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Shuka Harel 1951-2018

I met Shuka in the Yom Kippur war when we were called up for duty in the armored infantry battalion where he was a new young officer receiving command of much older reservists. With his boyish face, armed with calm and tremendous knowledge, he succeeded in organizing the unit despite a total lack of equipment. Nine of us were directed to the battalion commander's troop carrier opposite the Syrian tanks at the Juchadar junction in the Golan Heights. We suffered a direct hit on the third day and luckily jumped off the vehicle shortly before it exploded in flames.

This six-month service and the many shared rounds of duty thereafter, also in the Lebanon war, strengthened our ties and showed Shuka as an outstanding friend and commander, excelling in all his duties with a range of knowledge and impeccable memory that astounded us all.

Shuka brought his future bride Hanita to us and we shared outings together; his daughter was born the same month as our son.

Even our children turned, not to me but to him, as a trusted source of advice and direction, which he always gladly gave.

The Harels participated in our family events and we lived only two streets apart in Herzliya. Jennia recruited Shuka to ESRA to contribute his wide range of financial talents during the last decade as ESRA's treasurer.

Once a week we would meet at the Parliament of professional men of various backgrounds to discuss issues of the day. They quickly discovered that Shuka's vast range of knowledge made him the sharpest pencil in the drawer.

I missed him throughout his rapidly deteriorating illness which sprang upon him suddenly three years ago - myasthenia gravis. My family, to whom he gave so much advice and direction, and I, miss him already and I will forever miss him as my good friend.

Shuka was a CEO, VP and CFO at leading companies - YES, Clal, Osem, Carmel Mizrachi, Nesher and Bank Hapoalim - and served as a senior board member and managed large teams of employees.

There was never a paper on his desk- except the one he was working on. He had the cleanest desk we ever encountered. 

 

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Wednesday, 08 December 2021

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