NAME: Ohev-Ami Yitzhak (Habashush)


DATE OF BIRTH: 5 January, 1924

DATE OF DEATH: 29 March, 1991

Yitzhak was born on January 5th, 1924 in Ruhama neighborhood in Jerusalem, son of Nissim and Aliza (Farha) Habashush. His father, who made aliya from Yemen as a young man, was a builder and was one of Nissim Behar’s (the principle of the Torah and Labor School) students. Yitzhak was exposed to “fighting” values from his family at an early age. His older brother, Yechiel, was a member of the Platoon of the Wall and later commander of the Reserve Corps in Etzel. His sister, Rachel, was sent by the Etzel to the prison in the Russian compound and was caught at the entrance with a bomb in her basket (because of her young age, she was sentenced to life in prison and luckily was pardoned a few years later). In the basement of the family home there were training sessions for members of the resistance.


When he was about 16 years old, Yitzhak enlisted in the British Army and was assigned as driver of the 179 Transport Battalion with which he arrived in Egypt, Libya and Italy. Upon his release in 1946, he joined the Lehi. Yitzhak said little regarding those days, and from the little he said, it turned out he served as camp commander in camp Lifta and later moved to the position of commander of camp Dror in the Talbiye neighborhood. He met Ruth, the medic, at Lifta camp she arrived at when she was recruited to Lehi.

In September 1948, following the murder of Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, close to 200 Lehi members were arrested and imprisoned in prisons across the country. Among those arrested were Ruth and Yitzhak, who were imprisoned in Acre Prison. During their time in prison, their relationship tightened. In November 1948, Lehi detainees were released from the prisons where they were imprisoned and they enlisted in the IDF. Ruth was stationed as a nurse at Avihail Hospital and Yitzhak was stationed in the Artillery Corps, where he received the rank of Sergeant Major and trained commanders.

On the eve of Passover 1949, Ruth and Yitzhak stood under the Hupa and the wedding ceremony was conducted by rabbi Aryeh Levin. In the first years of their marriage, they lived in Mahane Israel neighborhood in Mamilla, where Christians and Arabs lived together with new immigrants and members of the old Yishuv. The history of the neighborhood was immortalized in the book “It’s not the same home” written by Uziel Hazan and based on Ruth’s memoirs.

Ruth and Yitzhak gave birth to a daughter (Esther) and two twin sons (Alon and Ido).

Yitzhak died in Jerusalem on March 29th, 1991, and was buried on Har Hamenuhot in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem. May his memory be blessed.