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[Page 407]

In Memory of the Fallen
On the fronts of WWII

Translated by Ala Gamulka

 

Reuven Kopelovitch z”l

 

Reuven Kopelovitch was born in Lida in 1921. He studied in the yeshivas of Baranovitch and Radon.

In a short time, his inner special abilities were revealed. He was given the room of the famous Hafetz Haim for his studies and was well-known as a brilliant student.

His parents used to send him money which he spent on buying books. In his spare time, he wrote poetry and stories.

When WWII broke out, everything changed. The Russians occupied Lida and ruled it with an iron fist.

Reuven Kopelovitch could not remain in Lida. His heart pulled him towards his friends- to continue his studies.

One specific Sabbath, after prayers ended, he left for Radin. There, he met his friends. Together, they crossed the border to Lithuania and arrived in Vilna, where they continued their studies. However, this situation did not last long, as the Russians arrived in Vilna when they occupied Lithuania. He was then sent to Siberia.

Even there he found the time to study and to write poetry.

In 1943 he was reunited with his parents. His happiness did not last. In 1944, he was drafted into the Russian army. He fell in a battle in Poland.

We publish here one of his poems.

 

Help This Person

Reuven Kopelovitch z”l

The wind is blowing and nips the cheeks
It smacks people in the middle of the street
It tears the doors, bangs on the windowpanes
It breaks the roofs with great anger.

Shh! Is the child crying? Look in the window
Like grey eyes. Stones lie pale.
The skies are high. The valleys are deep.
Is this a wild joke?

A body filled with shame stands
Tears are streaming from the eyes
The heart spits out words
Save my life!

The doors and locks are silent
The houses stand, half in thought
The eyes look, voices hum
Who brought him here?

The wind cries and tears the doors,
The windows bang, the roofs are broken,
Help the person! Help the person!
His situation is very bad.

December 1939

 

Aryeh Tchertok z”l

He was a devoted member of the youth movement and Poalei Zion party in Poland and England. He fell as an officer in the Polish army. He was 25 years old.

He was well-known and beloved among the Jewish soldiers on the western front. He always defended the honor of the Jewish soldier in the Polish army. He often openly and officially expressed his views on the national and Zionist debts of the Jews in our time.

From the first day that the Polish army arrived in Normandy he was among the leaders in any battle. He stood out as a soldier and was not afraid of any danger.

At the beginning of December, 1944, he was injured in Holland and left the hospital before he was completely healed. On December 31, 1944, as a unit leader, he led his soldiers towards the fortified positions of the Germans. The fact that he fell a few meters in front of the German encampment proves that he was courageous and brave. His body could not be taken away from enemy positions for a few days afterwards.

His father, Gedaliah Tchertok, a merchant and employer of many workers, was chairperson of the Lida Commercial Association. He also chaired the Jewish bloc in city hall. He died in Brazil in 1967.

[Page 408]

Yitzhak Spokoiny z”l

 

 

I remember the member of Hechalutz Hatzair, Yitzhak Spokoiny z”l, when he was still a young man. He worked as a printer and his ardent wish was to make Aliyah. Yosef Landoi, one of the first grove owners in Rehovot, sent him a certificate. Yitzhak Spokoiny made Aliyah in 1925. At first, he worked in Rehovot and later as a policeman in the old city in Jerusalem. In 1932 he was murdered by agitated Arabs while he was on duty at Jaffa Gate. He was buried on the Mount of Olives.

 

Aryeh Duvkovsky z”l

He was born in Lida in 1915. His father was Avraham Duvkovsky, wholesale grocer in Lida. He was a learned and educated Jew. On his mother's side, he was a grandson of Levi Yitzhak Dzimitrovsky, well-known in Lida (Yitzhak the white one).

Aryeh stood out from an early age with his talents, fine character and honesty. He joined Hashomer Hatzair in his childhood. It was a time of reawakening in Lida- to fulfilment and Aliyah. Aryeh, the straight forward and honest person, made Aliyah in spite of his family's disapproval. When he arrived, he began to study at the Technion in Haifa. In the meantime, the war broke out. The call was made to young Jews in Eretz Israel to join in the battle against the Nazi enemy. Aryeh was among the first to heed the call and he joined the British army. Sadly, he was not among those who fought, as he had wished. He was killed in a road accident in Nissan 1944 near Gaza City. It was before he reached the front.

He was buried in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives

 

With Shaul Forman z”l
(“Galili”- “Arnon”)

by Zeev Ivansky

We will believe in the day of the shadow of death
When a rifle will sing a battle song
We will be with God and die
We will welcome the Redeemer of Zion
From the songs of Yair, sung by Shaul and his comrades in prison and in the underground.

I did not know Shaul well in our hometown of Lida. We were members of different youth groups. He was in Barkai, founded by Meir Grossman. He was also a member of Beitar. I was in Hanoar Hatzioni.

These were the days on the eve of the Holocaust and we were living on the edge. We were occupied, worried, excited with our activities. We argued about reactions and holding back.

Shaul disappeared during this tumultuous time. A year before the war broke out, he somehow made Aliyah to Eretz Israel.

We met without planning it.

It was during the first few months of my arrival, during the war. I entered a small restaurant in Tel Aviv one day and there I saw Shaul Forman.

There was something new in his appearance. He was no longer the elegant student of the Andalovska Commercial School. His eyes were filled with fire and weariness. It was not the fire of the student in the youth movement. This was the hidden fire of an underground fighter. He was careful, suspicious and hungry. I approached him and said “Shalom, Shaul”- or perhaps Shoel, as he was called. I felt that he was hesitant, but he finally lifted his tired and avoiding eyes and said: “You are mistaken. I am not Shoel. You are thinking of someone else”. I did not even get a chance to look and Shaul and his friend made an escape. These were days of pursuit and how would I know what he was thinking. Everything was secretive- as it had to be.

I could understand his inner struggle which caused his hesitation towards me. He probably knew that I had recently arrived and he wanted

[Page 409]

to hear some news. More than others, I respected his need to be secretive, his restraint, self-discipline and difficult position. I knew:

“We live in the underground
In the dampness, darkness, in the cellar
Where a pale light is flickering
Where the floor is flooded”
This was my first meeting with Shaul in Eretz Israel.

My second meeting with him was totally different. These were days of harsh hunting for the members of Lehi. The Secret Police had many helpers. One after another people were caught on the streets and in homes and the ring around them was tightening. I was then a senior student at Herzliah High School and had just come out of the hospital after serious pneumonia. Every day I heard about another member that was arrested and I was afraid they would reach me, too. I was a great believer in the conspiracy. No one in school suspected me- years after my arrest people still believed it had been an error.

It happened on a Friday in May 1942. I was sitting in the classroom and felt something strange. A teacher came in and told me I was wanted outside. I went out and there I was surrounded by detectives. This was the beginning of a long road and I met Shaul again.

After Jaffa, it was Acco. After much interrogation and torture, we were pleased to reach Camp Mizra near Acco. This is how the contingent of young people- eighteen years old- arrived. We had already been members of the underground for some years. I look around and suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder- “Hi! Shalom! Don't we know each other?” “Now we know each other!” Shaul is standing in front of me. A “veteran” of the camp. He had been there, it seems to me, for six months. His mustache was overgrown and his face seemed relaxed from tension. He was happy about the meeting with his townsman from Hanoar Hatzioni. We became friends.

I always knew that a person's true image is revealed during suffering, in difficult situations, in danger, in battle and struggle. However, since the years of suffering I learned one more thing- in addition, hidden and tacit characteristics are also revealed.

In prison, Shaul was seen in all his greatness. He was a friend, a man of the underground, a fighter, a human being, a Jew. The first years in prison were difficult- isolation and loneliness. One after the other we received news of the Holocaust and we were the “black sheep” of the community. We were still considered to be thieves and killers. Many broke down, but Shaul did not bend during these years. He seemed to get taller and was better looking. He became a different person – Shaul Galili.

You many have forgotten that Shaul Galili was once Shaul Forman. He behaved as one from the Galil- a fighter from the Galil.

After the transfer to Latrun, the saga of digging the tunnel began. Shaul was the camp representative and his English was not fluent. However, he had great stature and he did not know how to give in. I remember that he aroused much respect among the detainees who were not our brethren. I heard from them, not once, that he was a “new Jew, different”. Indeed, Shaul of the Galil was a proud Jew.

The tunnel was dug while he was the representative- he spent many hours inside it, digging. There were days when the representative was sought throughout the camp- “he disappeared”. The tunnel in Latrun was dug in secret and with great care. He would not give up doing his share.

He was also physically strong. When the worms plague hit (probably from digging the tunnel) and everyone was ill with dizziness and nausea- he remained healthy.

He was among the twenty who escaped- and we were separated.

My third meeting with Shaul did not happen. One day, a new contingent of 56 prisoners arrived in Eritrea. Shaul was their leader. He organized the opposition in Latrun to the transfer. The group withstood beatings, barricaded themselves and were finally removed after a long battle. Shaul now became a new person- Arnon. Arnon was one of the leaders of the underground and the fighters at the front. He participated in all the daring battles and his last activity was the united one with Etzel in bombing the railways in Lod. It was the place where the saboteurs were concentrated. He survived all events and his arrest, after the charges against him were dropped. It was by accident that someone told me he wanted to see me. The group of newcomers was in a separate camp. I searched for a way to infiltrate that camp. Then the frightening murder took place. The Sudanese policemen opened fire on a young man who told them off in Arabic. (That young man was a member of Etzel. He was an Arab who had converted to Judaism and who later fell in a dangerous Etzel mission during the War of Independence). The young man was injured and Shaul, always the responsible representative, came to his aid. The shots were aimed at him and he was killed by a bullet in his head.

My last encounter with Shaul Galili was when we said good-bye as we passed his coffin, in silence. We mourned him- the young Shaul Forman, the fighter Shaul Galili, Arnon.

 

Shaul Forman (The Galilean) z”l

by Sh. Mikulitzky

I knew him from his early young days. We were neighbors and we spent our youth together. However, today, when his image rises in my memory- he is tall, and skinny, with black hair. I cannot think of him as a young child. He was always taller than all his friends. He was studious and focused and excelled in his schoolwork. At home, he was quiet and honored his parents. Outside the home, he appeared to be good-looking and proud. He was well-liked by his comrades and at work he was most efficient.

There are people, especially young ones, who came to the movement for various reasons. Some were swept in by their friends and others by accident. Not true of Shaul. It was as if he was born in Beitar. He was a visionary and a doer. Every act and behavior were witness to a soldier and a fighter.

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This, in addition to being a Jewish intellectual. Dr. Sheib, in his book “The First Tithe”, writes about Shaul Galili: “all his activities were plain and natural in his eyes. There was no bravado nor pride.”

When he was still very young and active in Beitar in Lida, he reached the position of vice-commander. He exhibited wonderful talents in organization, but he loved to do all work himself. He always came early to the branch in order to clean, wash floors and decorate the hall. “Less talk and more work” was his motto. I remember that he would say “It is better to come and clean the branch, to wash the floors than to give ten speeches”. He loved order and discipline and walked around with a notebook containing the roster of duties at assemblies, arrangements for collecting for the Tel Hai Foundation and distribution of the newspaper “Our World”. He did most of the work by himself and he disliked arguments. The most important thing was to do what was needed. He always worked quietly and privately, seriously and with exemplary dedication. It is no accident that he was beloved by everyone- even in the first days of his membership in Beitar. He always had a smile on his face. He was a good and loyal friend to all his comrades.

His life was an amazing paradox. This young man, outwardly seemed always serene and content, was often smiling, always alert and refreshed when communicating with his friends. However, he was an introvert and closed on the inside, in all matters relating to him only. It is interesting that the seemingly quiet and serene behavior masked his boiling insides. He was like a volcano, dreaming for the future and a fighter in everything he did. It was understandable that he chose a stormy life, a life of lethal danger, a life of battles and wars. He, who loved life in all his being, was fated to die young. He, who so loved freedom, was always being persecuted and had to live underground. Fate sneered at him.

In 1938, illegal immigration began. It was organized by Beitar. Here, too, Shaul was among the first. He saved money from his job at the Ardel factory and he paid all expenses for the trip- without his parents' knowledge. When it came time to leave Shaul informed his parents in a simple way- “I am going to Eretz Israel”, as if it were a normal trip from Lida to Vilna. His parents begged him not to go, because they truly opposed his going, but he did not listen. They knew the danger involved in an illegal endeavor. Shaul respected his parents, but he said: “I am going.” It was the first time in his life that he rebelled against his parents and did not listen to them. He went quietly, saying goodbye to his parents and close friends. (Aliyah was illegal and everything was done in secret). The friends knew that Shaul was going to the front and that he would not disappoint then. He did not.

The ship meandered in the sea for a month and a half and no one could disembark. Finally, their luck turned and they reached Netanya. Shaul stayed there in order to continue helping with Aliyah of those who followed. Shaul joined Etzel and was a member of the Beitar unit. When the group left Netanya, he transferred to the Beitar unit near Jerusalem. There he learned the use of arms and military preparation. After a short time, when the British discovered the purpose of kibbutz, Shaul again had to leave.

He wrote the following to his parents: I am healthy and, in a kibbutz, and very happy. Only to his comrade Shmuel Rubinovitz z”l, did he write about events in Eretz Israel.

During the heated arguments about how to fight the British enslaver, during the split, Shaul left Etzel and joined Lehi. The dynamic man, a natural fighter wanted “something more”. Here, in Lehi, he was again the lively spirit. He came out whole out of every conflict thanks to his unusual talents. He was appointed commander of Lehi in Haifa in 1945.

Some time later, Shaul is caught and placed in prison in Mizra. He is later transferred to Latrun. In Latrun, he is again the lively spirit and becomes the representative of the prisoners. He is nicknamed “diplomat”. Shaul even became friends with the camp director. It is impossible not to love this wonderful young man. Shaul steals documents from the director's desk drawer and forges signatures for the underground. No one suspects him. Due to his diplomatic nature, he was able to hide everything.

The camp director tells him when the prisoners will be searched so they can hide whatever is illegal. Due to these friendly terms, it is possible to hide the tunnel being dug. Shaul manages to escape Latrun through this tunnel, together with twenty more prisoners. He hides, for a while, from the British Secret Police. Shaul is in charge of the Lehi printing press. He is the vice-commander of the combined Etzel-Lehi action on the train station in Lod.

Not much time elapses and Shaul is caught again, by accident, by Detective Martin. He thought Shaul was Menachem Begin… However, he is recognized as Shaul Galili, the tunnel digger and escapee from Latrun. He is sent to Eritrea. The British secret police could not forgive him his escape from Latrun and all other attacks that made fun of them. A bullet is directed towards him and he dies on 17.1.46.

This is how the life of a young hero ended. He came from Lida and was a member of Beitar. There is not even one book, published by former underground fighters, that does not mention Shaul's name with praise. Dr. Sheib, in his book “First Tithe”, Shmuelevitz- “In Red Days”, Yaakov Banai- “Anonymous Soldiers” and Meridor- “The road to Freedom is Long”, etc. Each one is full of wonder of this young man from Lida. His talents, courage and dedication to the underground and his comrades. Shmuelevitz, in his book “In Red Days”, writes: “I lost many friends in battle and more will fall. The heart aches for all of them, but Shaul, who participated in all battles and worked in building the underground and planned its war, was murdered when he was a prisoner in exile in Eritrea.

Courts for war criminals, where are you?”

These are the words of Shmuelevitz.

I believe that if we gather all materials from his friends and comrades, an entire book could be published about this wonderful and modest young man,

[Page 411]

Omri Ariav z”l

A. Lando

Translated by Sara Mages

 

 

Son of parents who were among the first Halutzim [pioneers] from Lida, his father Dov Ariav (Krupsky) z”l and his mother Bruriah, may she live long. He was born in 5685 (1927) in Kibbutz Ein Harod and in its atmosphere, an atmosphere of work and creation, he grew up and matured. In this environment, in the joint school of Ein Harod and Tel Yosef and in the family circle that he cherished and loved, he absorbed the spirit and devotion to the nation and its aspirations, and the individual's sense of responsibility to the society. He was a weak boy and was considered spoiled. But with a strong willpower he overcame the childhood weakness, became stronger and became a good athlete, especially in swimming, a sport he loved and excelled at.

When the recruitment for the Jewish Brigade began, in the Second World War, he stood up and suddenly announced his decision to enlist. Only after a lot of pleas from his parents he agreed to postpone the implementation of his decision until his graduation from high school. But, when he finished his studies in the twelfth grade he didn't want to wait any longer, and in 1945 he enlisted despite the opposition of the kibbutz members. In the army he also stood out as a good soldier even though he did not like the military manners and did not adhere to them. He was also a good friend and excelled in his willingness to help. When he arrived in Europe the war was already nearing its end. There, he came into first contact with the survivors of the broken and destroyed European Jewry. With great dedication he accompanied the convoys of exiled Jews on their journey to cross borders illegally, and considered it a privilege for himself, that he was also given the opportunity to participate in this rescue operation. With the disbanding of the brigade, he returned to Ein Harod and in 1946 started to work with the pen.

The year 1948 came - and Omri enlisted again, this time in the Israel Defense Forces. He did not turn to the sea, as expected by all who knew him, but - to the Air Force. And with his characteristic consistency he tried to acquire all the information he needed in his new assignment. He was sent to the first course for pilots, received his wings, and earned a name for himself as an excellent fighter pilot. He remained in the army until 1953, when he decided to start a family with his fiancée, Ziona. After he was released from the army, he started to work for the “Chimavir” company as a crop dusting pilot. He did not continue long in this service. The first jet planes arrived in Israel and excellent pilots were needed for the Air Force. Omri put on his uniform again and once again excelled in his role. But a disaster happened, on 19 Av 5714 (18 August 1954), during particularly difficult combat training, Omri's plane fell and crashed and with it the brave young pilot.

The Wing Commander, Colonel Ezer Weizman, wrote about him:

“Maybe it is not a coincidence that I was destined to fly with Omri the week before the accident. When he was with me, I had a sense of security because I knew that an excellent pilot, who could be trusted, would accompany me. From my experience as a pilot I learned that Omri was one of the rarest fighter pilots. The Air Force lost an excellent pilot and fighter, and I personally lost a friend to the profession and experiences.”

To complete Omri's character it is worth quoting his mother's words from the days of his childhood:

“He liked to listen to stories and often asked to read to him: In particular, he was attracted by stories about helping other, kindness, and the like.”

 

Shaul Zahavi z”l

His mother, Sara Snovsky-Zahavi

Translated by Sara Mages

 

 

Son of Sara Snovsky (Zahavi) from Lida (grandson of Mordechai and Ester Snovsky, hy”d). Fell on his guard in Umm-Qatef on 6.6.1967. Below are the details of his life and lines to his character from his mother, Sara.

Shaul was born in 1939 In Tel-Aviv and here he finished his studies. He had a gentle soul from his childhood, was sensitive to beauty and did not suffer any injustice. Everyone loved the quiet good young man. His friends called him “Golden Boy.” More than once he was sent home from school for the sins of another boy, but he protected the guilty friend and did not turn him in.

Upon his enlistment in the army in 1957, he served in the “Golani Brigade.” With an ease which surprised everyone, Shaul withstood all the difficult tests in his unit: ambush nights, protection, and daily patrols by the Syrian plateau. Every now and then Shaul's reconnaissance unit was attacked by fire from positions on the plateau. But his self-control and resourcefulness helped him get out of any difficult situation. He went through many courses and in all of them he stood out for his knowledge and his high ability.

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In the reserve duty he served in one of the elite units of the Israel Defence Forces, as a member of the Sayaret [reconnaissance unit], and was recognized and honored.

“The Sayaret was in his blood,” his friends told: “He always liked to visit new places and was the first to go on patrol. When we were sent as reinforcements, and the companies wanted someone good - they chose Shaul. Once on a lookout, on a hot, dry and scorching day, the patrol officer suddenly felt ill. Shaul noticed this and ran three kilometers in the sand to call for help, not paying attention to his fatigue and the oppressive heat.”

Everyone was impressed by his wide knowledge in geography, and for this reason he was sent to the various companies to lecture before their men about the expected combat zone.

“Everyone knew him as having enormous knowledge - his battalion commander said about him - but also as a person who should be appreciated for his modesty.”

On the eve of the outbreak of the Six Day War, he was called by phone to his unit. Due to his great dedication to his unit he did not have enough time to come say goodbye to his parents. We received several postcards from him full of poetry - and faith in victory if a war breaks out.

With the outbreak of the war he was the personal scout of the battalion commander. He fought inside the Egyptian defensive trenches and there he was mortally wounded. At dawn he died of his wounds.

He was a warrior who knew no fear, the first to charge against a shower of fire and lead, and the first to fall in the desert sands.

Everything fell, broke, a young life saturated with poetry, light and beauty was cut short. And the heart refuses to believe. And to whom the lines of Moshe Tabenkin, which Saul loved to read before me, are more beautiful:

Our boy was like the cliff of Gilboa
Was like the flight of its eagles, wonderful
Brave and bold and high, high,
Until his last moment against the enemy.

 

Dr. Moshe-Yerahmiel Ben-Sira z”l

Translated by Sara Mages

Was born in Tel-Aviv in 1927 to his father Yakov (immigrated to Israel from Lida in 1913), and to his mother Chaya. He studied at the “Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium,” and at the same time, for years, delved into Jewish studies with Rabbi Chechik. Later, he studied Mishnah and Talmud, Shulchan Aruch and the origins of prayer with HaRav Bar-Shaul z”l. Once a week he also studied Hebrew literature, religious and secular from the Middle Ages, with his grandfather, the author and educator, R' Pinchas Schiffman Ben- Sira z”l. He was a music lover and learned to play the piano with great success. His teacher was Frank Pelleg z”l, who continued to teach him for many years, even when he was already a lecturer and physicist researcher.

In the Palmach[1] company, to which he joined in 1947 upon graduation from the gymnasium (after two years in the Gadna[2] and the Haganah), he met his girlfriend Rachel née Gut, a graduate of “Rehavia Gymnasium” in Jerusalem, and a short time later married her. Due to a sprained elbow, and a slick[3] adventure (he was responsible for the slick in his company), he was released in February 1947 and entered the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During his marriage ceremony the echoes of the battle were already heard in the Old City of Jerusalem. The next day he was called to his position, to participate in the defense of the city.

 

 

With the end of the War of Independence, after completing his service in the Israel Defense Forces, he continued his studies, and in1954 graduated with a master's degree in physics. He was accepted as an assistant in the Faculty of Physics at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and took an active and valuable part in the establishment and expansion of its laboratories. In 1960 he was awarded a Doctor of Science degree by the Technion for his work: “The polarization processes in partially illuminated photoconductive insulators.” From October 1966 he was Vice Dean of the Faculty of Physics, and also a member of the Technion's Senate as a representative of the faculty. Participated in many international scientific congresses and left behind about twenty scientific studies.

In mid-May 1967, he was called to reserve duty in his unit in the Artillery Corps and, three weeks later, on 26 Iyar 5727 (5 June 1967), the first day of the Six Day War, fell in the line of duty. His death caused heavy mourning among all his colleagues in the scientific work, his friends and acquaintances, who respected him and predicted a great future for him. One of his friends, a veteran of the faculty, who raised Moshe's memory, appraised his personality:

“He loved teaching and saw it as a mission and vocation. He knew hundreds of students by their names and was always ready to help or give advice.

An energetic worker known among his friends for his energetic approach to every task he undertook.

He was a talented scientist and teacher with original thinking in many fields of practice and research.

A man who never stopped learning and in addition to physics, his main interest, he was interested in many fields of thought and practice.

He was loved by all his acquaintances. Participated in the parents' committees of the institutions in which his children were educated, and in aid and food committees for new immigrants from beyond the Iron Curtain. Organized study groups on Jewish wisdom. Had a wide musical background and was a gifted pianist. Was a gregarious person with a pleasant personality, and integrated into public life. A devoted father to his three children, Bruriah, Renana and Pinchas, and a devoted husband to his wife, Rachel.”

A special laboratory in the Physics Faculty of the Technion on the subject of his interest, in the establishment of which he was the driving force, was named after him. At the initiative of the family members, and those who admired him abroad, a special fund, in which the Technion also participates, was created in memory of Dr. M. Y. Ben-Sira. From its profits, an annual scholarship will be given to a student engaged in research towards a master's degree. The first scholarship was announced at a symposium held by the Faculty of Physics in his memory on the first anniversary of his death.


Translator's Footnotes

  1. The Palmach (lit. “Strike Companies”) was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community), during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine. Return
  2. Gadna is an Israeli military program that prepares young people for military service in the Israel Defense Forces. Return
  3. A slick (lit. “To remove”) is a type of hiding place for weapons. They were used by the militant Zionist groups operating in Mandatory Palestine. Return

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Moshe Rosenhaus (“Rosa”)

Eli

Translated by Sara Mages

 

 

On July 1967, Moshe Rosenhaus, son of our townswoman Genia Rosenhaus (Slutski), fell in battle on the banks of the Suez Canal. We bring lines to his character written by his classmate.

Everyone called him Rosa - all those who chased a ball with him across dirt fields, all those who ran with him a few minutes before the school bell rang, all those who sat with him on the back benches and learned by heart the first lines of “The Song of the Sea,” and all those who danced with him at the youth parties. Because Rosa is not just the name of a skinny smiling boy who lived there - in northern Tel Aviv, who is mounted on the saddle of an old red “mare” whose wheels squeak.

For the people to whom he shouted “everything is fine…!” Rosa is a figure - a figure of love.

Go, friends, go to Rosa and learn what love is. Love for every day born, laughter of love to the sun that caresses a new school day. Love of friends, and deep friendship, that they learned to love with him. Love of the little children who ran in the street. Love of the minutes and hours when joy washed over us. Minutes accumulated into hours, hours of conversation, hours of reading in libraries, hours of study, hours - to days, and days - to years. Years, in which the name of the skinny smiling boy became the name of a man, of a figure. A figure of love, a figure of truth.

Rosa was one of those human beings whose whole lives swim in a sea of truth. Look for a person who did not trust every deed, every word that came out of his mouth - you will not find him…

And if he stood with his fist clenched, angry and complaining about an injustice that had been done, after the settlement of the dispute he again laughed out loud again … “everything is fine - friends!”

“Everything is fine” for him. Everything is fine for all those that his hand patted their shoulders, a helping hand, an encouraging hand, and a hand that on Saturday afternoon waved at me and shouted: “Goodbye!”

Is there anything Rosa did not like?

We never saw him again. We only saw the black frames in the newspapers, frames that pierced our eyes like spears. Frames that closed one name: “Rosa.”

 

Dubi Eilat z”l

His sister Leah Eilat

Translated by Sara Mages

 

 

Son of Yona Eilat-Ilotovich, grandson of Grunia Szelubski née Szelubski of Lida (Szklana Street), died on his return from the Sinai two months after the end of the Six Day War, and was buried among the fallen soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. Lines to his character were written by his sister Leah.

Dubi was the most cheerful and lovable child in the neighborhood and our house was “the center of childhood.”

In the elementary school he was very successful in all subjects, and was always one of the best students in his class. He particularly excelled in essay writing, and in the 8th grade was commended for the best essay. Dubi excelled in his wonderful eloquence and reading his written work always gave us immense pleasure.

Dubi knew how to express himself not only in words, but - in drawings. Drawing was one of his hobbies. Although he did not deal with it much, but, when he dealt with it, he did it in the best way.

His main hobby was sports. He divided his love for sports into two: between football and basketball. When he was still a young boy he disappeared from home on Saturdays to watch his favorite games.

After graduating elementary school, and after a year in “Geola” high-school, he decided to abandon his theoretical studies and find something practical. He studied accounting, and after successfully completing the course he began working until the time of his enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces.

Dubi enlisted in the Israel Defence Forces a month before he turned 18, and after a while found himself in the Artillery Corps.

He went through the war together with his friends to the unit in the west bank of the Jordan River.

And then, about a month after the war, the order came to leave for the Sinai. Dubi left - and never returned.

During the six weeks he was there he wrote many letters home, and each one was written in his wonderful sense of humor. On the day, when our Dubi was supposed to come home from the Sinai, he lost his life: the train, which was supposed to bring him home, began to roll back some time before its departure and crushed him to death.

To this day it is hard for us to believe that Dubi is no longer with us. His black, laughing eyes still stand before our eyes, and it's hard, hard not to think about them.

 

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