NAME: Mizrahi, Yehezkel

LEHI ALIAS: Yosef

DATE OF BIRTH: July 7, 1925

DATE OF DEATH: July 29, 1989

Yehezkel was born on 7 July 1925 in Jerusalem’s Old City to Avraham and Simcha, from Kurdistan. The family was Religious Zionist and had three children. The mother died young, and the father remarried, having four more children. He worked in construction.

Yehezkel studied in a kuttab, a rigorous cheder, and Sephardic Talmud Torah. Simultaneously, he studied general subjects. At age thirteen, he joined Beitar, and he soon went to work to support his family. At age sixteen, he joined the British armed forces to fight the Germans, lying about his age. He served in the Royal Navy from 1941 to 1946. He developed a heart condition which would afflict him in later years. As soon as he was demobilized in 1946, he joined Lehi, doing whatever was asked of him in the Old City and elsewhere. His house was used for firearms training, overseen by this father.

In late 1947, he smuggled arms and explosives into the Old City, but due to informers, he was arrested and sent to Latrun. He was transferred to Atlit and released in June 1948. He retuned to Jerusalem and fought in Lehi units. After the Bernadotte assassination, he was arrested and imprisoned in Jaffa, but he managed to escape. He was caught and sent to Acre and Jalameh for five months, being freed after a weeklong hunger strike. Despite his medical condition, he enlisted in the IDF in 1949 and served fully in the Navy. After his demobilization, he worked in various odd jobs.

In 1953, he was arrested as part of the Tzrifin Group, next to an arms cache in the Valley of the Cross. This group was found to be a threat to public safety, and he was tried, convicted and sentenced to five years in orison. After four years, he was freed thanks to Yehoshua Cohen’s efforts, upon Ben-Gurion’s recommendation.

From 1959 on, Yehezkel worked as a technician for the Tahal Group, a job requiring a great deal of travel and fieldwork. Despite his bad health, he worked diligently and with dedication, and he was praised for this. In the Six-Day War, he was assigned to a unit tasked with getting water to the Sinai, and he received a commendation for his service.

When his health worsened, he left the Tahal Group after twenty-five years. He returned to net-weaving, which was his hobby but became, with his family’s help, their primary source of income.

In 1958, he married Zipporah Sharabi, and they lived in the south of Tel Aviv. She worked at the Tel Aviv Municipality’s welfare department. After her retirement, with Yehezkel’s encouragement, she worked in the Yiutz LaEzrach service in the HaTikvah neighborhood, earning her a volunteering award from the Tel Aviv Municipality. Yehezkel, who grew up near the Western Wall and inhaled the history of the Jewish people from his youth, fought faithfully to establish the State of Israel. He showed respect and generosity towards everyone, volunteering to help those in need even in the difficult times.

He fell ill and died on July 29,1989, leaving his wife Zipporah, a daughter and two sons.

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