Barak Lurie, between Metaphor and Reality

My meeting with Barak Lurie…

When I was in my teens, living in Israel, each Friday, when returning from work, my mother brought home the weekend edition of the newspaper Yediot A’charonot, meaning, ‘latest news.’ In each weekend edition there was a carton by Ra’anan Lurie. I so vividly remember that it was the first thing I used to seek and read in the many pages newspaper weekend edition and I was always fascinated by the wit of the message the cartoon carried.

There is a word I often use, which is Bashert. It is a word in Yiddish, its meaning destiny, fate; it also means any good or fortuitous match. When I finally realized that Barak, the Hebrew word for lightning, last name Lurie, an attorney, a familiar face in the community, involved with many organizations for Jewish and Israeli causes, to mention a few are the Jewish National Fund (JNF), StandWithUs (SWU) and Prager University, holding an hour talk show, each Sunday at 10:00am, on KRLA 870AM by Salem Media Group, America’s leading radio broadcaster, is the son of famous political cartoonist Ra’anan Lurie I knew that it was bashert for me to call him and ask for an interview. And so I did.

Barak Lurie in his office
Barak Lurie in his office

I started our conversation with asking about Ra’anan Lurie whereabouts; I was told Ra’anan, who born in Israel, now 83 year old, is well and living in New York City.

NG: “Where were you born?” I asked Barak?

BL: “I was born in Israel and when I was three year old my father was given an opportunity to move to the United States and assume the position of the political cartoonist for Life Magazine, a position he held until the Magazine shut its doors in 1972.”

NG: “What is that makes you spread your word publically, whether on radio, or in participating in causes so dear to the Jewish people?”
BL: I am a small voice; I also write about the issues on my blog. I hold conservative values, which I believe will save the USA and Israel all the same. Some of my talent my father gifted to me.”

Barak is one of four siblings, two boys and two girls. All three siblings are leaning Liberals, while his parents and he are conservatives and he is very close to his father, in fact probably an admirer. Some of his father’s cartoons are hanging on his office’s wall, one, from the 1980s, which depicts the West as an ostrich its head stuck in the Islamo-Arab-Iranian oil pipes … a subject so apropos today, with Europe, China and other states so very eager to keep a blind eye and trade with Iran, the worlds’ number one sponsor of terrorism, worldwide.

The ostrich cartoon
The ostrich cartoon

BL: “I have in me some of my father’s talent; he gave me a gift. I grew up with his cartoons and learned the politics of the world through his cartoonist’s eyes, which carried a political message through a metaphor. I learned to think through metaphors, which I use in my law practice, my radio show, my writing and life in general, all appear to be very effective.”

For instance is the fence, with just a small portion of it a wall, many dare calling an “apartheid wall.” Israel has built this fence to separate her citizens from the Arab territory, from where terror did not stop coming and killed very many innocent Israeli citizens, till, as fact, Israel built this separation fence and terror almost ended. Barak uses a metaphor comparing this fence to a fence in a Safari Game Reserve, erected in order to separate the lions from [killing] the zebras and the Springbucks.

Barak states that his love for Israel is deep and profound. “Because without Israel we cannot be the Jews we are, wherever we live,” he claims. “Israel backs us up. Where in the past we were voiceless, guests in many countries and to plead for our existence we came to the host county’s leaders and government. Now they come to us; now they ask us to speak at AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee). My goal is to make and keep Israel strong, there and overseas with the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.”

I arrive at the interview just as Benjamin Netanyahu and Ha’Likud Party announced their election 2015 victory and Barak used his metaphoric approach saying, “Obama is Antonio Salieri to Bibi’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.”

BL:”I thank my Dad and Mom, Tamar, for the great wisdom and clarity they have given me, both values I pass onto my children.”

Ra'anan and wife Tamar Lurie
Ra’anan and wife Tamar Lurie

It is very obvious that Barak simply adores his father. His eyes also shine when he shows me his three children’s photo and though a late bloomer in creating a family unit, his heart speaks volume how fortunate he is to be married to his wife and the mother of his children.
My last question was, while Barak was openly hinting he has to go on with his legal work: “How do you manage your time between your wife, children, career, and political and philanthropy activities?”

Barak leads me to his 7th floor office huge windows and points a finger and says, “There, on the close by hill is my home, three minutes ride to my office”; then the finger moves to point at a close by neighborhood and he continues, “There is my children’s school. All the important aspects of my life are in the close by vicinity, which allow me to maximize my time with my family, the most important factor in my life.”
Barak, who often appears on the Jamie Glasov Gang Internet show is politically and within his Jewish faith a conservative. However, to keep a cordial home he attends reform synagogue services and is a follower of Rabbi Brandon Adam Gaines.

Barak Lurie, a well-rounded individual, a model of a citizen, a model of a Jew, a friend of Israel and the world community at large.
I am a one pleased individual to have been given the bashert opportunity to meet Barak, the son of the cartoonist Ra’anan Lurie of whom I have such fond memories.

About the Author
Nurit is an advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States and the Free World in general and sees Israel and the United States, equally, as the last two forts of true democratic freedom. Since 2006, she has been writing about events in these two countries. From Southern California, Nurit believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.