Sunday, December 28, 2008


Tsafrir Ronen




A true patriot and lover of Eretz Israel has passed on.


I met Tsafrir in the early 1970’s when he was in 11th grade on the kibbutz that he was born on. He was a jack-in-the-box as a kid and stayed that way as a mature adult. A true embodiment of the quintessential Israeli sabra, always acting the bold, macho image but deep down a soft man.


I lost touch with him when I left Israel and renewed our acquaintance when I returned as a member of his kibbutz. We were not bosom buddies at the time because of our age difference but always friendly. After graduating High school Tsafrir left to start a new kibbutz in the Jordan Valley called Gilgal and to serve in the IDF so our paths crossed infrequently until he returned in the ‘80’s with his wife, Judy. We worked together in the agriculture branch of the kibbutz for a while and our paths parted again when he left the kibbutz.


We used to see each other in the dining hall on Friday evenings when he visited his family but by then he was into his own political thing that was light years away from my ideology. We never got to sit and chat like we used to until I changed my ideology and Tsafrir was there like a shot to guide me along the “true path”.


He made a point that I learn the true meaning of Zionism and the love of Eretz Israel and drilled into me to never forget who this country belongs to. His enthusiasm for Eretz Israel was contagious and his health suffered because of it. But this enthusiasm permeated into everything he did whether it was his lovely family or planning and building his house or his tirades against the kibbutz and government.


Tsafrir will be missed mostly, of course, by his wife and daughters about whom he would talk at every chance with great pride and love.  I will miss him greatly because he was my teacher and mentor in the new path that I have recently chosen.

There is now no-one in my circle of friends that can argue so vehemently and with so much conviction, passion and with as much insight as Tsafrir Ronen.


Too early, my friend, you left the party too early.


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