NAME: Shahaf (Mendelowitz), Tzvi


DATE OF BIRTH: August 12, 1926

DATE OF DEATH: September 6, 2000

Tzvi was born on 12.8.1926, to Yaakov and Shoshana Mendelowitz. Yaakov made aliyah from the Czech Republic in the early 1920’s and worked as a carpenter, designing and making furniture. His mother was Shoshana Rivlin Frumkin, an eighth-generation native of the Land of Israel; she grew up in Me’a She’arim in Jerusalem and was a homemaker.

Tzvi was one of the first babies born in Tel Aviv, which was still in its own infancy: sea, sand, orchards and Arabs. Both the family home and the shop were on Yaavetz Street. Tzvi grew up and was educated in Tel Aviv, through high school.

Like many his age, he was a member of HaNoar HaOved and went to a kibbutz. When World War II broke out, when he was sixteen, he joined the British Army to fight the Nazis. He was in a supply company, sent to Egypt and then to Italy. He fought on the front lines, saving refugees and going on dangerous missions. He served for three years, then returned to the Land of Israel and joined Lehi. On one mission, he was captured and sent to Latrun, together with other Lehi members. In 1948, before the British left, they transferred the remaining prisoners to Atlit, and Tzvi was released alongside the others.

At Sheikh Munis, he joined the IDF alongside his Lehi comrades. He served in the 8th Brigade, under Yitzhak Sadeh, in Battalion 89, under Moshe Dayan. As part of the raiding battalion, he drove a halftrack and took part in the capture of Tira, Qula, Deir Tarif, Lod, Ramleh, Beit Guvrin and Al-Dawayima.

That same year, he marred fellow Lehi member Yedida Nagid-Reich. They have four children and eleven grandchildren.

Tzvi was eager to give blood, and he had a witty sense of humor and an exceptional memory. His main hobbies were to hike and explore every corner of Israel. He also read voraciously and knew every detail about the country. He would attend the groundbreaking ceremony for every new settlement. He also loved antique books.

As an idealist, he followed the command of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion: “Go from the city to the village.” After his demobilization, he moved to the Beit Hananiah settlement, where he and Yedida raised their four children. They fought in all of Israel’s wars, and in the Yom Kippur War, father and son fought shoulder-to-shoulder.

Tzvi passed away on 6.9.200. He was 74.