Now Arik Sharon is dead. And I expect lots of well-written articles in the press about him, since the editors have had years to prepare.
Arik Is Dead By Yori Yanover
The late Arik Sharon as I would like to remember him, leading the brigade that crossed over to the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal during the 1973 Yom Kippur War (here with Defense Minister Dayan).
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/
Yanover's article is good, but Arutz 7's obituary has a very glaring mistake:
"In the months after the Gaza withdrawal, Sharon abandoned his lifelong political home in Likud to form a new centrist party, Kadima..."Sharon did not not have a "...lifelong political home in Likud..."
The Jerusalem Post's obituary is good:
Sharon was one of Israel’s legendary politicians and military leaders. He played an instrumental role in IDF victories in the Sinai desert in both the 1967 Six Day War and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. His victories on the battlefield, immortalized by the image of him in an IDF uniform with a white bandage wrapped around his wounded forehead, earned him the title, “Arik, King of Israel.”He was equally fearless in the political arena, where he was the father of two parties, Likud and Kadima. As defense minister in 1982, he oversaw the Lebanon War before he was ousted from office in 1983 as a result of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre for which the Kahn Commission of Inquiry found him indirectly responsible.But he returned to politics. As construction and housing minister from 1990 to 1992, he was responsible for a massive building effort of 144,000 apartments to house the flood of Russian-speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union bloc. As the father of the settlement movement, he was also instrumental in building thousands of homes in Judea and Samaria and is famous for urging right-wing activists “to run for the hilltops.”...He was famous for the slogan “The fate of Netzarim [a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip] is the fate of Tel Aviv.” But as prime minister, he formulated and executed the disengagement, in which Israel evacuated 21 Gaza settlements along with another four in northern Samaria.
The Times of Israel quotes the nurse who cared for him:
“There were good and bad days” over the years of his hospitalization. “We were sometimes able to communicate with him” in the earlier years, she said, and even later there was communication via “a raised eyebrow” and “a handshake.” Toward the end, it was not clear that he was aware of what was going on around him, she said, but in the earlier years “he definitely was aware.”If Arik really reacted and was aware, and if he was still able to think, the big question is did he do Teshuva? Did he repent? Did he find a way to make peace with G-d?
Considering that the human ramifications of Sharon's Disengagement Plan severely and negatively affected people, and one can't repent those sins without making an effort to repent/apologize to those same people... this is a very complex theological question. Halachik teshuva, repentance by Jewish Law requires that one be in the same sort of situation and then act properly. Arik Sharon spent the last eight years of his life in a hospital bed.
I live in a neighborhood that was started, envisioned, planned by Arik Sharon. We lived in Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. I heard the stories of how he was the best general in the IDF at the time, the only one who breathed confidence and optimism. He had his plan to cross the canal and had practiced it with his troops before the war started. Yes, Ariel Arik Sharon saved the State of Israel in 1973. And yes, Ariel Arik Sharon also pushed for the building of Jewish neighborhoods and communities throughout YESHA Judea, Samaria and Gaza/Gush Katif. He was a Samson in strength and daring. And like the Biblical Samson his sins were just as large. The big difference between Sharon and Samson was that Samson was able to pull off a feat of strength killing enemies and himself at the end. Sadly, Arik Sharon's end was Arik at his worst, Disengagement and then eight years of virtual vegetative paralysis.
Apparently G-d has done the accounting of that legendary Arik Sharon.
ברוך דין האמת
Baruch Dayan Ha'emet
Blessed is the True Judge