Photo Credit: shturem.net
Davar reporter Noach Zevuluny wrapping a tefillin strap on Ariel Sharon's arm at the Kotel shortly after the 1967 Six Day War. This event, and a personal tragedy that befell the Sharon family months later, were a precursor to a lengthy relationship between the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Sharon. I believe this relationship was a long educational project of the Rebbe that ended with mixed results.

Another very powerful and faithful man I worked for, former MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), who was Sharon’s liaison to the Haredi politicians and their leaders in Israel, also—much like the Libavitcher Rebbe—had few illusions about Sharon’s personality. While working as the man’s right hand in rebuilding our homeland, and greatly expanding Jewish life east of the “green line” from a measly few thousands to upwards of three quarters of a million, if we include East Jerusalem, Ketzaleh knew, and shared this with close friends, that Arik would turn on the settlements in an instant, if it served his ends.

Both these religious men, whom I’ve admired for many years, tried as best they could, each in his own way, to harness Arik’s larger-than-life soul and to point it in a direction that would serve God. I suspect that both of them knew that, like the rest of us, Arik Sharon was equally capable of serving God and of doing the opposite.

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He ended up doing a lot of both.

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