Mordechai, a fourth-generation Jerusalemite, was born in Jerusalem on 28 March 1928, the second child in a traditional family of six sons and five daughters. His father Shimon was a basket-weaver, but when he could not make a living at this, he became an assistant clerk in the Supreme Court. His mother Leah née Abud Levi was busy taking care of eleven children. Mordechai attended the Mizrahi Talmud Torah, then went to high school in the evenings. Later in life, he completed his studies at Hebrew University.
His older brother, Menahem “Zephaniah” Mor Mizrahi, was a Lehi member, so Mordechai followed in his footsteps in 1947. Menahem looked out for Mordechai’s welfare and kept him out of active operations; instead, the younger brother was involved in putting up posters and the like. After the War of Independence began, he served at the Lehi base in Sheikh Badr, then in Lifta and Talbiyeh.
After the Bernadotte assassination, he was arrested with other Lehi members and detained first at Camp Schneller, then in Jaffa. Prevented from meeting with their relatives, the prisoners began demonstrating, then burst through the walls and disarmed the military policemen of Metzah (IDF’s CID). When things calmed down, the weapons were returned and the next day, the prisoners were transferred to Acre, where they stayed until near Rosh Hashana 1948.
In December 1948, he began attending Hebrew University. In April 1950, it was time for him to be drafted. He served in Nahal, doing reserve duty until age 53. When he finished his regular service, he returned to Hebrew University, eventually becoming the secretary of its public relations department. He also volunteered as secretary of the workers’ committee. He retired in 1981 and lives in Jerusalem.
In 1958, he married Ariella Zevulun, a school secretary. They had three sons, a daughter and numerous grandchildren.