NAME: Luntz, Yosef



DATE OF DEATH: December 14, 1999

Yosef was born on 1922 in Yavne’el, to his parents Bat Sheva née Habbas and Dov Luntz. The two families made aliyah from Lithuania for Zionist reasons. The Habbas family lived in Tel Aviv, where the father was the head of the community, while the Luntz family was among the founders of Yavne’el. Dov had rabbinic ordination but did not use it professionally. Rather, he worked in agriculture, while Bat Sheva was a teacher.

Yosef studied in the Yavne’el elementary school, then continued studying in the Mizrachi teachers’ seminary and went on to the agricultural school at Mikve Israel. He was a Hagana member, enlisted in the British Army and fought in Italy and North Africa.

In 1942, the family had to move to Kfar Saba because Dov fell ill. He still worked in agriculture, volunteering to teach lessons in Talmud, while the mother taught in school.

After his younger brother Menahem (a Lehi member) was killed by the British in the family home in Yavne’el, due to informers, Yosef was discharged from the British Army, and returned to the Land of Israel and enlisted in Lehi.

In January 1946, in a Jerusalem prison break to free underground prisoners, Yosef was injured. A bullet tore through his hand and lodged in his upper chest, but Yosef was able to remove it himself, and he survived. Still, he was captured by the British and imprisoned in Jerusalem, where he was treated and put on trial.

On September 25,1946 he was exiled to Sembel, near Asmara, Eritrea. On July 12,1947 he was transferred to Gilgil in Kenya. A year later, he returned to Israel with the last of the exiles. He then enlisted in the IDF, with other Lehi members, in Battalion 89. He went on to fight in all of Israel’s wars.

He married Duba Bermatz, from the Boruchov neighborhood of Givatayim, whom he met in 1948 as a nurse in Beilinson Hospital. They married the next year. Duba went on to be one of the founders, later the head nurse, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Kfar Saba Hospital; later, she became head nurse of the geriatrics department.

After his demobilization, Yosef worked in agriculture and construction and worked in advertising at Tammuz in Kfar Saba. In the 80s, he studied in university, earning a BA in Middle Eastern studies. 3

Duba and Yosef had three children: Menahem, Anat and Michal.

Menahem was killed in the Sinai in the Yom Kippur War, Anat in an accident in Holland. Their daughter, Michal Luntz Kaminsky, became a doctor, heading the otolaryngology department in Haifa’s Rothschild Hospital.

Yosef fell ill and passed away on December 14, 1999. He was buried in the Kfar Saba Cemetery.  To his last day, he worked and thirsted for knowledge. An idealist, he loved his people always and was ever faithful to the idea of Greater Israel.