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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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The Giant and the General

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.

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.
Photo Credit: shturem.net

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.

He ended up doing a lot of both.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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4 Responses to “The Giant and the General”

  1. Lisa Kamins says:

    thank you Yori. well said

  2. Levi Wolosow says:

    Where does Chabad.org come close to suggesting that Sharon was a hidden Chabadnik?

  3. He was great solder. Menuhato ben Gaden

  4. great article Yori, and quite incisive . . .

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