I gained so much from Earl Krugel.
I considered myself moderately brave.
I had done things in my life that were scary, boxing in the toughest gyms in
, fighting on the streets against bigger kids, often outnumbered. L.A.
As a firefighter I walked into burning buildings and cheated death, a time or two.
However, I knew that Earl Krugel faced death and uncertainty and real barbarity, every day, and he faced it fearlessly, he truly was not afraid.
He was deeply in love with Lola, his charming wife, she was the center of his life.
He doted on his grandchildren.
Yet, he risked it all for the Jewish people.
He risked it all fearlessly.
He faced violent criminals twice his size, in a small concrete cell, no one to help him, no tools but his belief in morality and G-d and doing the right thing.
Earl and I wrote to each other a lot in the last year of his life.
My wife wrote to him as well, and he always wrote back.
She was fascinated and charmed by this larger than life hero.
She wanted his blessing to name our child Earl Ben Krugel
if it was a boy.
As I interviewed Earl for the website IsraelAmerica I was impressed with his insightful, analytical way of seeing things. He wasn’t a man ruled by baser emotions.
When I first contacted Earl he was in solitary confinement in the Men’s
, a justifiably feared building, even by hardened criminals, which of course, Earl most certainly was not. Federal Detention Center
I was also in contact with Irv Rubin, OBM, the Chairman of the Jewish Defense League, the heir of Rabbi Meir Kahane, OBM.
Irv said, “This confinement is the most mind numbing punishment ever devised by man.”
It was meant to be.
The techniques being used on Earl and Irv were designed to break down professional killers, usually Arabs.
These two men, these Jews, Irv and Earl had never even contemplated injuring anyone, this according to the FBI.
The next two years were the government’s version of Hell,
However, Earl Krugel smiled every day, and performed acts of loving kindness, and faced an environment totally alien to him, with courage, calmness and compassion.