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September 29, 1989 - Image 79

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CELEBRATING OUR

53RD YEAR
SIM AMADEUS UAIFIUL)/

OF DETROIT...

cigarette, she adds, "None of
my books whitewash the
truth. They expose feelings,
fears, torture . . . the cruelty
of war."
Ben-Yehuda is marked by a
common guilt; the guilt of the
living. But during the years of
the ragtag army, when
Palmach fighters were lucky
to have one hot meal a week
and usually survived on half
an egg, one sardine, and a
couple of pieces of bread a day,
it was this guilt that
motivated her to continue
fighting.

I

('

But as much as she was
part of the fight for a Jewish
state, she also had an out-
sider's view of the battlefield.
Always a loner and non-
conformist, she was not
ideologically a Palmach
member. She remembers, "I
envied them in a way. They
had such camaraderie. They
did everything together .. .
even dressed alike. And it was
this espirit de corps that gave
them their strength."
She was set even further
apart as one of the few women
to continue fighting after
others had been removed
from combat positions. Ruffl-
ing through parched and
yellowed newspaper clippings
from the 1940s, she remarks
that subordinates often
disliked taking orders from a
women and that superiors
were overly critical: "A
woman has to constantly pro-
ve herself and be prepared to
be blamed for whatever goes
wrong. This is too much of a
handicap to go into battle
with."
Ben-Yehuda did, however,
have a notorious reputation
with the enemy. The Syrians
called her the "Blond Devil,"
a name by which she is still
affectionately known in
Israel, and offered a reward
for her capture. The Arab ar-
mies were shocked and in-
censed to be confronted by a
woman on the battlefield.
Ben-Yehuda says, "To be kill-
ed by a Jewish woman was
too humiliating. The sight of
me on the battlefield increas-
ed their rage."
Now, as she looks back over
the years at Israel's many
wars, she sees the struggle for
independence as the worst of
all Israel's battles. "You can't
imagine the uncertainty of
those years," she says.
But remembering the suc-
cess, a smile crosses the still-
youthful face and she says,
"We knew we were making
history, but most of all, what
kept us going was the
knowledge that after 2,000
years we were going to have
a state of our own." ❑

World Zionist Press Service

WISH ALL THEIR

CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYEES,
DISTRIBUTORS & SUPPLIERS

ti.,M-ItNA

SIEWAUDIDIUIVS

REMEMBERING YOUR HEALTH
AND HERITAGE WITH
EUROPEAN STYLE BREAD AND
ROLLS, MADE WITH NATURAL
INGREDIENTS AND
PRESERVATIVE FREE

SERVING THE METROPOLITAN DETROIT AREA
SUPERMARKETS, DELI'S & RESTAURANTS

31Q13-41-11SIG

JANET RANDOLPH, MOE SELL

& STAFF

WISH ALL OF OUR FRIENDS

'A HAPPY & HEALTHY NEW YEAR"

book
comens

first center building • suite 115
26955 northwestern highway
southfield, michigan 48034
phone: 313 / 262-1560

MARSHALL
STERN
PHOTOGRAPHY

HAPPY NEW YEAR
FROM THE STERNS
Marshall & Jill
Seth, Edward & Scott

1

OR
11111 41


661-8286

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

79

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