Shimon Kazarnofsky (1922-2012) was born in Lithuania. His parents immigrated to Israel in 1925 when he was just three years old. At 15, he joined the Jewish Underground and fought valiantly to establish the State of Israel. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the British Army’s Jewish Brigade and would receive four medals for his bravery in fighting the Nazis. Stationed in Italy at the end of the war, he stayed in Europe to run underground operations: hunting escaped Nazis and smuggling Jewish refugees to Israel. At the onset of the Independence War, Kazarnofsky (now going by his new Hebraized last name, Erem) returned to Israel and organized the first Officer’s School of the Israeli Army. He battled (and was wounded) on both the Jordanian and Egyptian fronts. In 1956 he commandeered the Sinai War, then served in 1967 as commander of special forces in the Six-Day War. Despite moving to California in 1970 (where his wife is from), he immediately returned to Israel in 1973 to fight in the Yom Kippur War. Erem finally retired from the military with the rank of Brigadier General, and returned to the United States where he worked tirelessly to raise support for Israel. He once said, “Every morning when I get up, I ask myself: What can I do to help Israel today?” Sadly, Erem passed away last Sunday.
Words of the Week
… I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations… They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more, and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.
– President John Adams, in a letter to F.A. Van Der Kemp, 16 February 1809
Haim Saban (b. 1944) was born in Egypt. His family fled to Israel along with much of the Egyptian-Jewish community due to the 1956 Sinai War. After serving in the Israeli army, Saban formed a band called Ha’Arayot (the Lions), which gained fame across Europe. Building on this success, he started a record company in France in 1975, which went on to become the most successful of its time, selling over 18 million records. Saban then turned his attention to the TV industry and is noted for introducing Japanese Anime to European audiences. In 1988, Haim formed Saban Entertainment, producing such classics as the original X-Men TV series, and brought Dragon Ball Z and Digimon to the Western world. Perhaps most notably, Saban created the Power Rangers. In 2001, he sold much of his media empire to Disney, which remains the largest cash transaction by an individual in Hollywood history. He is worth over $3 billion and currently runs an investment group called Saban Capital. BusinessWeek lists him as one of the 50 greatest philanthropists in the world.
Words of the Week
Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big God is. – Bumper Sticker
From the Torah
“You shall surely open your hand…” – Deuteronomy 15:8.
It is one of the 613 commandments to give charity to the needy. Even a poor person must give charity to one needier than they.