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A Jewish Ghaffir (cont.)

“The truck is moving…”

 

In the Uniform of the British Army
Yoel Zeif – on the extreme left

 

Daniel Zeif among the builders (on the left)

Sara Weiss (Slep): On August 19, 1978 I paid my first visit to Yoel Zeif at his home. The memories flowed from him enthusiastically, as though the events had just taken place the previous day. Yoel described the atmosphere and the fear of what would happen when they turned on the light in the Hashomer Hatzair clubhouse for the first time on a Friday night: “We thought that the sky would fall. We waited, and nothing happened”…

Yoel paged through a photo album that had been presented to him by the youngsters with whom he had worked as a counselor, prior to his making aliya to Eretz Yisrael. He described the place and the event commemorated by each picture, and recognized the people and their names. It seemed to me that the man went back to the album again and again, just like a religious person returns to the prayer book every day.

When I left his house, I encountered his son Yaron in the yard. I told him about the words the people of the Shtetl – chalutzim and servivors - have to say in praise of his father, that thanks to him they made aliya.

I asked Yaron how greatly that past interested him, and he replied: “In my opinion, the stories should be collected and published in a book.”

I saw Yoel for the second and last time in the hospital. It was on the evening of his son Yaron's wedding. Yoel lay unconscious until he passed away.

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