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His Life, Words and Deeds
Zvi Harry Hurwitz
Whenever the name of Menachem Begin is mentioned, people of all ages and persuasions respond in the same way: “We need him now.”
What is it that “we need”; what is missing? Perhaps Menachem Begin’s most important and unique contribution to the Jewish People was Supreme Patriotism. More and more frequently we hear and read accounts that show a loss of national will quite contrary to the spirit of Patriotism, which—in the words of Harav Kook, the Chief Rabbi of Eretz Israel in the 1920s, and of Menachem Begin throughout his political career—once reverberated throughout the land and the universe, “AHAVAT ISRAEL” and “AHAVAT ERETZ ISRAEL”: The love of the people of Israel and the Land of Israel. This type of Jewish leadership today is lacking, and it is here that “we need him now.” We miss his deep faith, his courage, and his Jewish pride.
Yet, above all, Begin is missed because of his personal qualities of modesty, integrity, truthfulness, devotion, and adherence to principle, no matter how difficult or unpopular. For all these reasons—and more—we need him now.
Critic Reviews: There is no doubt about it, Menachem Begin is sorely missed by Israeli society. Whether secular or religious, young or old, no-one can deny the ethical backbone of Israel's most phenomenal Prime Minister.
Unlike Sharon, he will not go down in history for giving in to the Arabs, but for making deals like Camp David and spearheading the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Perhaps it was easier for Begin to be so ethical as he was so devoted to the land of Israel and thus his patriotic flair was integral to his very being, and thus he had to rule the country from that standpoint too. He not only understood what it meant to be a Zionist, he lived and breathed the philosophy and dream and ensured its reality ensued in a land akin to struggle and bloodshed.
Begin: His Life, Words and Deeds tells all about this phenomenal character who immigrated to Israel from Poland. He was a man of guts and integrity – such traits totally foreign to politicians today. And the author should know what he's talking about since he was a close friend of our late Prime Minister. We get a look at many of his speeches too. Of course the man was criticized, but in this book Hurwitz attacks such criticisms outright.
- Jewish Educational Materials Online, The Jewish Agency for Israel