Yaacov was born 1903 in Kobel Ukraine, to Dov Bearish and Bat-Sheva. Despite difficulties imposed by WWI, he managed to complete his secondary education. The Jewish national awakening following ‘Balfour’s Declaration’ 1917, his deeply rooted Jewish education, and his love for the Jewish homeland led him to make aliya 1921, during the early days of the British Mandate, following the heroic death of Joseph Trumpeldor and comrades at Tel-Hai. He sought to earn a living through agriculture. He dedicated himself to beekeeping, developing apiaries and to further pursuing studies; an indubitable autodidact.
He knew Russian, Polish, German, French, English – naturally Hebrew and Yiddish. Many of his expert articles were published in prestigious magazines, particularly ‘Nature and Health’. He dedicated himself to growing field crops, and published a book, ‘Wheat the Basis of Health’. His lectures were popular. Working in his apiary he grew wheat as well – sowing and harvesting it with joy, then selling his crops at cost price. A lesser-known side of his, was his dedication to security issues.
During his first fifteen years in Eretz-Yisrael he was a civil guard in various parts of the country, acquiring expertise in customs of the rioting neighbors. His love of the land did not fade even after many years. From the time of Lehi’s early activities – when he was around forty – he assisted the fighters as best he could, running personal risks many a time. Although British police were on his trail more than once, he always managed to extricate himself from danger. Alerted by an informer, British forces accompanied by beekeepers suddenly arrived at his home, entering his apiary in search of weapons, supposedly hidden among the hives. However, his bees attacked the searchers who fled in panic, unaware that bees develop ties with their regular keepers through their sense of smell, and attack encroaching strangers. Yaacov married Miryam Zohar.
On August 3,1986, Yaacov passed away.