Yehoshua, son of Yaakov (a religious Jew) and Bluma, was born in 1922 in Tel Aviv, a year after his parents made aliyah from Latvia. When he was six, they moved to Kfar Saba. The father, generally speaking, would insist on Hebrew labor. His orchard was one of only two in Kfar Saba which employed only Jewish labor.
Yehoshua was a Maccabi member, and he studied in a religious high school and the Tachkemoni High School. At age fourteen, he joined the Nationalist Hagana; at age 15, IZL. In summer 1938, as the riots raged, he participated in retributive attacks against Arabs. When IZL split, he joined Lehi. After Yair’s murder, he was one of the few who escaped from the British. In the orchards of Kfar Saba and forests of Raanana, he gathered the few remaining fighters. A fugitive subsisting on oranges and bread, he organized and executed operations against police officers and CID detectives, including those who had killed Yair and other fighters. A one-thousand lira reward was offered for “information leading directly to the arrest” of Yehoshua. On 8 August 1944, he commanded an operation which sought to assassinate the British High Commissioner for Palestine, Harold MacMichael.
Yehoshua was arrested in 1944 and exiled on December 6th. He was held in a number of Sembel (near Asmara, Eritrea); Carthago, Sudan; back to Eritrea; and Gilgil (north of Nairobi, Kenya). He was part of the 54-man prison break from the camp in Eritrea. He was captured and sent back to detention. After the establishment of the State, he started a hunger strike in the camp in Kenya together with four other Lehi members, demanding they be returned to the Land of Israel. Yehoshua came back with the last of the exiles on 12 July 1948.
He participated in the Bernadotte assassination.
He enlisted in the IDF and finished officers’ training.
He was one of the first in Sde Boker in 1952. When Ben-Gurion joined the kibbutz in 1953, Yehoshua was made responsible for his welfare, and eventually the two developed a very close relationship. He worked on the kibbutz planting flora and beautifying the environment. He was known for his ties to the Bedouins in the Negev. He was involved in restoring the antiquities of Ovdat. He was the local director of the archeological digs at Masada. However, the Sde Boker Field School was always at the center of his life’s work. After the Six-Day War, he spent part of his time establishing the Kfar Etzion Field School. He was one of the twelve torch-lighters on Mt. Herzl for Yom HaAtzma’ut 5743.
Yehoshua only left the Land of Israel once, to visit the concentration camps in Poland. He explained to his children: “Compared to the Jewish heroes amidst that carnage, the heroes of the underground fighting the foreign occupier in the Land of Israel are like nothing.” When he returned from “there,” he worked on educational programs for teaching the Holcaust in school and to increase the Zionist awareness of those born in the Land of Israel.
Yehoshua passed away on August 8,1986. His wife, Nacha Srulowitz, also a Lehi member, predeceased him by a year. Their children were Hemi (after Menahem, Yehoshua’s brother who died in the War of Independence) and Reuma.