Sharon family

"Meeting him last year..."

Dear Penina, Ahikam, Dalit, and Raya,

I am so sorry to hear that Ze'ev has passed. I have great memories of meeting him last year and spending time with all of you and the rest of the family. I'm so happy to have met him after hearing so much about him from my mom. I remember Ze'ev's remarkable ability to communicate with me in English, and how happy and close to him I felt afterward. I know he was an incredible man from what I have heard through the family and through what I saw last summer.

I miss all of you very much and can't believe it's been a year since my visit. I remember it as an amazing one and can't wait til the next. My heart goes out to all of you, and the whole family.

Be'ahava, hazak ve'ematz (I hope that is fitting),

"Proud of what he accomplished"

Dear Dalit, Tal, Ahikam, Gali ve kol hanechedim,

Ha leve sheli eetchem be rega atzuv hazeh. Ane akshav deebartee eem Penina ve Raya ve amartee lehem eich she Ze'ev hishpe'a al ha chayim sheli. Beeshveel li ha historia shel Ze'ev hiyita ha historia shel Medinat Yisrael. Lamadetee meemenu ve me Penina et ha tzura chayim shel ha kibbutz, ve zeh gam hishpea le me'od.

I am very happy I had the chance to see Ze'ev in 2006 and to hear his reminiscences about his arrival in Palestine in 1936 and the creation of the kibbutz, and the battle of Akko, etc. I know you are all very proud of him and what he accomplished in life, ve sof sof, zeh ma she ichpat. Anee mitztair me'od she anee lo yechol lihiyot eetchem be rega zu, aval anee margeesh me'od eetchem be lev. Anachnu tzrichim lishmor al ha kesher shelanu be shanim ha ba'im.



"Ze'ev liked to tease me"

Dear Penina and all the family,

I have been thinking of how you and Ze'ev have been part of my life since I was six years old. I have many memories of that year, and much of what comes up is actually mixed up with Helga and Stan's recollections. I was thinking of what Helga would be saying now about Ze'ev and it would be that July 1961 - July 1962 was the best year of her life. She would talk about reuniting with her brave cousin who she so admired as she said goodbye to him at the Berlin train station in 1935 as he set off for Palestine. She would say how wonderful it was to have found her family in Israel on beautiful kibbutz Afeq. She would talk of the seder in the Heder Ochel as being very, very meaningful. She would say how happy she was for her three children to run around the kibbutz and splash in the pool with their three Israeli cousins. Stan, for his part, would be talking about how much Ze'ev taught him about the Irgun, and the Palmach and 1948 and Ben Gurion and Golda Meir and the kibbutz movement. He would probably talk about the carp ponds and how envious he was of the kibbutz lifestyle.

Despite their decision to return to the US, you -- our Sharon family -- stayed very dear to them. The year that Avinoam came to visit us in Glen Ellyn/Chicago was wonderful for Helga especially, but I know we were all influenced, in various ways. He was the first Israeli out-of-the-army that I knew, on his journey, and so happy and excited. I'm just thinking now, that his visit must have influenced me to come to Israel many years later.

When I came to Israel in 1974, you and Ze'ev were there - right there -- at Lod as I got off the plane and you swept me up into your family, with such love and warmth. I remember how intense it was at the hospital visiting Raya a day after Ahikam was born, but you both kept making sure I was okay while you had so much going on as a family. And then you both drove me all the way to Jerusalem, and made sure I was okay in the dorm on Har HaTzofim.

I will always remember how caring Ze'ev was and that he liked to tease me. I think he he enjoyed my visits in part because he could practice his English. He loved asking me endless questions, and always wanted to talk about Stanley and Helga. But he also pushed me to speak Hebrew with you, Penina, because he really wanted me to love Israel. It was the first year after Avinoam's death and while you both grieved, you shared it with me. You were remarkable Penina -- that you found a way for me to be comfortable and help me understand your experience, and teach me about death. I will always cherish that about you both.

I am so happy that Lani made it to Israel last summer, and has wonderful memories of her own. I wish we could be with you all tomorrow at the Shivah to hear all your stories and memories of your dear husband, father, grandfather, greatgrandfather, friend. But do know that we have you in our hearts, and know that we are celebrating his life right here in Piedmont, California.

Until soon / l'hitra'ot, all my love to everyone of you,

Ze'ev Sharon, 92, passes away surrounded by family at kibbutz Afeq

Ze'ev Sharon, a pioneer of Israel and first cousin of Helga Ruby, passed away July 2, 2009 at Kibbutz Afeq surrounded by loved ones.

Joanne got the sad news in a call from Ahikam. We'll post more information and photos here as materials are collected. To get the ball rolling, I will post emails from the Rubys to Ze'ev's wife Penina and other family members.


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