Adir Zik: The Great Spark

Adir Zik was neither an emperor, nor a high priest, nor a decorated general, nor a world-renowned philosopher. He was merely a television producer. However, he was also, infallibly, a tabernacle of unvarnished truth, iron will, clear vision and passionate love for the essence of Israel.

Suzie Dym,

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I have actually just finished "sitting shiva", observing the mourning customs, for my own deeply beloved father and teacher, Professor Lee Segel. Now it seems that my father in another sense -- everybody's father in all matters pertaining to Eretz Yisrael -- the great, the one and only, Adir Zik, also has "changed worlds", as the Chinese phrase it.

Adir Zik was neither an emperor, nor a high priest, nor a decorated general, nor a world-renowned philosopher. He was merely a television producer. However, he was also, infallibly, a tabernacle of unvarnished truth, iron will, clear vision and passionate love for the essence of Israel. As such, he was truly a legend in his own lifetime, universally revered and adored by all Zionists with a clear conscience, and just as universally reviled and feared by all Zionists who have parted - temporarily, we all hope - with their consciences. His very name, roughly translated, means "the great spark".

Adir had absolutely no sense of who was important, in the usual sense, and who was not. As far as he was concerned, whoever was working "out there in the trenches" was an extremely important personage and deserving of his full assistance. He would lend his prestige to any deserving project, no matter how humble the initiator (such as me, for example, on several occasions). Actually, the humbler the initiator, the more Adir would get behind the project. Thus, for example, his most particular fond feelings were devoted to the hounded youngsters who man the terror- and often poverty-stricken Israeli outposts in the Judea, Samaria and Gaza heartland districts.

And just as the humblest friends of Eretz Yisrael were Adir's especial favorites, he was their special favorite. The feeling was completely mutual, it seems. Not far from my home lives Grandmother Rina, an illiterate widow who married at age 14 in Morocco, later made aliyah to Israel and raised nine boys to adulthood ("nine IDF soldiers," as she used to put it proudly). She called me a few years ago to invite me to the bris (circumcision ceremony) of a new grandson.

"I am so happy that I am able to attend the ceremony," she confided. "I told my son that I cannot possibly leave the house on Fridays until after Adir Zik's morning program is finished on Arutz Sheva radio. Fortunately, he was able to take that into account and make the bris start at 11 o'clock, so I will be able to come."

Although Rina was totally serious, I laughed at her considerations. "You don't need to be that dedicated," I told her. "After all, the Friday program is re-run every Tuesday! That's exactly the reason for having re-runs!"

"You don't say," marveled Rina. "I never knew that the Tuesday re-run of Adir Zik was intended for people who could not make themselves available on Fridays. I had always been sure that the Tuesday re-run was intended for people exactly like me -- those who like to hear Adir Zik twice over, instead of only once. You see -- whatever I think, Adir Zik always says."

All of us are so sad about parting from Adir. Sad about a tremendously talented man who, unlike most of us poor mortals, used his talent for the common good and impatiently waved away any thought of activities intended merely to foster his own ego and career. Sad about the man who turned adversity into strength; whose voice, booming over the airwaves, lauded the barbaric raid of Arutz Sheva initiated by then-Education Minister Shulamit Aloni: "I would like to present the Arutz-Sheva Woman of the Year award to... Shulamit Aloni! Her actions have resulted in approximately three million dollars worth of publicity for Arutz Sheva!" And, indeed, Adir's ratings shot up as Aloni struggled to shut down Israel's Number One Big Mouth.

Maybe we should be happy, though, rather than sad, by trying, in our imperfect way, to look at matters through the eyes of the Master of the Universe. I can imagine our Maker a while back, upon the news that Adir, the son of Bracha, had been afflicted with advanced cancer and was soon to arrive at the gates of the World to Come:

"Wait, Angel of Death, wait. Yes, I know that a man soon to die is usually advised to put his affairs in order. But in this particular instance, it is I, the Master of the Universe, not he, who needs to put my affairs in order! If Adir Zik is on the way here, I cannot possibly allow the desperate situation of the Jewish people in their land to continue! I know this man. He will not leave Me alone for a moment. Like Abraham the Patriarch, he will berate Me unmercifully if he hears that I am letting the Jews and their land suffer or be humiliated. Please, do not let this man, Adir Zik, come anywhere near Me, until I, the Master of the Universe, put My affairs in order."

If the Master of the Universe has signaled the Angel of Death that he is finally ready for Adir Zik to join the Patriarchs next to the Throne of Glory, this may be a good omen. It may be a sign that our Maker has put his affairs (our affairs) in good order in anticipation of Adir's eagle eye and sharp tongue. It is my belief, therefore, that, contrary to our fears, a good era will finally start for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Speedily in our time. Amen.

And we will know whose meritorious life-style caused the revolution, when it occurs. Thank you, Adir Zik, for being, day in and day out, year in and year out, a friend, a mentor and a source of strength for all members, great and small, of the Eretz Yisrael movement.

N.B. - Adir's personal fund, which he set up in order to collect money for his own favorite project (Israel's outposts), is Viyrashtem Otah ("And you shall inherit it"). The fund's address is: 41 Midbar Sinai Street, Jerusalem, Israel. Some months ago, Adir Zik confided to me that he deeply regretted that his fund did not contain enough funds to do all that he wanted to do for the outposts. Perhaps some of us can do something about that now. If you make a gift to the fund, you may wish to add a note to Adir's family, dedicating your contribution to an unforgettable man.


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