Levi Yitzchak Farkel was born December 25,1915 in Sakranevitch Poland, to Moshe and Frieda. His grandfather, Betzal’el, was an important Rabbi in town. Until age 15 he studied at Yeshiva and general studies with private tutors. At 15 he ceased religious studies and joined Beitar. Until arrival in Israel, he stayed in Beitar training/work camps. In 1939 he immigrated aboard the clandestine immigrant ship ‘Parita’. In Israel he changed his surname to Ben-Moshe, after his father. At first he worked in the orchards, down South. When WWII broke out, he joined the British Army’s AMPC, hoping to reach Poland, to reach his family. The disaster at Dunkirk smashed these hopes. His entire family – parents, two brothers and sister – perished in the Holocaust.
Yitzchak volunteered for British Commando and was sent to Eritrea. When the Jewish Brigade was established, he defected from his unit to join the Brigade in Europe and joined Lehi. Under Lehi orders 1944 he defected altogether to join the Lehi fighters back in Israel. His chosen nom-de-guerre, ‘Betzal’eli, was in tribute to his grandfather. During his Lehi years he participated in many operations: the attack at Lod Railway Central, Kfar-Sirkin Airport, and releasing Dr. Eldad from Dr. Troy’s clinic, Jerusalem. In 1947 he was arrested and sent to Gilgil Prison Camp Kenya (where he was in charge of Lehi prisoners). With establishment of the State, Yitzchak and all prisoners were returned. In 1948 he joined Lehi forces in Jerusalem. He participated in operations and conquest of Katamon. Yitzchak married Rachel Deutchel 1945, whom he’d met when both served with British forces, Rachel at A.T.S. They had three children: Yair, Gila and Eran, plus ten grandchildren. After a short stay in Jerusalem and at Moshav Arbel, the family settled in Kibbutz Cabri. Yitczhak worked many years in agriculture and water supply systems. He was an optimist with a unique sense of humour; both a learned man who’d mastered nuances of the Hebrew language and an adventurer. A zealous idealist and hard-worker, who enjoyed tough physical work. On February 14,1984, he passed away aged 68.