NAME: Nitzan, Hayim

DATE OF BIRTH: October 1917

DATE OF DEATH: 1979

Hayim was born in Nadja Sale, Czechoslovakia in October of 1917 to Avraham Alexander and Feige Blum. His father was a rabbi and kosher butcher. The family had seven children, but his parents and siblings were killed in the Holocaust. In his youth, he studied in the cheder in his town, then in the yeshivot of Nitra and Pressburg. As a yeshiva student, he joined HaShomer HaDati, and this led him to make aliyah illegally on the ship Naomi Julia, which left Sulina, Romania on 1 September 1939, the day that World War II began. After much travail, on 19 September, Hayim arrived in Haifa.

He moved to Tel Aviv and joined Lehi.

His apartment at 8 Yael Street was a center of underground activity. After it was blown up, killing several police officers, the British authorities started looking for him. Since Lehi did not have the means to rent even one room in the area, they had no choice but to transfer him to Beitanya, a farm in the Jordan Valley. From there he moved to Yavne’el, working in the fields.

Together with his HaPoel HaMizrahi colleagues, he helped established the new agricultural settlement of HaZor’im in the Lower Galilee, working both in the fields and as a Torah reader, prayer leader and lecturer in Jewish subjects.

After the State was established, he became an agricultural guide under the auspices of the Jewish Agency, and he helped those who had recently made aliyah re-establish themselves, under the auspices of the HaPoel HaMizrahi Union of Agricultural Settlements. He helped found new agricultural settlements in the Beit She’an Valley, the Lachish area and the western Negev.

In 1952, he married Sarah Halberstadt, a native of Siedlce, Poland. She made aliyah with the “Children of Teheran” and was adopted by the Bulka family in Sde Yaakov. Sarah was a kindergarten teacher who worked in the transit camps near Afula. She joined Hayim at HaZor’im, and they both worked on their farm.

Hayim was recruited for the public sector, and he became the head of the culture and religious department of the HaPoel HaMizrahi Union of Agricultural Settlements. He later was appointed the head of the aliyah and absorption department of the in the workers’ committee of the movement and a central committee member. He was a representative at the Zionist Congress, and he was chosen for the Vaad HaPoel HaZioni. He volunteered to conduct the Passover Seder at various IDF bases.

With all of the important positions he held, the family had to move to the center of the country. In 1955, they moved to the agricultural settlement of Hemed, where they continued to work in agriculture. To this day, one of their sons works at the plant nursery in Hemed.

Hayim passed away suddenly of a heart attack on 1979. He was a Torah scholar who worked the land, a Renaissance man who served his nation tirelessly, particularly during the great waves of aliyah in the 1950s. He labored until his last day, with no expectation of reward. He was quiet, diligent, humble and beloved by all. He dedicated himself to the Torah of Israel, the Land of Israel and the People of Israel.

He left a wife, Sarah; three sons, Yossi, Avraham and Shmuel; and numerous grandchildren.

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