Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Avi Udler, Z"L, by Reuven Miller

Something that I wrote for Avi, z"l, for his 10th azkara

Emily Shalom,

This is hard because although I didn't have an ongoing kesher, I always felt very close to Avi z"l. I know you asked to write something funny but for me Avi was a very serious guy, serious about his friends, his family, serious about Betar about Am Yisrael. Two short memories from the Betar days:

I remember when Avi arrived from South America. I was never much in the inner doing of Betar just tried to be around for the "peoulot" the involved action. I recall how his name was
almost whispered amongst the chevra.

Someone very mysterious, who had done some very secret important and
obviously very dangerous things in South America had to very suddenly
relocate in the USA for undisclosed but clearly TOP secret reasons and
would be organizing a special secret group in Betar to do some not
specified only hinted at actions against unidentified individuals and/or

I, kamuvan, volunteered to do I didn't (and still don't) know what.

An appointment was made for me to meet Avi in the moadon. I was understandably nervous, awfully frightened about meeting this superman that we had heard about.

But was I surprised, when escorted in to be interviewed by Avi, to meet one of the gentlest, kindest, concerned "harmless" guys that I've ever run across.

Of course this gentle "harmless" guy first interviewed me by asking questions like "what would you do if you discovered that your own brother was an secret agent for THEM (and really, I, 30 years later still am not sure who was the THEM). After I somehow passed the interview, Avi had me following people on the street, swallowing (yep, swallowing) secret messages, and sitting through his personal tutorials on how to kill (and this is a first time revelation) one of THEM with one movement of one finger.

That was Avi for me. Meeting him for the first time he instilled immediate trust and confidence. I must have been about 20 at the time, fairly intelligent and pretty normal and I don't think anyone but Avi could have had me doing the things I was doing without knowing why or who or ....

Story 2 is a short one:
One of the first (maybe the first?) Salute to Israel parade down 5th Avenue
- something caught my attention in Central Park. I left the Betar contingent to see what was happening and in short, soon found myself in the lock-up after becoming involved in a neo-nazi yimach shamam vezicram demonstration. I had mamash just arrived at the police station and was being booked when, and I still don't know how, there was Avi with my llt"v future wife Yehudit in tow. Yehudit (who came to the parade with me) had somehow noticed after an hour or so that I was no longer marching with her. Avi not only found me but paid out, on the spot, the bail money needed to get me out. Avi noticed that she was troubled and immediately offered his help.

Avi z"l took his friends and his kesher with Am Yisrael very seriously.
Tnz B"H

Reuven Miller

1 comment:

Shachna Waxman said...

A funny Avi story.....

I spent a lot of time at the Manhattan Moadon. One night I came in and I hear noise in the kitchen... there was Avi sitting in the sink taking a "bath" with the pishpushim running all around!