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[Page 455]

Who Fought and Fell for Our Nation and Our Homeland


Dawid Lew, of blessed memory

Member of the Histadrut Committee, HeChalutz, in Ostrolenka
Born in Ostrolenka in the year 5664 (18.XI-1904)
He died the death of a hero, giving his life for the sake of the Homeland,
as a First Lieutenant in the Self-Defense Organization in Jerusalem,
on 19 Av 5689 (25.VIII-1929).

His memory is blessed!


Dawid Lew was an exemplary Zionist-pioneer figure.

He was the son of an outstanding Zionist father, one of the first Zionists and Hebrew teachers in Ostrolenka.

Anszel Lew, his father, was known in the city. His reputation preceded him. The behavior and honesty of his son, Dawid, both in the party (a leader of HaShomer HaTzair and HeChalutz) and in society, were exemplary. Like his father, he was a fervent Zionist; his dedication, heart and soul, to the Zionist ideal knew no bounds. The desire to emigrate to the Land of Our Fathers and build it did not weaken in Anszel Lew's home. The Zionist spirit prevailed in his home and hovered over all the members of his family. Dawid, his son, was fortunate enough to emigrate. As a member of the Haganah, devoted to the depths of his soul, and as a First Lieutenant in the company, he fell on that bitter day, a “burnt offering” for his nation and homeland.

His good friend, the actor Meir Margalit, mentions, among other things, in My Memories (see Homes and

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People): “Every meeting with Dawid became a source of great enjoyment for me. It would not be banal to say that he was the most ideal and the best among us.”

Dawid, the son of Reb Anszel Lew, was born in Ostrolenka in 1904, emigrated to Israel in 1925, was killed in 1929 and buried on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

May his memory be kept in our hearts!

Y. I.


Awigdor Kupferminc



He was born in Ostrolenka in 1896. In 1923, he emigrated to Israel. Even before World War I, in 1914, he aspired and planned to emigrate to Israel as his family's pioneer.

In his youth, he studied a great deal, and devoted himself in particular to the study of Hebrew and Judaism. At the end of the war, he worked as a Hebrew school teacher in a town near Rowne. In 1923, he realized his dream and emigrated to Israel. For a few years, he worked in Tel Aviv as a construction worker, and learned the plastering trade. The work did not satisfy him, because he aspired to settle the Land. He joined the Ein Vered organization and, with all its members, went there and became one of its founders.

Life was difficult at Hityashvut HaElef [Settlement of the Thousands, a plan to create farm holdings for 1,000 families] locations. The Jewish Agency budget was very small and there was no chance of developing a farm. To support his family, every member had to work outside the farm. At the end of a day's work outside, everyone tried to build their farms and prepare a source of support for the future. Awigdor was also forced to find himself a source of support for his family, as well as accumulate savings to develop his farm at Ein Vered. To this end, he left Ein Vered temporarily and moved to Tel Aviv. There, he found work as a plasterer and succeeded in saving money to build the family's house in Ein Vered. Cruel fate decreed that, at the outbreak of the events of 1936, he happened to be working on an Arab building in Jaffa. On 19 April, he was murdered by Arabs who attacked him with knives. He was survived by a daughter, Drora, and a grandson, Avigdor, named for him.

May his memory be blessed!

A. D.

Elchanan Wylozny

Anyone who knew Nir was stunned to hear the news of his death in the Negev campaigns. Nir's name became well-known in his last months. His reputation preceded him. In the Arava [Negev], his name was mentioned with reverence. Nir was the Hero of the Negev. To his family and friends, Nir was known as Elchanan. From a cub in the Beitar Youth and a soccer player on its team, Elchanan rose to the rank of “nest”

[Page 457]



commander. When World War II broke out, he was among the first recruits. After the war, he took part in the administration of the Soccer Department of Beitar Tel Aviv. He was active in Ma'amad and excelled in instruction. He was loved by his trainees and succeeded in instilling iron discipline in them. With the breakup of Etzel, he was recruited into a combat company and, at the end, headed a Gachal [Recruitment in the Diaspora] battalion. Despite difficult conditions, Elchanan knew how to elevate the soldiers' spirits; their admiration of their commander was limitless. Highly intelligent, he knew how to lead them from battle to battle and from victory to victory. In the end, Nir became famous as the conqueror of Hulayqat. This military outpost was captured by his battalion in a bayonet battle, face to face, in a strong assault, with the battle song Alei Barikadot [On the Barricades] on their lips. In this battle, as in others, he excelled in level-headedness and intelligence, and won the esteem of the Staff.

The story of his life and his war will be included in our generation's legends of bravery.

(From Niv HaLochem,
24 Heshvan 5709 [26 November 1948])


Elchanan joined Beitar at a young age. He excelled primarily in organizational talents and in his warm relations with friends and trainees. He established the “nests” in Ramat Gan and the Montefiore neighborhood.

Elchanan was married and the father of a daughter named Nira.


“I am beginning to be a soldier” …With these words, he began his diary – the diary of a Hebrew soldier.


Elchanan was drafted into Etzel. He rose in the ranks of command due to the great military experience he had gained in the British Army. Elchanan was a man of many deeds. In the short time he was in Etzel's ranks, he was an instructor, an organizer and the driving force of the Third Battalion. He was among those who took Jaffa, and his heroic deeds at that time were many. Everywhere, the name of Commander Nir was mentioned.


When Etzel's battalions broke up, Elchanan transferred to the Israel Defense Forces. He joined the glorious Givati Brigade, the brigade, which, with its heroic acts repulsed the Egyptian invader and paved the way to the Negev. Not a few of these heroic deeds are credited Elchanan. At the head of his company, he captured Hulayqat, the Egyptian stronghold.

He participated in many battles. Although he was injured more than once, he refused to stop his war. He did not heed the many requests of his friends to transfer to a service battalion. He listened to his conscience and returned to the battlefield even before his wounds scarred over. In one of the famous battles of Iraq- Su'widan, while preparing his soldiers for offensive warfare against the enemy, assaulting the Egyptian stronghold at the head of his soldiers, an enemy bullet struck him and the song of his heroism was cut off.


Elchanan Wylozny, the son of Mosze and Frida, was born in Ostrolenka on 10 August 1920. In 1927, he emigrated to Israel with his parents. He fell on 2nd

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November 1948, at Iraq al Manshiya. He was buried in Kfar Warburg.

May his memory be blessed.

(From “Pages in memory of Commander Nir, Captain Elchanan Wylozny, of blessed memory, who fell in Negev battles on 2 November 1948”)


Mosze Wylozny



I remember Mosze Wylozny during his childhood, when he studied at the Hebrew school (the Improved Heder – Yavneh) in Ostrolenka. We were classmates. His teachers liked him because he was a diligent student and excelled in his acumen. His friends liked him because of his constant cheerfulness, a quality he inherited from his grandfather, Reb Tuwja, one of the city's prominent citizens. He infected his teachers and classmates with his mischievousness, his smile and his laugh during lessons and playtime.

I remember Moshe as a youth, when his family moved to Lomza. We saw him as a faithful friend, because he was always ready to help, even though the possibility of doing so was limited. His loyalty and devotion were unblemished and, therefore, he was always esteemed in society. In all his actions and studies, he saw a kind of preparation and training for emigration to Israel. He was one of the fortunate ones, because his father's family was in Israel. He was the first, and one of the few in our society, in general, who succeeded in reaching Israel before the Holocaust. In this, too, he was an example for us.

I met him in Israel in 1938. In his conversation and personal plans, he was the same Mosze that he had been, but externally, there had been a change: he had grown, matured, his black eyes were deeper and his face was a bit more serious. It seemed as if he had ceased to enjoy the perfumed air of Israel. He was a member of the Haganah and, during the events of 1936-1939, he did not sit idly by. Sometimes he told us about his guarding adventures, without any hint of bragging. He remained lively and cheerful as he always was, with the addition of a large measure of enthusiasm and energy, and to all this – a strong love for the Homeland. Mosze was an active member of Bnei Akiva in Israel, and one of its main leaders. His work gained him a good reputation. He was the driving force of his circle of friends, active and activating, doing and encouraging. For a time, he worked at the HaTzofe newspaper, and then began to help his father at his factory for furniture and implements made of tin and iron.

In the strength of his spirit and the courage of his heart, Mosze was an example. More than once, he risked his life, carrying out daring Haganah actions. During the bloody days of 1947, when the Arabs in Jaffa attacked Tel Aviv and harassed its neighborhoods' inhabitants, Mosze went out – he was already married and the father of two children – to protect life and property and to repel the Arabs – and he was killed.

May his memory be holy and blessed!

Chaim Chamiel

[Page 459]

Szaczar Finkelsztejn

He was born in Tel Aviv on 5 Kislev 5693 (6 December 1932) to his parents, Awraham and Rosa Finkelsztejn, who educated him in the pioneering, working Zionist spirit.

In the beginning, he studied at the Beit HaChinuch LeYaldei HaOvdim [The House of Education for Workers' Children] and then transferred to the Carmel School in Tel Aviv.

From 1946, and until the beginning of the War of Independence, he was educated at the educational institution at Kibbutz Mizra. There, he became involved in society and joined the HaShomer HaTzair movement.

After the establishment of the State, and at the height of the War of Independence, the kibbutz sent those children who came from outside the kibbutz back to their homes. Immediately upon his return to the city, he contacted the movement (the HaShomer HaTzair “nest” on Bograshov Street) and was active and activating there. From then on, Shachar continued his studies at the Herzliya Gymnasium [secondary school]; however, after his stay at the kibbutz, it was difficult for him to adjust to the regimen at the Herzliya school.

He went to work as a draftsman for a famous architect, until he was recruited into the I.D.F. in the Nachal.

He received his agricultural training at Kibbutz Evron, where he took a course in tree planting at the agricultural college in the region; from there, he joined his friends at Kibbutz Sasa and became a member. He put down deep roots during his residence at Sasa. His activity was varied and rich.

At the end of his military service, he wanted to remain at the kibbutz, but after difficult deliberations, he decided to return to Tel Aviv, to continue his studies and to help his father with his work. After returning to the city, however, he did not cease his activity among his friends who left his kibbutz or other kibbutzim. With his friends, he founded the cultural circle Lehavot (known now as Lehavot Shachar).

A lively, keen youth, energetic and strong, he knew how to inspire his good and cheerful spirits in all his friends. He was a gentle soul, blessed with talents, who loved music, song and art.

In December 1955, he took external matriculation examinations, intending to enter the medical school at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In August 1956, he went into the army reserves, took a difficult course, and was posted as a soldier in the armored forces. In a short time, he was called to serve again – in the Sinai Campaign.

He fell in battle at Abu Agila on 27 MarCheshvan 5717 (1 November 1956). He was buried in the emergency military cemetery in “Shlach”, on the way to Nitzana.

On 17 MarCheshvan 5718 (6 November 1957), he was laid to rest in the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery.

May his memory be blessed.

The Family


[Page 460]

Parchments of Fire[1]

In memory of my son, Szaczar, who fell in the Sinai Campaign

Parchments of fire. Whispering parchments.
Whispering – of the mystery of man's soul.
Man – the image of God, a mixture of feelings.
Feelings – not yet dead and silenced.

And silenced! – in his place – parchments of fire.
Fire blazing in the heart of the bereaved.
The bereaved – who has lost what was dearer than being,
Than being – what he had yesterday.

From yesterday – when he had continuity and a future.
And the future is – suddenly cut short.
Cut short – and ended. And a perpetual candle is lit,
A perpetual candle – parchments of fire from now on.

Rosa Finkelsztejn

Tel Aviv
Four years after the Sinai Campaign
27 Cheshvan 5717 – 5721

(Al HaMishmar, 17/11/60)


  1. Parchments of Fire, a project perpetuating the memory of soldiers who have fallen in Israel's wars, collects writings about them. Return


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