May 29, 1948, the IAF/Machal's first combat operation occurred here. The four planes from Squadron 101 were all the fighters the Air Force had. The surprise attack significantly helped the Givati and Negev brigades halt the Egyptian column advancing toward Tel Aviv. The pilots were Lou Lenart (U.S.A.), Modi Alan, Ezer Weizman (Israel), and Eddie Cohen, K.I.A. (South Africa). Machal were volunteers from abroad who came to help their brothers in trouble. Their contribution to the birth of the State of Israel was decisive.
Restored Gravesite of Shmuel Cohen and his wife - Rishon LeZion
Cohen’s grave and that of his wife Mina buried next to him, have been permitted to disgustingly, shamefully, disintegrate into uncaring ugliness. The graves were in imminent danger of complete collapse. If Israel did not care to remember, to honor, to preserve with respect and kavod the resting place of the Composer of the Hatikvah, Diaspora did. JASHP resolved to repair the Cohens’ graves. JASHP has had extensive experience working in Israel doing projects of forgotten honor, remembering the past to shape the future and rebuild our historic kesher. We know better, from unpleasant experience, not to ask for money. JASHP agreed to fund the Cohen restoration.
Robert Avrech, the Emmy Award winning screen writer, wrote about Joan Winters’ in his blog; that is where I first learned about her. Avrech wrote, (her life) “reads like the plot of a movie. A young, beautiful, restless American showgirl travels to the exotic east where she finds intrigue, romance—and a violent death.” Joan was murdered late in October 1933. Her body was found near the Garden of Gethsemane in an olive grove. It was a frightening time in Jerusalem and all of Palestine. Arab rioting against the Jews and the British had, violently, bloodily, and terrifyingly, flared up again. Winters was almost 24.
Glenn King had died three weeks earlier in a horrific air crash. His C-46 lumbered down the runway of Mexico City , one engine began spitting and smoking as the plane strained to get off the ground. The ship clawed at the thin air, overloaded with a cargo of weapons bound for Israel before American FBI agents could stop them.
Trumpeldor cemetery is a pantheon of who was who in Zionist history. To walk among the stones, you walk among history. You touch meaning and belief. You touch the past and the present at the same time. The cynic who said that cemeteries were full of replaceable people was wrong. Doctors, Lawyers, writers, teachers, leaders, founding fathers, a signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, judges, artists, singers, soldiers, poets, even the Second Prime Minister of Israel, Moshe Sharett, people from all over the high of pre-State Palestinian and modern Israeli society are buried in Trumpeldor.
Herzl wrote in his diary that Nordau did not fully understand the Zionist message until after his speech at the Second Zionist Congress. Herzl was very wrong. Nordau understood the meaning, the importance of Zionism better than Herzl. Dr. Nordau saw the degenerative effects of anti-Semitism on Jewish life. He did not know what do to. Dr. Nordau diagnosed the disease but did not have the tools to fix the problem
“Political Zionism, and the modern state of Israel, was largely born from the fierce will of Theodor Herzl. Were it not for a Christian, Herzl would have remained an eccentric, obscure Austrian writer, long forgotten by now. It is Rev. Hechler, and the Zionist debt to him, that is forgotten.”
Hans Herzl took his life September 15, 1930. His final wishes were to be buried with his sister Pauline. The Zionist caretakers of the Herzl legacy and his children twisted the arms of the resistant orthodox community and had him buried in the Jewish cemetery. They recognized that he, like his sisters, his mother and his father, suffered from severe mental illness. They also recognized that it was best to bury him, move on quickly and keep his story as secret as possible.
The great Zionist early 20th century historian, Nahum Sokolow said, "Daniel Deronda paved the way for Zionism". The novel was a "literary preparation for the Balfour Declaration." It was more than a literary preparation for the Balfour Declaration it was a masterpiece affirming Jewish national identity that stirred the hearts of millions of Christians and Jews alike. The novel gave words, gave legitimacy, gave spirit to the Jewish soul seeking a path, a reason to return to their ancestral homes, to adopt what later became known as Zionism.
As a last desperate act to focus an uncaring world’s attention on the increasingly known extermination of European Jewry, Zygielbojm dramatically took his own life. The world in 1943 cared for a few days and moved on.
It does not matter if it was a murder or an assassination. It does not matter if his killers were Jewish or not. The death of Chaim Arlosoroff ripped fissures in Zionist unity that have never healed. Jew upon Jew political violence is rare. Tragically, it is not unknown. It has happened more than once. The passions that caused it are rooted in the fears and the desires of those involved.
What is that man doing? Koenig demanded of Liebmann. Liebmann told the French General that British regulations did not let them fly their flag, the blue and white flag with the Star of David. The British did not want to see it. An instant command was barked. General Koenig ordered the soldier to stop folding the flag. Koenig ordered it placed on the front of his Jeep to fly next to and equal to the flag of France.
Israel does not officially claim him. Some Israeli government sources say he flew as an Israeli yet still suggesting he may or may not have been Jewish.23 The preponderance of evidence suggest he was. But until a genealogical study is done is cannot be absolutely determined. One fact remains irrefutable, he was the first RAF ace born in British Mandate Palestine – Modern Israel.
The Latin Nostra Aetate means “In Our Time.” Nostra Aetate was a declaration, with immense implications for Jews and other faiths, issued at the conclusion of Vatican II, December 8, 1965. The Catholic Church no longer held Jews collectively responsible for the death of Jesus.
Perhaps, some Jews argue, the trauma of the millennia of abuse should be understood positively. We know the meaning of oppression and hopelessness. We know that unless we, the strong, reach out to help the weak, there will never be a peace.
The lands that encompassed Sarona have changed hands many times. When first sold to the Templers by the local Greek Monastery, for huge profits, it was a malarial marshland that had to be reclaimed. To establish their Kingdom of God in Palestine, the Templers drained the marshland and made it bloom with the fragment smell of the Jaffa orange. War and the rapid expansion of the Jewish city of Tel Aviv; Sarona engaged in exploitative land profiteering. Ultimately, because of the very strong cultural identity of the Templers as Germans, large numbers of them became active Nazis in Palestine.
In 1992, a Torah was requested by Beit Tshuvah. Torah #773 traveled to LA were it was lovingly placed into the Holy Ark of Beit Tshuvah's community. It once again radiated light, love and life back to people who had, like the Torah, encountered an evil that sought their death. Together, the Beit Tshuvah Torah on permanent long term loan to the community lives, as it together with the people, return to the living.
"The model of Sinai awakens the Jewish people to the awesome responsibility of becoming a holy people. At Sinai, we discover the absolute demand of God; we discover who we are by what we do. Sinai calls us to action, to moral awakening, to living constantly with challenges of building a moral and just society which mirrors the kingdom of God in history. Sinai creates humility and openness to the demands of self-transcendence. In this respect, it is the antithesis of the moral narcissism that can result from suffering and from viewing oneself as a victim."
What if a Jew could go back in time and stop Hitler. What if a Jew could go back, change the course of history, prevent the Holocaust. What if the deaths of the six million never happened? The one and one half million innocent children butchered so blithely, by the Nazis and their eager supporters, would be saved. Not only would the children be saved but their children and their children's children would be living today. The Jewish world would be so different. Israel would not exist.