son suddenly said to me, “Dad, I have a feeling Sharon is going to pass away today, because we just read his name in Az Yashir [the Song of the Sea] where it says ‘arik charbi.’ ”

I said to him, “You know, I think you’re right.”

The verse my son was referring to (Shemos 15:9) reads, “The enemy said, ‘I will chase [them] I will reach [them], I will divide the spoils, my soul will be satiated, I will draw forth my sword [arik charbi], my hand will prevail!’”

As son as Shabbos ended I went right to the web and read that Arik Sharon had in fact passed away Shabbos afternoon.

My personal “Arik Charbi” story began in 1999, just after Ehud Barak defeated Benjamin Netanyahu to become Israel’s prime minister. Barak told the nation he would make the necessary land compromises in order to achieve a true and lasting peace.

At the time I had a small snack shop in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City on El Wad Street, just past the tunnel entrance to the Western Wall. Farther up, toward the Damascus Gate, El Wad Street leads to Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim.

All the Jewish residents of the Muslim Quarter felt endangered by the victory of Barak, who was rumored to be ready to divide the Old City. This would bring an Arab state right up to my store, which would effectively transform it into an international border crossing. Of course, all Jews living in the area would be banished.

Netanyahu soon announced he was leaving politics and the Likud chose Arik Sharon to take over as the party’s new leader.

Arik, who always backed Jewish settlements, and even had a house down our street, became our only ray of hope in the Muslim Quarter

A rav who taught at Ateret Kohanim Yeshiva lived close to my store. When he walked by he would smile and whisper into my ear “Arik Charbi,” implying that Sharon would soon fight God’s battle and eventually save us from the political situation we were facing. I liked his little pun and would nod in agreement, “Yes, yes, Arik Charbi.” And I would force a smile.

I had to force a smile because I was skeptical about Sharon. I recalled the words of former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir in one of his last radio interviews in late 1998. Sharon had joined Netanyahu on his American trip in order to sign the Wye Agreement that would relinquish more territory to the Palestinians.

Shamir angrily said, “Netanyahu is a traitor to his own principles!”

When asked, “What about Sharon?” Shamir firmly snapped, “I’ve never understood Sharon; he has no principles!”

These were harsh words but they resonated strongly as they came from a tough former prime minister.

And so when Barak went to Camp David and made his suicidal offers to Arafat in the presence of Clinton, I noticed that Sharon was as quiet as a worm.

It was only Arafat himself who saved the day, by using Sharon’s Sept. 2000 visit to the Temple Mount as an excuse to put the kibosh on the peace

process and start the Second Intifada. As a result, Israelis lost confidence in Barak and clamored for another election. Sharon crushed Barak in a landslide.

My friend from Ateret Kohanim was really smiling now, raising his arm as if he held a sword in it and loudly declaring “Arik Charbi!” But I still had my doubts, not having forgotten Shamir’s description of Arik.

The deadly Second Intifada was in full swing, as Palestinian suicide bombers and gunmen were wreaking havoc and murdering Israeli civilians. Sharon had been elected to put down the uprising but the newly elected American president, George W. Bush, and his secretary of state, Colin Powell, repeatedly told Sharon not to respond.

This led me to mockingly point a finger toward my rav friend and cynically laugh, “Arik Charbi? Eifo [where is] Arik Charbi?”

One year and more than a thousand Jewish casualties later, and only after the bloodbath of Seder night at the Park Hotel in Netanya, did Sharon start the counteroffensive to put down the uprising and disarm the terrorists.

After his decisive (if belated) action, Arik won another big election in 2003. Suddenly the press began circulating stories alleging that Sharon, when he was foreign minister, had received a million dollar bribe from a South

African businessman.

We were also suddenly hearing Sharon declare “I am ready to make painful concessions.” When questioned about this he would say, “What I see from here, you don’t see from there!”(Many suspected he was being blackmailed by elements of the leftist press to disengage from Gaza or they would press him even harder on the bribe allegations.)

He then announced his plan for a unilateral disengagement from Gush

Katif. Members of his own party were overwhelmingly against it but he ignored them. He dropped his right-wing coalition partners and brought in the Labor party. He trained the police and army to throw 8,000 Jews out of their homes.

The disengagement went off as planned. Unfortunately, Sharon suffered a catastrophic stroke shortly afterward, and he was not conscious when Hamas took power in the newly judenrein Gaza Strip, setting up a base from which to launch missiles at Israeli towns and cities, a situation that prevails to this day.

When I ran into that rav from Ateret Kohanim after all this had come to pass, we looked at each other and nodded, for we understood the entire verse in Az Yashir was to be taken literally. Our enemies had said “arik charbi” and indeed it was Arik’s sword that effectively led to Hamas terrorist control of Gaza.

Ironically, as my son had guessed, Sharon passed away shortly after baal korehs across the country intoned “arik charbi.”

About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at dovshurin@yahoo.com. His Jewish Press column appears the third issue of each month.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Arik Charbi’ – Arik Is My Sword”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hezbollah rocket headed for Haifa in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Israel Won’t Go to War against Hezbollah because It Can’t Win [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
Prophet Mohammed on Jan. 14, 2015 edition cover of  Charles Hebdo..

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

New York Times

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

syria_iran_map

To defeat parasites-the hosts of terrorists-we need to deny them new people, potential terrorists

game-figure-598036_1280-810x540

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Desperate people take what they can, seizing opportunity to advance their main goal; the Arabs don’t

There was a glaring void in the President’s State of the Union speech: Israel.

Let’s focus not on becoming an ATM for that little bundle of joy, but on what you can save in taxes.

Since the passing of the Governance bill legislation on March 11, 2014, new alignments have become to appear in Israeli politics.

Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves

The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.

Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians

Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists

In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site

Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”

More Articles from Dov Shurin
Dov Shurin

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Dov Shurin

Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that “quiet will be met with quiet.”

Isn’t it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?

While the phrase “Let It Be” implies doing nothing, “Lu Yehi” implies working toward a goal.

An Israeli company should make “Arafat’s Dead Sea Tonic” with this warning: “may cause severe vomiting or even death.”

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

Boundless love was something Rav Kook had for the nation of Israel. Just as one cannot question the boundless love of Hashem for Israel, one cannot question the boundless love of a Torah giant for his people.

I hollered over and over again, waving a clinched fist toward the heavens.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/dov-shurin-columns/arik-charbi-arik-is-my-sword/2014/01/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: