NAME: Shpilner (née Morgenstern-Hashahar), Zelda


Zelda was born in 1910 in the Iași, Romania, to Avraham Tzvi and Leah Morgenstern-Hashahar. There were two girls and three boys in the family. Her grandfather was a rabbi, and the family was National Religious. The father was a building contractor. The family bought real estate in the Land of Israel. Zelda made aliyah in in 1932 and joined her brother Aharon Menashe, who had arrived earlier and lived in Tel Aviv’s Montefiore neighborhood.

She met Simcha Shpilner some time later, and they married in 1933. Their finances were precarious, and Zelda worked for a few years as a teacher’s aide in a kindergarten. She followed her husband to Lehi in 1943. She would host senior Lehi leaders in their house and treat them with immense dedication. She also undertook dangerous missions, such as smuggling weapons in her children’s stroller. She was never afraid, even at the times of greatest peril.

Zelda later would fondly remember the Lehi Central Committee members who stayed in their home: Natan “Gera” Yellin-Mor, Yitzhak “Michael” Shamir, Dr. Israel Eldad (Scheib), as well as their wives, who came to meet them secretly.

In his book Freedom Fighters of Israel, Gera refers to them as “the policeman’s family,” as Simcha was then a police officer.

They had three children: Leah (killed in 1954), Tzvi and Miriam. Simcha passed away in 1976.