NAME: Ben-David Yoseph

LEHI ALIAS: Ezra

DATE OF BIRTH: April 11, 1920

DATE OF DEATH: September 11, 1973

Yoseph, named after Yoseph Trumpeldor, was born on seventh day of Passover 1920 in Jerusalem, to  Esther and Yitzchak, pioneers from Russia.They resided in Jerusalem several years: the parents built a hut in the city, raised flowers and animals, did agriculture. Aged six, his family moved to Nachalat-Yehuda. At 16, the 1936 Arab Riots erupted; he joined the British constables. Afterwards he joined Etzel. He participated in smuggling “illegal” immigrants in through the Lebanese border. After Etzel’s operation against Arab rioters 1937, he was first  arrested, sent three months to Akko Prison. When Etzel split he was among the first to join Lehi, 1940. Sometimes he returned home injured, having encountered a Haganah ambush. At home, weapons came and went. In the nearby orchard  new caches were dug. Those were dark days in which we, who dreamt of Israel’s renewed rebirth in its homeland, were  scorned, by  non-believers from amongst our people. Much courage and faith were needed for an anonymous Lehi soldier to stand up and fight a powerful foreign occupier.

The arrests included brutal interrogations. Then came a year in prison, release, and again  prison in Mizra, Tsrifin, and Latrun. From there he was exiled with the first shipment of 251 prisoners to Africa, October 19, 1944 and stayed at prison camps in Sambal (Eritrea), Carthago (Sudan), again Eritrea then Gilgil (Kenya). After establishment of the State, he returned with the last exiles July 12,1948. At the end of the War of Independence, he established a private farm. He contributed to the country’s agricultural developement from his broad knowledge. Among the founders of the Conservation Dept. (Ministry of Agriculture) and served as Agricultural Instructor nationwide for Kibbutzim and new immigrants’ settlements in  developing areas. He also instructed representatives from developing countries. In the IDF, recognised for his multiple talents and  mastery of English and Arabic, he was appointed  Officer administering the Agricultural sector under Military Rule after the Sinai Campaign and Six-Day War. Yoseph passed away September 11,1973. He left a wife: Nira nee Zeitsov and children Esther, Hadar and Meirav.

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