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[Page 205]

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[Page 206]


Translated by Yael Chaver

Translator's Footnote:

  1. Pp. 206–215 (except for the last section on p. 215) are translated from Hebrew. Return


[Page 207]

Beyle Yoshpeh

The widow of Yekhiel Yoshpeh (may his memory be for a blessing), wife and mother of a respected Zinkov family. The head of the family was member of the community council of the town, and active in all communal affairs, especially during the years of the civil war, when regimes would constantly change; the Petlyura army gangs would come to town and occasionally demand a ransom–money and food – and threaten the townspeople with slaughter and murder. More than once, he risked his life when meeting with the murderous hetmans.[1] Typhus was rampant in our region in 1919; he died of the disease, aged 49. His wife Beyle was then a young widow with five children, who worked hard to sustain the family. Her son Nachum was in the first group of pioneers that emigrated to Eretz–Yisra'el in 1920. She and her other sons emigrated in 1926, with the exception of Yosef, who stayed in Russia and secretly continued his Zionist work until the end of 1927. She was a devoted, dedicated mother, who loved to help her children – farmers and construction workers alike. She was bedridden in her last years, and left this life at age 77. May her memory be for a blessing.


Beyle Yoshpeh,
may her memory be for a blessing


Translator's Footnote:

  1. Hetman was the title of Cossack commanders. Return

[Page 208]

Yekhiel–David (Khilik),
son of Nakhum Yoshpeh

(may his memory be for a blessing)


Khilik Yoshpeh
(may his memory be for a blessing)


There is much to say about Khilik (may his memory be for a blessing), who had barely lived when he was killed.

The Israel Army Archive section that commemorates fallen soldiers contains a file with reminiscences about Khilik (may his memory be for a blessing) offered by his teachers, friends, and commanders. Below are extracts from the section about him in the Ministry of Defense's Yizkor book.

“Yekhiel–David (Khilik) Yoshpeh, son of Nakhum and Rivka, was born on May 1, 1930, in moshav Merhavya.[1] His two first names commemorate his grandfather Yekhiel (may his memory be for a blessing), a Zionist in his Ukrainian town, who died during the Petlyura period, and his uncle David, another fervent Zionist, who died en route to Eretz Yisra'el. He was the only son of a farming family, and hoped to continue this work. He started school in his small moshav, then transferred to the regional school where he graduated from 10th grade. He was a leader among his school friends, and though he was often mischievous, his teachers loved him and appreciated his gifts and thirst for knowledge. After he finished school, he developed a deep love of nature; he then enrolled in Mikve–Yisra'el, where he devoted himself to the study of agriculture.[2] He was the center of the student group; handsome, strong, cheerful, and inspiring.

“When Israel's War of Independence broke out, Khilik (as he was called) had to quickly end his studies. The core group planning a new agricultural settlement, of which he was a founder, was organized in Mikve–Yisrael and moved to Kibbutz Geva to serve in the Palmach.[3] He was released for a period in order to help on his parents' farm. He loved the work and planned far–reaching improvements for the farm, but had to leave a few days later, as he was called up for military duties. After the kibbutz settlements of Sha'ar HaGolan and Masada were abandoned due to the war, the Arabs started plundering their property and trucking it away.[4] Khilik and his comrades chased the robbers and caught a truck full of stolen property. However, the Arabs tracked them and they barely managed to escape. Khilik was wounded in the arm and leg, but was able to get away unaided. He was sent to the Tiberias hospital, but before he was sent home to complete his recovery, he went to see his injured friends at the Tsrifin base. He did not come home for the rest of his leave, feeling that his wound was not severe enough to keep him at home at a time when every fighter counted. His friends said that his presence gave them a sense of security and faith. He joined a unit with his friends from school and the kibbutz, and fought with them again. During the “Danny” operation, on the Ramallah–Latrun road, he was injured in the neck.[5] He refused water, asking that it be given to those more seriously wounded.

“As they were retreating, he and the two who were helping him were hit by a shell. All three were killed.

[Page 209]

All three were buried in a single grave at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.[6] May his soul be bound up in the binding of life!”

We would like to add to the account of the Ministry of Defense:

When Khilik turned 13, he would sometimes come home and ask his mother: “Please give me a hat. I'd like to help the old folks to pray and join the minyan.” Khilik (may his memory be for a blessing) grew up in an atmosphere of disturbances and war.[7] At age 14 he was active in the Palmach youth force. At 18, he continued his studies at Mikve Yisra'el, but his heart wasn't in his studies. He was one of those who demanded that the school year be shortened, due to the emergency. When he came home for Passover in 1948, he couldn't sit still. When his mother reasoned with him, saying that he was her only son, he said that each person was an only son in his own right, and no one would survive without defending others. When his mother pointed out that some people stayed home, or were able to avoid going into battle, he answered simply, “They are not models for me.” Khilik was very close to his home and his beloved parents, but saw it as his duty to defend the homeland, realizing that he needed to defend his people, his land, his village, his farm, and his parents. A person must defend his homeland himself, not by way of delegates. He fulfilled this duty to the end. May his memory be blessed!

Translator's Footnotes:

  1. A moshav is a cooperative farming community. Return
  2. Mikve–Yisra'el was the first Jewish agricultural school in then Ottoman Palestine, established in 1870. Return
  3. Members of the Palmach (the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Zionist Jewish community during the period of the British Mandate) combined military training, agricultural work, and Zionist education, in the framework of an existing kibbutz. Return
  4. Sha'ar HaGolan and Masada were at the foot of the Golan Heights, in northern Israel. The defenders of both settlements retreated, due to lack of reinforcements, after attacks by Syrian forces in May, 1948. Return
  5. The “Danny” operation took place in July 1948, with the intention of relieving the Jewish population and forces in Jerusalem, then under siege by Arab forces. Return
  6. Mt. Herzl, on the western outskirts of Jerusalem, is a national memorial and educational site. It is the location of the main Israel Defense Forces cemetery. Return
  7. Confrontations between Jewish and Arab groups in 1936–1939 are known in English as the Arab Revolt, and in Hebrew as the Events. Return

Eliezer Shvartsman
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He came to Eretz–Yisra'el in 1922 with his wife, in order to join his brother Yisra'el and help build the new Zionist community. He created a family here, and brought up his children with fine national and Zionist values. When his children grew up, they were a credit to our nation: during the early months of the State of Israel, his son was the first pilot to fly the planes from Czechoslovakia, and later became a flight instructor.[1] He is now a colonel in the Israel Air Force. Eliezer Shvartsman's daughters are married to high–ranking engineers and officials; one is a teacher. Throughout his life in Israel he did all he could to build up the community, and was a guard and defender. He fought in the defense of Haifa and witnessed the founding of the State of Israel and its development. A faithful provider, he secretly gave charity to those in need. During his final illness, he made sure that his wife would have a livelihood and not be dependent on her children, loving and devoted though they were. He died on the seventeenth day of Sivan, 5725 (June 17, 1965), at age 66. May his memory be blessed!

Translator's Footnotes:

  1. In 1948, Czechoslovakia sold fighter planes to Israel, bypassing the U. S. arms embargo. Return

[Page 210]

Fanny Yoshpeh–Grabelski
(may her memory be for a blessing)

Fanny was the daughter of Yekhiel Yoshpeh (may his memory be for a blessing), who was known in the town as Yekhiel–Itzi, Manish's son. The family had lived in Zinkov for generations; Yekhiel was renowned for his lineage and learning; he was a long–standing Zionist and community member. He died unexpectedly in 1919, at age 49.

Fanny was born in 1901, the only daughter in the family and sister to four brothers. She grew up in comfortable circumstances and studied with excellent private tutors: Aharon Shenkelman taught her Hebrew, and Asher Alterman taught her Bible. She continued her studies in Proskurow, and twice avoided death during the pogrom that affected that city's Jews.[1] Fanny was not active in community matters in Zinkov, as she was too young to participate in the youth groups. But her education at home led to her desire to emigrate to Eretz–Yisra'el, which she did in 1921.

As is known, the British stopped all immigration to the country in May, 1921. When Fanny reached Kantara, on the Egyptian border, she was detained by the British authorities; it was only thanks to the intervention of Dr. Wallach, the director of Sha'are Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem, that she was allowed to enter the country for six weeks, as a tourist.[2] Of course, she stayed in the country, and worked to help all her family members to immigrate as well.

Fanny was one of the first students in the Henrietta Szold School of Nursing, but she preferred working in early childhood education. She completed her studies in the Kindergarten Teachers' College, and was very successful at this work during her first years in Jerusalem. She and her husband were among the first settlers in the Rechavya neighborhood in Jerusalem.[3] She was beautiful and gentle, modestly behaved, and always ready to help others. Her life was full of distress: she took care of her mother for many years, her husband was seriously wounded during the fighting in Jerusalem, and his health remained poor. Fanny devoted herself to his care to his last day. She was widowed at a young age, never complained, and found comfort in her work in the Organization of Working Mothers.[4] She died after a long, serious illness, and left one surviving son. May her memory be blessed!

Translator's Footnotes:

  1. A deadly pogrom broke out in Proskurow in February, 1919, in which 1,500 Jews were massacred. Return
  2. The British Mandate authorities restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine in March, 1921. Sha'are Tzedek hospital, founded in 1901 by Dr. Moshe Wallach, was the first modern hospital in the country. Return
  3. The Rechavya neighborhood was built outside the walls of the Old City in the early 1920s. Return
  4. This womens' organization was founded in 1921, and ran day–care centers, among other activities. Return

[Page 211]

Aharon and Necha Frenkel
(may their memory be for a blessing)

Aharon Frenkel (may his memory be for a blessing) immigrated to Eretz–Yisra'el in 1924, along with his son Netanel (may he live long). He settled in Rishon LeZion and started a small farm on the outskirts of the town. His wife Necha (may her memory be for a blessing) arrived in 1925 with their other three children (may they live long). The farm supplied them with a living for many years. They were overjoyed when the sons, daughters, and many pioneers from Zinkov would celebrate holidays in their home. Aharon died at age 72. His wife Necha died at a ripe old age, 14 years later. She witnessed the establishment of Israel, and was survived by sons and daughters, grandchildren and great–grandchildren. May their memory be blessed!


Yosef Vartsman
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He immigrated in 1924, worked for a time in construction, in Haifa, and switched to clerical work in Tel Aviv. He witnessed the establishment of Israel, and was survived by a daughter. May his memory be blessed!


Veli Zaltzman
(the daughter of Yosl Arkis, may her memory be for a blessing)

She immigrated in 1925, together with her daughter Yehudit and her son Ya'akov. They joined her sons Fishl and Moyshe (may they live long). She lived for several more years and died at a ripe old age. May her memory be blessed!


Aharon Shenkelman, his wife Yenta,
and their daughter Sarah

(may their memory be for a blessing)

They apparently immigrated in 1925, spent several years in Eretz Yisra'el, and suffered from illnesses that caused their untimely deaths. Aharon was learned, pleasant, and loved company; he was a scholar and an expert on Hebrew. All who knew him appreciated and valued him. See, in this book, the article “Aharon Shenkelman, My Master and Teacher,” by Y. R. His wife, Yenta, was his faithful partner through good and bad during their lives. She ran the household efficiently and was a devoted caregiver to their ill daughter. May their memory be blessed!


[Page 212]

Aba (son of Moshe) Nesis
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He immigrated in 1923, worked in construction in Haifa, and traveled with the Frenkel family to Rishon LeZion for Pesach on 1925. After the holiday he was traveling to Haifa in a car driven by an Arab. The car overturned and killed him, at age 23. May his memory be blessed!


Zev Nesis
(may his memory be for a blessing)


Zev Nesis
(may his memory be for a blessing),
died in America


Polya Goldenberg, neé Fayerman
(may her memory be for a blessing)


Polya Goldenberg, née Fayerman
(may her memory be for a blessing)


She immigrated in 1924, with her husband Shlomo, and had a son and daughter whom she brought up to love the country. May they live long! Her son Ya'akov is a senior officer in the Israel Army. She witnessed the establishment of Israel, and died in December 1948. May her memory be blessed!

[Page 213]

Mendl Vaysman
(may his memory be for a blessing)


Mendl Vaysman
(may his memory be for a blessing)


Died in Israel in 1956

He immigrated in 1922, with the second group of pioneers from Zinkov, and worked at road–building and construction. Later, he joined a transportation cooperative and eventually headed the organization. He witnessed the establishment of Israel. He died in 1956, following a brief illness. May his memory be blessed!


Moshe Gornik
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He was exiled from Zinkov to Siberia because of his Zionist activity, and emigrated from there in 1930. He worked in construction in Haifa, and later established a farm in the Bet She'arim moshav. He witnessed the establishment of Israel. He died after a long illness, survived by two sons and a daughter. May his memory be blessed!


Rachel Raydman (daughter of Moshe),
Chaim's son and her son Ya'akov

(may their memory be for a blessing)

Her son, Ya'akov (may his memory be for a blessing), immigrated before she did and brought her over. She enjoyed her last years in his home. She died at a ripe old age and was survived by children, grandchildren, and great–grandchildren in Russia. Her son Ya'akov witnessed the establishment of Israel. He died several years after his mother and is survived by his wife Masha, who runs the household according to family tradition. May their memory be for a blessing!


[Page 214]

Mendl Kurtzman
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He immigrated with the first group of pioneers from Zinkov, on April 3, 1921. Upon his arrival he joined Gedud Ha–Avoda, founded, among others, by Yehuda Kopelevitch.[1] Shortly afterwards he was injured by a trolley while working at Nuris, near En Harod. The resulting infection caused his death a few days later. He was 20 years old. May his memory be blessed!

Translator's Footnotes:

  1. Gedud Ha–Avoda (“Labor Battalion”) was a Zionist–Socialist work group (1920–1927), with the goals of labor, settlement, and defense. Return


Shlomo (son of Yekhiel) Shapiro
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He immigrated in 1921 and worked at road building in Tzrifin. One day, at work, he started running a high fever, and was taken at the end of the day to the “Hadassah” hospital. His surgery revealed that he had a severe intestinal illness; he died the same day, because of faulty diagnosis and proper care in the hospital. He was 20 years old. May his memory be blessed!


David Feldman (the carpenter)
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He immigrated with his wife and children in 1921 and settled in Jaffa. His trade provided him and his family with a good living. He was an observant Jew, whose house always welcomed pioneers from Zinkov. He died only a few years after immigrating. His wife Pearl brought up the children according to her husband's wishes. May his memory be blessed!


Dov (Berl) Soliternik
(may his memory be for a blessing)


Dov (Berl) Soliternik
(may his memory be for a blessing)


He immigrated with the second group of pioneers and was one of the first members of Gedud Ha–Avoda, with whom he worked building roads in the Jezreel Valley. After some time his leg was injured, and he had to find a different direction for his pioneering spirit.

[Page 215]

He joined the first class of the Hebrew University, completed his M.A. studies cum laude and carried out research on ancient Greek and Greece. He then was sent to Estonia, where he married, and later returned to Eretz–Yisra'el. As an educator, he served as the vice–principal of Bialik School, then considered the best school in Tel Aviv. He died in 1939, at age 36, and was survived by his wife and two children. May his memory be blessed!


Sonia Yoshpeh
(may her memory be for a blessing)

She was the daughter of Chaim–Baruch Vartsman, an important Zinkov family, and immigrated with her husband Menachem and their two–year–old daughter. They spent their first year at her brother–in–law, Nachum's, farm in Merhavya. Sonia was happy to do her part in the hard farm labor. They moved to Jerusalem in 1927. She soon became seriously ill, and died young. May her memory be blessed!


Shimon Saliternik
(may his memory be for a blessing)

He immigrated in 1921, with the first group of pioneers from Zinkov, immediately joined Gedud Ha–Avoda and was very active there. After many struggles, he was able in 1923 to bring over his parents, Ben–Tziyon and Yetta, as well as his sisters Etya and Bracha. In Eretz Yisra'el he was active in Gedud Ha–Avoda, the Ben–Shemen youth village, and the housing company. His 36 years of life in the country were marked by many community efforts. May his memory be blessed!


(may her memory be for a blessing)

Malka, the youngest daughter of the cart-driver, was horribly murdered by the Nazi killers. Her husband, an official of the Soviet government who ran a pharmacy that the Nazis needed, was allowed to live. However, he could not continue living after Malkaleh's death. He committed suicide by setting fire to the pharmacy; he died in the flames.


(may God avenge her blood)


[Page 216]

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