NAME: Mizrahi, Yitzhak



DATE FALLEN: May 29,1948

Yitzhak was born in Jerusalem’s Old City in 1925, to Ephraim and Nargas; he was raised by his “second mother” Zilpah. The family made aliyah from Kurdistan and had eight children. The father, a rabbi, was known as Hakham Ephraim, from the Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai Synagogue in the Old City. His mother Nargas was killed by a shell in the Old City on the day of the surrender. Her body was burnt by the Arabs, then buried on the Mount of Olives after the Six-Day War.

Yitzhak joined Lehi and was known as Yaakov, as the British Mandate fell apart.

At the beginning of the War of Independence, on November 1947 Yitzhak was in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, and he was already married to Rachel Mizrahi, and they had a child. He was one of four Lehi men left in the Old City, and they joined the Hagana men because they were so few.

Here, Yitzhak distinguished himself: “About the Bren machine gun, left with two Arab casualties, I told Yitzhak Mizrahi, that tall, powerful young man who flits ceaselessly, from morning to evening, among the posts. He has already earned himself the title of Yitzhak the Brenist, in addition to the nickname Kurdish Yitzhak. Every comrade knew, at every post in the Old City, that for every danger and challenge, the address is Yitzhak the Brenist.”

Shmuel Bizinski-Bazak, one of the members of the force which had broken through Zion Gate and been taken captive, wrote: “Yitzhak Mizrahi — who fell in the last days — displayed unusual courage. He would run with the reserve squad wherever he was needed, with a khaki scarf tied around his head, its tail floating in the air. ‘After me!’ he cried in a voice hoarse with enthusiasm, ‘after me!’ The Bren was in his hand and he was firing; when the bullets ran out, he grabbed a rifle. Before the magazines could be refilled, he was shooting the Mauser hanging from his belt…”

His last battle was Lag BaOmer, May 27,1948, “The staff decided to recapture the Magen club. They gave this task to the bravest and most dedicated: Yitzhak Mizrahi…” Yitzhak had a premonition. “L. found him in Yeshivat Shaar HaShamayim. ‘I can’t do it,’ he said, ‘and it is meaningless’… But when he arose, he said quietly, ‘I have a feeling I will never return here.’ Then he left.” A grenade was thrown, and Yitzhak fell on it. Many were injured, but his wounds were critical. The next day, as the Jewish Quarter surrendered, he was transferred to the Jewish section. He died of his wounds on May 29,1948 and was buried at Sheikh Badr. On September 10,1950 he was re-interred in the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem.

His son Yaakov, named after his Lehi nom de guerre, was killed in a work accident in Sinai after the Six-Day War.