Ariel Sharon - Yitzhak Kaduri
& The Soon Coming Messiah
Ariel Sharon, an Isralei statesman and retired general, who served as Israsel's 11 Prime Minister, was a commander in the Israeli Army from its inception in 1948.
As a paratrooper and then an officer, he participated prominently in the 1948 War of Independemce, becoming platoon commander in the Alexandroni Brigade and taking part in many battles. Including Operation Ben Nun Aleff.
He was an instrumental figure in the creation of Unit 101, and the Retribution operation as well as in the 1950 Suez War, the Six Day War of 1967, the War of Attrition, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. As Minister of Defense, he directed the 1982 Lebanon War.
During his military career, he was considered the greatest field commander in Israel's history, and one of the country's greatest ever military strategists.
After his assualt on the Sinai in the Six Day War and his encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army in the Yom Kippur War, the Israeli public nicknamed him “The King of Israel” and “The Lion of God”.
After returning from the army, Sharon joined the Likud poarty, and served in a number of posts in Lihud-led governments in 1977-1992 and 1996-1999. He became the leader of the Lihud in 2000, and served as Israel's Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006.
In 1983 the Kahan Commision, established by the Israeli government, found that as Minister of Defense during the 1982 Lebanon War, Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for the massacre by Lebanese militias of Palestine civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, for his having discarded the prospect of acts of bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps, and not having prevented their entry.
The Kahan Commision recommended Sharon's removal as Defense Minister, and did resign after initially refusing to do so. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Sharon championed construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
However, as Prime Minister, in 2994-2005 Sharon orchestrated Israel's inilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Facing stiff opposition to the policy within the Lihud, in November 2005 he left likud to form a new Kadima party.
He has been in a persistent vegetative state since a suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006. His stroke occurred a few months before he had expected to win a new election and was widely interpreted as planning on “clearing Israel out of the West Bank”, in a series of unilateral withdrawals.
Sharon was born on 26 February 1928 in Kfar Malal. An agricultural moshav, the in the British Mandate of Palestine, to a family of Belarusian Jews – Shmuel Scheinerman (1896 – 1956) of Brest-Litovsk and Dvora Scheinerman (1900 – 1988) of Mogilev.
His parents met at the Tbilist State University, Georgia, where Sharon's father was studing agronomy (a branch of agriculture) and his mother had just started her fourth year of medical studies. As Bolshevik forces advanced towards independent Georgia, his parents imigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine, fleeing the programs assosiated with the Russian Civil War.
The family arrived in the Third Aliyah and settled in Kfar Malal, a socialist, secular community where, despite being Mapai supporters, they were known to be contrarians against the prevailing community consensus:
The Scheinerman's, eventually ostracized......followed the 12933 Arlozorov murder when Dvora and Shmuel refused to endorse the Labo movement's anti Revisionist calumny and perticipate in Bolshvic-style public revilement rllies, then the order of the day.
Retribution was quick to come. Tthey were expelled from the local health-fund clinic and village synagogue. The cooperatives truck wouldn't make deliveries to their farm nor collect their produce.
Four years after their arrival at Kfar Malal, the Scheinerman's had a daughter, Yehudit (Dita), and Ariel was born two years later. At age 10, Sharon entered the Zionist youth movement Hassadeh.
Ass a young teen ager, he first began to take part in the armed night-patrol of his moshav. In 1942 at the age of 14, Sharon joined the Gadna, a paramilitary youth battalion, and later the Haganah, the underground paramilitary force and the Jewish military precursor to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
In the battle for Jerusalem and the 1948 War of Independence, Sharon's unit of the Haganah became engaged in serious and continuous combat from the autumn of 1947, with the onset of the Battle for Jerusalem.
Without the manpower to hold the roads, his unit took to making offensive hit-and-run raids on Arab forces in the vicinity of Kfar Malal.
In units of thirty men, they would hit constantly at Arab villages, bridges and bases, as well as ambush the traffic between Arab villages and bases.
Sharon wrote in his autobiography: “We had become skilled at finding our way in the darkest nights and grasdually we built up the strength and endurance these kind of operations required.
Under the stress of constant combat we drew closer to one another and began to operate not just as a military unit, but almost as a family... We were in combat almost every day. Ambushes and battles followed each other until they all seemed to run together.
For his role in a night-raid on Iraqi forces at Bir Adas, Sharon was made a platoon commander in the Alexandroni Brigade.
Following the Iraeli Declaration of Independence and the onset of the War of Independence, his platoon fended off the Iraqi advasnce at Kalkiya. Sharon was regarded as a herdened and aggressive solier, swiftly moving up the ranks during the war.
He was shot in the groin, stomach and foot by the Jordanian Arab legion in the First Battle of Latrun, an unsuccessful attempt to relieve the besieged Jewish community of Jerusalem. On this day, his brigade suffered 139 killed in the battle. Sharon wrote of the casualties in the “horrible battle”.
Safter recovering from the wounds he received at Latrun, he resumed command of his patrol unit. On 28 Decenber 1948, his platoon attempted to break through an Egyptian stronghold in Iraq-El-Manshia.
It was about this time when David Ben Gurion gave him the name “Sharon”. In September 1949, Sharon was promoted to company commander of the (Golani Brigade's) reconnaissance unit and in 1950 to intelligence officer for Central Command.
He then took leave to begin studies in history and Middle Eastern culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sharon's subsequent military career would be characterized by insubordination, aggression, and disobedience, but also brillance as a commander.
A year and a half later, on the direct orders of the Prime Minister, Sharon returned to active service in the rank of major, as the leader of the new Unit 101, a special forces unit whose purpose was to execute reprisal operations in response to Palestinian fedayeen attacks
While operating in compact and ewell-trained teams, they took part in offensive guerrilla warfare, The unit consisted of fifty men, mostly former paratroopers and Unit 30 personel.
They were armed with non-standard weapons and tasked with carrying out special reprisals across the state's borders – mainly establishing small unit maneuvers,activation and insertion tactics. Training included actively seeking enemy engagements across Israel's borders.
In retailiation for fedayeen attacks on Israel, Unit 101 under a series of raids against Jordon, which the held the West Bank. The raids also helped bolster Israeli morale and convince Arab states that the fledgling nation was capable of long range military action.
The unit was known for raids against Arab civilians and military targets, most notably the widely condemned Qibya massacre in the fall of 1953, in which 69 Palestinian civilians, some of the children, were killed when Sharon's troops dynamited buildings there in a reprisal for a fedateen attack in Yehuda.
Sharon said that the unit had checked all houses before detonating the explosives and that he had “thought the houses were empty”.
1965 Suez War
In1965 Suiez War (the British “Operation Musketeer”), Sharon commanded Unit 202 (the Paratroopers Brigade), and was responsible for taking ground east of the Sinai's Mitla Pass and eventually taking the pass itself.
Neither recnnaisance aircraft nor scouts reported enemy forces in side the Mitla Pass. Sharon, whose forces were initially heading east, away from the pass, reported to his superiors that he was increasingly concerned with the possibility of an enemy thrust through the pass, which could attack hid brigade from the flank or the rear.
Sharon asked for permission to attack the pass several tim es, but his requests were denied, though he was allowed to check its status so that if the pass was empty, he could receive permission to take it later.
Sharon sent a small scout force, which was met with heavy fire and became bogged down due to vehicle malfunction in the middle of the pass.
Sharon ordered the rest of his troops to attack in order to aid their comrades. Sharon was criticized by his superiors and he was damaged by allegations several years later made by several former subordinates, who claimed that Sharon tried to provoke the Egyptians and sent out scouts in bad faith, ensuring that a battle would ensue.
Sharon had assaulted Themed in a dawn attack, and had stormed the town with his armor through the Themen Gap. Sharon routed the Sudanese police company, and casptured the settlement.
On his wat to the Nakla, Sharon's men came under attack from Egyptian MIG-15s. On the 30th, Sharon linked up wit Eytan near Nakla. Dyan had no more plans for further advances beyond the passes, but Sharon nonetheless decided to attack the Egyptian position at Jebel Heitan.
Sharon sent his lightly armed paratroopers against dug-in Egyptians supported by aircraft, tanks and heavy artillery. Sharon's action were in response to reports of the arrival of the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the 4th Egyptian Armored Division in the area, which Sharon believed would annihilate his forces if he did not seize the high ground.
Sharon sent two infantry companies, a mortar battery and some AMX-13 tanks under the commandof Mordechai Gur into the Heitan Defile on the afternoon od 31 October 1956. The Egyptian forces occupied strong defensive positions and brought down heavy anti-tank, mortar and machine gun fire on the IDF force.
Gur's men were forced to retreat into the “Sauce” where they were surrounded and came under heavy fire. Hearing of this, Sharon sent in another task force while Gur's men used the cover of night to scale the walls of the Heitan Defile.
During the ensuing, the Egyptians were defeated and forced to retreat. A total of 260 Egyptian and 38 Israeli soldiers were killed during the battle at Mitla. Sharon's actions were surrounded in controversy due to these deaths, which many within the IDF criticized as being the result of an act of unnecessary and unauthorized aggression.
Beginnings of political career
In the 1940s and 50s, Sharon seemed to be personally devoted to the ideals of Mapai, the predecessor of the modern Labor Party.
However, after retiring from the military service, he was instrumental in establishing Likud in July 1973 by a merger of Herut, the Liberal Party and independent elements.
Sharon became of the campaign staff for that year's elections, which were scheduled for November. Two and a half weeks after the start of the election campaign, the Yom Kippur War erupted and Sharon was called back to the reserve service. In the elections Sharon won a seat, but a year later he resigned.
From June 1975 to March 1976, Sharon was a special aid to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He planned his return to politics for the 1977 elections; first he tried to return to the Likud and replace Menachem Begin at the head of the party.
He suggested to Simha Erlich, who headed the Liberal Party bloc in the Likud, then he was more fitting than Begin to win an election victory. He was rejected, however. He then tried to join the Labor Party and the centrist Democratic Movement for Change, but was rejected by those parties too.
Only then did he form his own list, Shlomtzion, which won two Knesset seats in the subsequent elections. Immediately after the elections he merged Shlomtzion with the Likud and became Minister of Agriculture.
When Sharon joined Begin's government he had relatively little political experience. During this period, Sharon supported the Gush Emunim settlements movement and was viewed as the patron of the settler's movement.
He used his position to encourage the establishment of a network of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to prevent the possibility of Palestinian Arab's return of these territories. Sharo doubled the number of Jewish settlements on the West Bank and Gaza Strip during his tenure.
On his settlement policy, Sharon said while addressing a meeting of the Tzomet party: “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Judean) hilltops as they as they can enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everthing we take now will stay ours...Everything we don't grab will go to them.
After the 1981 elections, Begin rewarded Sharon for his important contribution to Likud's narrow win, by appointing him Minister of Defense.
1982 Lebanon War and Sabra and Shatila massacre
During the 1982 Lebanon War, while Sharon was Defense Minister, the Sabra and Shatila massacre occurred between 16 September and 18.
Between 800 and 3500 Palestinian civilians in both camps were killed by the Phalanges - Lebanese Maronite Christian militas.
The Security Chief of the militia, Elie Hobeika, was the ground commander of the militamen who entered the Palestinian camps and killed the Palestinians.
The Phalane had been sent into the camps to clear out the PLO fighters while Israeli forces surrounded the camps, blocking camp exits and providing logistical support. The killings led some to label Sharon "The Butcher of Beirut".
An Associated Press report on 15 September 1982 stated:
Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, in a statement, tied the killings of the Phalangist leader Gemayel to the PLO, sayiny, "It symbolizes the terrorist murderousness of the PLO terrorist organization and their supporters".
Habib Chartouni, a Lebanese Christian from the Syrian Socialist National Party confessed to the murder of Gemayel, and no Palestiniana were involved. Sharon had used this to instigate the enterance of the Lebanese militias into the camps.
Robert maroun Haten, Hobeika's bodyguard, stated in his book From Israel to Damascus that Hobeika ordered the massacre of civilians in defiance of Israeli instructions to, behave like a "dignified" army.
The investigative Kahan Commision (1982) found the Israeli Defence Forces indirectly responsible for the massacre, as the IDF held the area, and that no Israeli was directly responsible for the events which occured in the camps.
The Commision determined that the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla was carried out by a Phalangist unit, acting on its own, but its entry was known to Israel and approved by Sharon.
Prime Minister Begin was found responsible for not exercising greater involvement and awareness in the matter of introducing the Phalangists into the camp.
The Commission also concluded that the defense miniter (Sharon) bore personal responsibility “for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge and not taking appropiate measures to oprevent bloodshed.”
It said Sharon's negligence in protecting the civilian population of Beirut, which had come under Israeli control, amounted to a dereliction of duty of the minister.
The commision recommended in early 1983 the removal of Sharon from his post as Defense Minister and stated: “We have found....that the Minister of Defense (Ariel Sharon) bears personal responsibility.
Campaign for Prime Minister, 2000-2001
On 28 September 2000, Sharon and an escort of over 1,000 Israeli police officers visited tje Temple Mount complex, site of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the holiest place in the world to Jews and the third holiest site in Islam. Sharon declared that the complex would remain under perpetual Israeli control.
Palestinian commentators accused Sharon of purposely inflaming emotions with the event to provoke response and obstruct success of delicate ongoing peace talks. On the following day, a large, a large number of Palestinian demonstrators and an Israeli police contingent confronted each other at the site.
According to the U.S. State Department, “Palestinians held large demonstrations and threw stones at police in the vicinity of the Western Wall. Police usewd rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, killing 4 persons and injuing about 200.” According to the GOI, 14 policmen were injured.
Sharo's visit, a few months before his election as Prime Minister, came after archeologists claimed the extensive building operations at the sitew were destroying priceless antiquities. Sharon's supporters claim that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian National Authority planned the intifada months prior to Sharon's visit.
They state that Palestinian security chief Jabri Rajoub provided assurances that if Sharon did not enter the mosques, no problems would arise.
They also often quote statements by Palestinian Authority officials, perticularily Imad Falouji, the P.A. Communications Minister, who admitted months after Sharon's visit that the violence had been planned in July, far in advance of Sharon's visit, stating the intifada “was carefully planned since the return of (Palestinian President) Yasser Arafat from Camp David negotiations rejecting the U.S. Conditions”. According to the Mitchell Report,
The government of Israel asserted that the immediate catalyst for the violence was the breakdown of the Camp David negotians on 25 July 2000 and the “widespread appreciation in the international community of Palestinian responsibilty for the impasse.”
In this view, Palestinian violence was planned by the PA leadership, and was aimed at “provoking and incurring Palestinian casualties as a means of regaining the diplomatic initiative.”
The Mitchell Report found that, the Sharon visit did not cause the al-Aksa inifada. But it was poorly timed and the provacation effect should have been forseen; indeed, it was forseen by those who urged that the visit be prohibited.
More significant were the events that followed: the decision of the Israeli police on 29 September to use lethal means against the Palestinian demonstrators.
In addition, the report stated,
Accordingly, we have no basis on which to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the PA to initiate a campaign of violence at the first opportunity; or to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the GOI to respond with lethal force.
The Or Commission, an Israeli panel of inquiry appointed to investigate the October 2000 events, criticised the Israeli police for being unprepared for the riots and possibly using excessive force to disperse the mobs, resulting in the deaths of 12 Arab Israeli, one Jewish and one Palestinian citizens.
A survey conducted by Tel Aviv University's Jaffe Center in May 2004 found that 80% of Jewish Israelis believed that the Israeli Defense Forces had succeeded in military countering the al-Aqsa Intifada.
After the collapse of Barak's government, Sharon was elected Preime Minister in February 2001. His senior advisor was Raanan Gissin.
On September 2003, Sharon became first prime minister of Isarael to visit India, he remarked India as “to be one of the most important countries in the world.” Some analysts talked of developing an axis consisting of Deli, Washington and Jerusalem.
On 20 July 2004, Sharon called on French Jews to emigrate from France to Israel immediately, in light of an increase in French anti Semitism (94 anti Semetic assaults reported in the first six months oof 2004 compared to 47 in 2003).
France has the third largest population in the world (about 600,000 people). Sharon observed that an “unfettered-Semitism” reigned in France.
The French government responded by describing his comments as “unacceptable”, as did the French representative Jewish organization CRIF, which denied Sharon's claim of intense anti-Semitism in French society.
An Israeli spokeperson later claimed that Sharon had been misunderstood. French then postponed a visit by Sharon. Upon his visit, both Sharon and French President Jacques Chirac were described as showing a willingness to put the issue behind them.
In May 2003, Sharon endorsed the Road Map for Peace put forth by the United States, European Union and Russia, which opened a dialogue with Mahmud Abbas, and announced his commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state in the future.
He embarked on a course of unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, while maintaining control of its coastline and airspace.
Sharon's plan was welcomed by both Palestinian Authority and Israel's left wing as a step towards a final peace settlement.
However, it was greeted with opposition from within his own Likud party and from right wing Israeli's, on national security, military, and religios grounds.
Disengagement from Gaza
On 1 Decenber 2004, Sahro dismissed five ministers from the Shinui party for voting against the government's 2005 budget.
In January 2005 Sharon formed a national unity government that included representatives of Likud, Labor, and Meimad and Degel HaTorah as “out-of-government” supporters without any seats in the goverenment (United Torah Judaism parties usually reject having ministerial offices as a policy).
Between 16 and 30 August 2005, controverially expelled 9,480 Jewish settlers from 21 settlements in Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank.
Once it became clear that the evictions were definately going ahead a group of conservative Rabbis, led by Yosef Dayan, placed an ancient curse on him known as the Pulsa diNura, calling on the Angel of Death to intervene and kill him.
After Israeli solders bulldozed every settlement structure except for several former synagogues, Israeli solders formally left Gaza on 11 September 2005 and closed the border fence at Kissufim.
While his decision to withdraw from Gaza sparked bitter protests from members of the Likud party and the settler movement, opion polls showed that was a popular move most among most of the Israeli electorate with more than 80% of Israelis backing the plans.
On 27 September 2005, Sharon narrowly defeated a leadership challenge by a 52—48 percent vote.
The move was initiated within the central committee of the governing Likud party by Sharon's main rival,. Benjamin Netanyahu, who had left the cabinet to protest withdrawal from Gaza. The measure was an attemp by Netanyahu to call an early primary in November 2005 to choose the party leader.
Founding of Kadima
On 21 November, Sharon resigned as heasd of Likud, and dissolved parliament to form a new centrist party called Kadima (“Forward”). November polls indicated that Sharon was likely to be returned to the prime ministership.
On 20 December 2005, Sharon's longtime rival Benjamin Netanyahu was elected his successor as leader of the Likud. Following Sharon'd incapacitation, Ehud Olmert replaced Sharon as Kadima's leader, for the nearing general elections. Likud along with Labor Party were Kadima's chief rivals in the March 2006 elections.
His stroke occurred a few months before he expected to win a new election and was widely interpred as planning on “cleaning Israel out of most of the West Bank”, in a series of unitateral withdrawals.
In the elections, which saw Israel's lowest-ever turnout of 64% (the number usually averages on the high 70%), Kadima, headed by Olmert, received the most Knesset seats, followed bt Labor.
The new governing coalition installed in May of 2006 included Kadima, with Olert as Prime Minister, Labor (including Peretz as Defense Minister), the Gil (Pensioner's) Party, the Shas religious party, and Israel Beytenu
Alledged fundraising irregularities and Greek island affair
During the latter part of his career Sharon was investigated for alleged involvement in a number of financial scandals, in particular, the Greek Island Affair and irregualarities of fundraising during 1999 election campaign.
In the Greek Island Affair, Sharon was accused of promising (during his term as Foreign Minister) to help an Israeli businessman David Appel in his development project on a Greek island in exchange for large consultancy payments to Sharon's son Gilad.
The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence. In the 1999 election fundraising scandal, Sharon was not charged with any wrongdoing, but his son Omri, a Knesset member at the time, was charged and sentenced in 2006 to nine months in prison.
To avoid a potential conflict of interest in relation to these investigations, Sharon was not involved in the confirmation of the appointment of a new Attorney Gemeral Menahem Mazuz in 2005.
On 10 December 2005 Israeli police raided Martin Schlaff's apartment in Jerusalem. Another suspect in the case was Robert Nowikovsky, an Austrian involved in Russian state-owned company Gazprom's business activities in Europe.
According to Haaretz, “The $300 million that parachuted into Gilad and Omri Sharon's bank account toward the end of 2002 was transfered there in the context of a consultancy contract for development of kolkhozes (collective farms) in Russia.
Gilad Sharon was brought into the campaign to make the wilderness bloom in Russia by Getex, a large Russian-based exporter of seeds (peas, millet, wheat) from Europe. Getex also has ties with Israeli firms involved in exporting wheat from Ukraine, for example.
The company owns farms in Eastern Europe and is considered large and prominent in its field. It has its Vienna offices in the same building as Jurimex, which was behind the $1- million guarantee to the Yisrael Beiteinu party.
On 17 December, police announced that they had evidence of a $3 million bribe to Sharon's sons. Shortly after the announcement, Sharon suffered a stroke.
Incapacitation and end of politcal career.
Sharon suffered from obesity from 1980 and also had chronic high blood pressure and high cholesterol - he was reputed to be 170 cm (5ft 7in) tall and to weigh 115 kg (250lbs).
His staff car would reportedly be stocked with snacks, volka and caviar. Stories of Ariel Sharon's obesity were legendary in Israel.
He would even joke about his love for food and exspansive girth. In October 2004 when asked why he did not wear a ballistic vest despite frequent death threat, Sharon smiled and replied, "There is none that fits my size.
He was a daily consumer of cigars and luxary foods. Numerous attemps by doctors, friends and staff to impose a balanced diet on Sharon were without avail.
Sharon was hospitalized on 18 December 2005, after suffering a minor ischemic stroke.
During his hospital stay, doctors dicovered a heart difect requiring surgery and orfered bed reat pending a cardiac catheterization scheduled for 5 January 2006.
Instead, Sharon returned immediately to work and suffered a hemorrhagic stroke on 4 January, the day before surgery. After two sugeries lasting 7 and 14 hours, doctors stoppedthe bleeding in Sharon's brain, but were unable to prevent him from entering into a coma.
Subsequent media reports indicated that Sharon had been diagnosed with cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) during his December hospitalisation. Hadassah Hospital Director Shlomo Moryosef declined to respond to comments that the combin ation od CCA and blood thinners after Sharon's December stroke may have caused his more serious subsequent stroke.
Ehud Olmert became Acting Prime Minister the night of Sharon's second stroke, while Sharon was only officially in office. Knesset elections followed in March with Olmert and Sharon's Kadima party winning a plurality.
The next month, the Israeli Cabinet declared Sharon permanentily incapacitated and Olmert officially became Interim Prime Minister in office on 14 April 2006 unti his established government made him Prime Minister in his own right on 4 May.
Sharon has undergone a series of subsequent surgeries related to his state, He has remained in a long-term care facility since 6 November 2006. Medical experts indicate that his cognitive abilities have likely been destroyed by the stroke.
His condition worsened from late 2013, and Sharon suffered from renal failure on 1 January 2014. On January 11, 2014 Ariel Sharon passed away at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv after being in a coma for the past eight years.
The Former Prime Minister was honor by Israel at the Israeli Parliment in Jerusalem at the first of two ceremonies, the second where he was laid to rest in his final resting place at his family farm.
At Sharon's death, Israel hailed him as a war hero, but to many in the Arab world, they remembered him as a war criminal.
Does this mean that we have heard the end of Ariel Sharon? Not hardly!
There is still a messianic prophecy by the famed Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri who passed away on January 28, 2006.
Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri
Rabbi Yitchak Kaduri, also spelled Yitzhak (died January 28, 2006), was a renowned Mizrahi Haredirabbi and kabbalist who devoted his life to Torah study and prayer on behalf of the Jewish people. He taught and practiced the Kavanot of the Rashash.
His blessings and amulets were also widely sought to cure people of illnesses and infertility. In his life, In his life, he published no religious articles or books.
He was born in Baghdad in 1902 which was verified with mishpacha magazine live interview with the rabbi back in 2005. Baghdad which was then part of the Ottoman Turkish vilayets, to Rabbi Katchouri Diba ben Aziza, a spice trader. Some have disputed that he was actually born in1898.
As a youngster, Kaduri excelled in his studies and began learning Kabbalah while still in his teens, a study that would last his entire life.
He was a student of the Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad) and studied at the Zilka Yeshivah in Baghdad.
Rabbi Kaduri moved to the British Mandate of Palestine (Eretz Israel, the Holy Land) in 1923 upon the advice of the elders of Baghdad, who hoped that his scholarship and piety would stop the incursion of Zionism in the post-World War I state. It was here he changed his name from Diba to Kaduri.
Student of Kabbalah
He went to study at the Shoshanim LeDavid Yeshiva for kabbalists from Iraq. There he learned from the leading kabbalists of the time, including Rabbi Yehuda Ftaya, author of Beit Lechem Yehudah, and Rabbi Yaakov Chaim Sofer, author of Kaf Hachaim.
He later immersed himself in regular Talmudic study and rabbinical law in the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in Jerusalem's Old City, where he also studied Kabbalah with the Rosh Yeshivah, Rabbi Ezra Attiya, Rabbi Saliman Eliyahu (father of Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu), and other learned rabbi's.
In 1934, Rabbi Kaduri and his family moved to the Old City, where the Porat Yosef Yeshivah gave him an apartment nearby with a job of binding the yeshivah's books and copying over rare manuscripts in the yeshivah's library.
The books remained in the yeshivah's library, while the copies of the manuscripts were stored in Rabbi Kaduri's personal library. Before binding each book, he would study it intently, committing it to memory.
He was reputed to have a photographic memory and also mastered the Talmud by heart, including the adjoining Rashi and Tosafot commentaries.
During the period of Arab-Israeli friction that led up to the 1948 Arab Israeli War, the Porat Yosef Yeshivah was virtually turned into a fortress against frequent flashes of violence.
When the Jewish quarter of the Old City fell to the invading Jordanian Army during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Jordanians set fire to the yeshivah and all surrounding houses, destroying all the books and manuscripts that Rabbi Kaduri could not smuggle to Beit El Yeshivah (Yeshivat HaMekubalim) in Jerusalem.
He knew all the writings of Yitzhak Luria, the founder of modern Kabbalah, by heart. After the passing of the leading Kabbalist, Rabbi Efraim Hakohen, in 1989, the remaining kabbalists appointed Rabbi Kaduri as their head.
Rabbi Kaduri did not publish any of the works that he authored on Kabbalah; he allowed only students of Kabbalah to study them.
He did publish some articles criticizing those who engage in “practical Kabbalah”, the popular dissemination of advice or amulets, often for a price.
He also spoke out against the development of cult organizations frequented by pop celebrities. “Kabbalah should not be tught to non-Jews,” he explained.
Blessings, amulets and prophecies
Over the years, thousands of people (mainly but not exclusively Sephardi Jews) would come to seek his advice, blessings and amulets (a good luck charm) which would create specifically for the individual in need. He had learned the Kabbalistic secrets of the amulets from his teacher, Rabbi Yehuda Fatiyah.
Many people directly attributed personal miracles to receiving a blessing from Rabbi Kaduri, such as: recovery from severe illnesses and disease, children born to couples with fertility problems, finding a spouse, and economic blessings.
His rise tho fame, though, began when his son, Rabbi David Kaduri, who ran a poultry store in the Bukharim Market, decided to found a proper yeshivah organization under his father.
Called Nachalat Yitzchat yeshiva, it was located adjacent to the family home in the Bukharim neighbourhood of Jerusalem. His grandson, Yossi Kaduri, took part in this endeavour with him.
Kaduri reportedly received blessings from the Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad) in 1908 and from the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson) in 1990 that he would meet the Messiah.
In this context it is worth noting that many regard Rabbi Schneerson himself as the messiah (ibid.), which contextualization certainly may inform the scope of such a blessing. Regardless, other sources say these blessings were for arichat yamim, long life, which was certainly reflected in his advanced age.
Kaduri was seen as a prophesier. In late 2004, Kaduri said “Great tragedies in the world are forseen” two weeks before the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; reporter Baruch Gordon of Arutz Sheva connected the two by saying Kaduri “predicted” the tragedy.
In 2005, Kaduri made predictions of further natural disasters.
Involvement in politics
The last two decades of his life were marred by the controversial way that some would use him to promote various political parties.
Rabbi Kaduri achieved celebrity status during the 1996 Knesset elections when he was flown by helicopter to multiple political rallies in support of the Shas party, and for amulets that were produced in his name for supporters of that party.
In October 1997, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then in his first term as Prime Minister of Israel, came to visit Kaduri at his synagogue and was recorded as whispering in his ear “the left has forgotten what it is to be a Jew”. This was considered as a divisive action and resonated in the press.
Kaduri lived a live of poverty and simpicity. He ate little, spoke little, and prayed each month at the gravesites of tzaddikim i Israel.
His first wife, Rabbanit Sara, died in 1989. He remarried in 1993 to Rabbanit Dorit, a baalat teshuva who was just over half his age.
In January 2006, Rabbi Kaduri was hospitalized with pneumonia in the Bikur Holim hospital in Jerusalem. He died at around 10 pm on January 28, 2006 (29 Tevet 5766). He was alert and lucid until his last day.
It was estimated that between 200,000 to 300,000 people took part in his funeral procession on January 29, which started from the Nachalat Yeshivah and wound its way through the streets of Jerusalem to the Givat Shaul cemetery near the entrance to the city of Jerusalem.
Before his death, Kaduri had said that he expected the Jewish Messiah to arrive soon, and that he met him a year earlier.
It has been alleged that he left a hand-written note to his followers and they were reportedly instructed to only open after Rabbi Kaduri had been dead for one year.
After the time period had passed, the note was opened and was found, to read, after being translated from hebrew to english, (“he will raise the people and confirm that his word and law are standing”), which by acronym, suggested the name “Yehosua.”. “Yehoshua” is the Hebrew version of “Joshua” or “Jesus”.
In Rabbi Kaduri's note he makes mentions that the Messiah would return soon after Ariel Sharon's death. You can view a clip about Kaduri onYoutube.
Surely, Rabbi Kaduri's encoded message revealing that Jesus is the Messiah was not embraced by the Jewish Community or his hundreds of thousands of followers. Rabbi Kaduri taught against Jesus for more years than most of us are granted to live on earth.
So then the question remains, who was Rabbi Kaduri's message for? Jesus Himself spoke to the spiritual teachers of his generation and said,
“......, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 39-40
To any student of the New Testament, it should not take very long to recognize, the Apostle Paul was the predominate writer of the letters to the Church. Paul says, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” I Timothy 1:15
We know that Paul as a young man, was first against the supposed sect that followed Christ, even being present at Stephen' stoning, the first New Testament martyr, and eventually going on with great zeal to persecute believers wherever he could find them, as if he was doing God some great service,
So even the young believer in Christ, having a basic grasp on the grace and tender mercies of the Savior, should not struggle or be astonished with the possibility of Christ appearing to Rabbi Kaduri, that his soul would be saved.
That still begs for an answer to the questions. Who was the message for? Could the message be, one more message to verify to the Christian community that Christ is really coming back soon.
In the Western mindset, the brutal atrocities that are taking place in the rest of the world, with Christian's being beheaded, tortured, crucified and whole villages being slaughtered and burned do not really register to them if the stock market is moving up and the bills are getting paid.
They deal with the natural calamities that strike as no more than Mother Nature playing her role in life rather than the possibility of an angry God sending warnings of His displeasure about the fact that most of His Church in western culture is sound asleep at the wheel, unprepared for His return.
The signs of the times are upon us and they are not only on the earth, with distress of nations, but the heavens are proclaiming the glory of God. Prophecy is being fulfilled everyday to those that are awake.
The Gospel's give some very distinct signs of Christ's Second Advent to save the Jewish Nation as well as the human race. The Church will escape the worst part of the end-time scenario, but you must be in Christ to be part of this group of people that will not have to suffer the horrors that will come in the end.
Just like Christ appeared to Saul of Tarsus, who we know from the Word of God as the Apostle Paul, I personally believe that Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah of Israel personally visited Yitzhak Kurudri and gave him a message of His soon coming. The message is for all that will hear.
More to come