Wednesday, April 13, 2011

News: Memorial Held for Convert Who Died Fighting for the Founding of Israel

"Today" (Already Wednesday in Israel), there is a memorial for a Jewish convert who died in the service of the Irgun in 1948. The Irgun was a "rogue" paramilitary force in Israel during the days of its founding.

Learn your history! And who else but the Jews would manage to not even unite for self-defense in the land of Israel? Not true anymore, of course, but the story of Israel's founding is incredibly interesting, no matter where you stand on the political and/or theological consequences. My favorite quote to use to describe the founding (and continued existence) of the state of Israel: "In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles." - David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of the state of Israel.

And more vaguely cynical analysis: The article is titled "Memorial to Be Held for Irgun Fighter Who Converted to Judaism." Once again, a convert is a Jew. Plain and simple. Yet that's the adjective that people will continue to use to define us, even 63 years later. A curiosity or an inspiration? The truth is in the eye of the beholder.

1 comment:

  1. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    To be fair, conversion was lot rarer then, and conversion from Islam remains uncommon even today.

    Being a big fan of Irgun-Lechi memorials and literature, I had heard of Barouch Mizrachi before, but this is more info than I found in the pamphlet that mentions his name and story. Honestly, had I known about it before, or had more boys, it's likely I would have named a son for him. We DO have a resposibility to look out for our "lantzmen" (Yiddish for "fellow countrymen") from Ur-Kasdim.

    Unfortunately, a truly scholarly and readable history of the Underground fighters has not yet been written. though there are juicy and inspiring tales published here and there, mostly in Hebrew. When translated, it's usually done badly, and it's a pity.

    Most of these fighters are remembered by their families and fellow fighters, if at all. In this, Baruch Mizrachi is no different than most veterans of the pre-state underground, except that we are all the family he has. And perhaps we should know that.