NAME: Beckman Ya’acov

LEHI ALIAS: Arik

DATE OF BIRTH: December 21, 1924

DATE OF DEATH: July 30, 1993

Ya’acov was born  December 21, 1924 in Radom Poland, to Menachem and Bracha, sixth child in a religious family, between three daughters and four sons. They received Torah education, but their educated mother sent the children to High-School. The family were merchants and their financial standing was good. The family immigrated 1926, settling in Jerusalem. They lived in poverty with the elder sons working days, catching up on studies by night. During childhood Ya’acov attended ‘Tree of Life’ Yeshiva until age nine,  among Rabbi Arieh Levin’s students, ‘The Prisoners’ Rabbi’. His family moved to Tel-Aviv, where Ya’acov studied at Talmud-Torah and  ‘Beit-Yoseph’ Yeshiva. Aged 14 he went out to work, help support his family. Working days,  studying nights. At 13, he joined ‘Brit-Hachashmona’im’. In 1940 he joined Etzel, and in 1942  moved to Lehi;  he was active commanding a cell. In 1943, because of an informer he was arrested and on October 18, 1944, exiled to Africa with the first group of 252 underground prisoners. He stayed at the camps of Simbal, Eritrea, Carthago, Eritrea again, and eventually Kenya. Through intensive family efforts, he was returned to Israel May 14, 1947 and placed in Latrun. Ya’acov was good friends with Moshe Radumiselski (Uri), who perished during  the attack on the Haifa Railway workshops. Moshe was Esther Grinstein’s boyfriend (Yael), who was imprisoned in Bethlehem Women’s Prison. At one point, all Jewish prisoners were concentrated in Atlit Prison Camp, there Ya’acov met Esther. He wanted to hear from her every detail about Moshe’s death. In this background their souls intertwined and they married. They had two sons: Oded and Uri, and six grandchildren.

Ya’acov was kind and very talented. While in the camps, he sculpted works out of olivewood and sent them back to his family; some remain to this day. He had exceptional character, was smiling, patient, a true loved by all. The love of the homeland  he shared with his wife, was passed on to their sons, who both served in combat arms in the army, with the Armoured Corps. Ya’acov passed away on July 30, 1993 aged 69.

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