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The PJ Tatler

R.I.P. Barry Rubin

Remembering an honored colleague, mentor, and friend.

by
Patrick Poole

Bio

February 3, 2014 - 7:07 am

I was very sad to hear this morning of the passing of our friend and PJ Media contributor Barry Rubin following a 17 month battle with cancer. I know for many of us our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

It has truly been a privilege to call Barry a colleague, a mentor and a friend. When Barry was living in the U.S. several years ago, we would have lunch together every time I was in D.C. at his favorite Chinese restaurant in Bethesda. Always generous with his time, we would have lengthy conversations about recent Middle East events over cashew chicken. Even at the time I would marvel at how much I would learn from those lunch discussions.

After his return to Israel, we would keep in touch by email, with Barry regularly offering encouragement and advice for whatever endeavor I happened to be working on at the time. We would find time to meet whenever he was in the States on a speaking tour or for a conference.

Then came the cancer diagnosis. That notwithstanding, Barry continued with his work.

This past July, Barry and his son served as reenactors at the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. I brought a group of friends, mostly reporters and Hill staff, up for the day. Finding Barry amidst thousands of blue-garbed reenactors was like finding a specific needle in a stack of needles, but find him we did. Again, always generous with his time, he plopped down under a tree and gave us an impromptu half-hour briefing of what was happening in Egypt (Morsi had been removed from office the day before) and how it would play out in the Middle East.

I was fortunate enough to see Barry again in September while I was in Israel. I arrived at the Rubins’ apartment in Tel Aviv literally just moments after they had received devastating news that the cancer had advanced. It would have been understandable if they had cancelled plans for the evening. And yet Barry was undeterred, and we walked to a cafe nearby where we had a very candid and personal conversation about mortality. He expressed concern for the care of his family and how much they meant to him.

It was a pleasant surprise a week later as I was beginning to tour Yad Vashem in Jerusalem when I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around to see Barry and his family. We walked together though the museum until Barry grew tired. We met later for dinner, and his wife Judy and son Daniel were gracious as I occupied Barry’s time with shop-talk. That was the last time I saw him.

It is impossible to measure how much PJ Media and its readers have benefited from Barry’s insights and how the world will continue to benefit from his whole body of work (with books by and edited by Barry still forthcoming). I know that over the next few days others who knew Barry better and longer will offer more substantial remembrances. But as I get ready for this cold, rainy day in Washington, D.C. I will be thinking today about my colleague, mentor and friend; the kindness, forbearance, graciousness and wisdom he was always willing to impart to me; and offering prayers of comfort for his family.

May his memory be a blessing.

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia. Follow me on Twitter.

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Top Rated Comments   
" “Thanks to our Creator for our lives and thanks to our Creator for the chances we are given--often more than we merit--to transcend those lives by good deeds, integrity, solidarity with those who stand for the just and the free, and love for our fellows.”

Barry Rubin

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Jerusalem-Post-columnist-Barry-Rubin-dies-340192
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
May the Almighty comfort his family along with the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Several years ago I attended a small event at which Barry spoke. The event began with a modest buffet. Afterwards, Barry happened to sit next to me while various preliminary business was conducted. I was immediately impressed by his general friendliness. Then, apparently seeing that I was under the weather, he spent a fair amount of time and effort cheering me up with his dry sense of humor.

He was a heroic mensch.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barry was probably the best analyst on middle east issues. Fearless for the truth no matter where it lay. I actually had a few personal emails with him during the summer Olympics a few years ago mutually commiserating on the South African noisemakers. He was gracious to take a stranger's email and funny with his replies. He will be missed.

Baruch dayan emet. Blessed is the true judge.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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Oh I just can't get over this fact ... I am missing him and his updates ... thank G_D Prof Barry's writings has the relevance, the touch till Israel as a nation completely overcomes ...
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Rubin will be sorely missed.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have felt that the battle was not going well and am saddened by the news. Barry has been a voice of sanity in Middle Eastern affairs and repeatedly predicted what would happen with with amazing accuracy. I will miss him greatly and my condolences go out to his family in this difficult time. A great man has left us.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
" “Thanks to our Creator for our lives and thanks to our Creator for the chances we are given--often more than we merit--to transcend those lives by good deeds, integrity, solidarity with those who stand for the just and the free, and love for our fellows.”

Barry Rubin

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Jerusalem-Post-columnist-Barry-Rubin-dies-340192
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for including the above prayer composed by Barry Rubin from his hospital bed, along with the JPost obit. I respected Barry's work and thought he was a mensch, based on the one opportunity I had to meet him.

It is remarkable that the coverage of his background in the several obits I've read has only raised my esteem for him. He was truly a heroic mensch.

If you have the opportunity to make a shiva call please pass along my prayer for the comfort of the mourners.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
RIP Dr. Rubin. This news is VERY hard to bear. A great man has gone to his maker too soon...far too soon. Like many here, I'd hoped/assumed Dr Rubin had kicked the a** and won the battle given his continued prolific writing. Sadly, this was not the case. But Dr Rubin has the respect of so many of us lesser mortals. He lives on...in his body of work. Shalom.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
How Barry lived the last year of his life was an example of human dignity; while undergoing tremendous physical pain and suffering he never wallowed in despair but freely shared the difficult journey he was on. My prayers go out to his family.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I always enjoyed Barry Rubin's excellent articles, and it is with sadness that I heard of his demise.

All the best wishes to his family upon their great loss.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did not know of his battle with cancer. Deeply sorry to see him go.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was deeply impressed how he kept working these last months. He will be missed.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Loved his work. Will miss his wise voice.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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