NAME: Cohen-Meguri, Yehudit

LEHI ALIAS: Hemda

DATE OF BIRTH: December 1932

DATE FALLEN: November 12, 1947

Yehudit was born on Hanukkah, in December 1932, to Shulamit (of Yemenite origin, born in Zikhron Yaakov) and Aaron (who made aliyah in the 20s from Yemen). There were five other children: Hayim, David, Zillah, Itamar and Meira.

The family drifted to Herzliya and Raanana looking for sources of income, until they ended up in Tel Aviv’s Neve Zedek neighborhood. This is where Yehudit grew up, studying in the HaShahar elementary school and graduating with honors, then continuing to Herzliya Gymnasium, earning a stipend as an outstanding student.

Yehudit was beloved by her friends for her modesty and eagerness to help others. Her hobbies were reading and writing. Her poems and essays were well-regarded among her teachers and friends. Unfortunately, her works, which she handed over to Lehi, were lost.

Even though her family was nationalist — her brothers were IZL members — her parents were opposed to her Lehi membership, which they only discovered accidentally. As her mother said, “They want to fight too much.” They kicked her out of the house for a few months, but Yehudit would not relent. Finally, they invited her back, even though they were unhappy with her underground activities. There was a truce, as it were, they would try to restrain her underground activities, while she tried to conceal them. When they hid her clothing and shoes, she showed up to meeting, on a rainy day, in a thin shirt and khaki shorts, barefoot. When HaNoar HaOved youths broke her hand while she was putting up posters in Givatayim, she told her parents that she had fallen off her bicycle.

When she went to a course in Raanana, Yehudit camouflaged this by saying that she had gone with her classmates to volunteer at Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov, in which her mother’s uncle, Yosef Oded, was a member. Her parents bought her suitcase and work clothes for this purpose. About a week later, two young Lehi men arrived at her home to tell her parents the horrible news: she had been mortally wounded as one of the “Raanana youths” on November 11,1947, and she died the next day.

Yehudit was buried beside her friends in Nahalat Yitzhak. Due to concerns about the CID, only her mother could attend her funeral, and only anonymously. Some time later, her mother learned from the prison guard who had watched over Yehudit in her last hours that the British investigators had tried to get her to give up the names of Lehi members, even using torture, but she had refused, faithful to her last breath.

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