web analytics
May 3, 2015 / 14 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Book Review

A Soldier Remembered in His ‘Letters to Talia’

Everything Dov Indig, killed in action during the Yom Kippur War, said about the secular kibbutz movement has happened.
Yom Kippur War memorial, Sep. 24, 2012.

Yom Kippur War memorial, Sep. 24, 2012.
Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90

Considering the continued uncertainty in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition quest/negotiations, I see this as a good time to post my review of the English translation of the Israeli bestseller,  מכתבים לטליה Michtavim liTalyaLetters to Talia, by Dov IndigHaYa”D.

I remember hearing about the book when it was first published in its original Hebrew, but as usual I let news of Hebrew books fly over my consciousness, since I don’t expect to read them.  It’s not that I don’t read Hebrew at all.  My Hebrew is for labels, ads, my pay slip, letters and notices on the Shiloh email list, our weekly newsletter and the very occasional newspaper or magazine article.

I received Letters to Talia from Gefen Publishing House to review.  I don’t remember if they mailed it to me or it was one of the books I picked up from them at the Jerusalem International Book Fair.  But it really doesn’t matter how I got it, because it’s a great book and I must tell you why.

First of all the translation by Yehuda Burdman is fantastic.  I have no idea how easily the original Hebrew read, but it was a true pleasure reading it in English.  I even carried the book around with me to take advantage of a few minutes’ reading time here and there.  I don’t normally do that.  My bags are always too full and my time too short for such a luxury.  But this book followed me around for the few days it took to complete reading it.

Now, what’s it about?

Dear Dov,You must really be surprised to be receiving a letter from a girl you don’t know… Dov Indig was killed on October 7, 1973, in a holding action on the Golan Heights in Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Letters to Talia, published in his memory by family and friends, contains excerpts from an extensive correspondence Dov maintained with Talia, a girl from an irreligious kibbutz in northern Israel, in 1972 and ’73, the last two years of his life. At the time, Talia was a highschool student, and Dov was a student in the Hesder yeshiva Kerem B’Yavneh, which combines Torah study with military service. It was Talia’s father who suggested that Talia correspond with Dov, and an intense dialogue developed between them on questions of Judaism and Zionism, values and education. Their correspondence continued right up to Dov’s death in the Yom Kippur War.  (Gefen)

While readying the book my mind was full of “ifs.”  The main “if” obviously is: If only Dov Indig hadn’t been killed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War…

Indig’s analysis and predictions as to what would happen if Israel withdrew from our Land liberated in the 1967 Six Days War or what he expected would happen to the kibbutz movement, especially the secular ones, are so on target, that it’s frightening.  We, Israel and the Jewish People, lost a great and brilliant talent.  There is no other way to describe him.  Yes, you must read the book to fully comprehend what a terrible loss it was to all of us as a People and Nation that he isn’t with us today.

So many of the very best were killed in that terrible war in 1973.  My friends and I still mourn our Betar New York friends who were killed.  We get together every year at Mount Herzl to honor them.  From my perspective, having made aliyah with my husband in 1970, I can easily identify with Indig’s friends who felt it vitally necessary to publish this correspondence.

Everything Indig said about the secular kibbutz movement has happened (for instance, “I will risk a prophecy … that in the next generation most of the kibbutzniks will grow tired of the cooperative spirit and all the ideals associated with it” (page 52)).  That makes me even more curious about Talia, not her real name.  All that is revealed in the postscript is that after her National Service and subsequent army service, she returned to her kibbutz where she still lives.  In her letters, we discover that her best friend actually became religious, Talia is too attracted by the idea.  She’s infatuated with Judaism and Dov.  In her last letter, which Dov most probably never read, she tells Dov that she will fast and go to a synagogue on Yom Kippur to pray for his safety.  It’s too easy to imagine her disappointment even anger with God when she discovers that her prayers didn’t protect Dov from death.

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Soldier Remembered in His ‘Letters to Talia’”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A deal is a deal is not a deal.
State Dept.: Iran ‘Hoodwinked Countries but This Time It’s Different
Latest Blogs Stories
Jimmy Carter (C-R) and former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, both members of The Elders group of retired prominent world figures, lay a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, on May 2, 2015

My gut says it’s the New Israel Fund behind the violent demonstrations by Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Doug Goldstein

Discover the meaning of financial freedom and if you’ll achieve the standard of living that you want

Reverse Apartheid

Today’s world and a shocking amount of Jews and Israelis support apartheid against Jews in of Israel

Peter Beinart and Friend

Let’s revel in Peter Beinart’s unintended “Ma Tovu” praise of the Jewish state: “It’s modern; it’s democratic; it’s pro-American.”

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Israel has sent almost as many people to help Nepal, as the entire world combined.

Who dreamed of Jews hiding behind concrete in our renewed beloved land? Is this the best we can do?

Are consumers becoming too impatient? What happened to the concept of the long-term purchase?

Hilary standing by her man through thick, thin, blondes, redheads&brunettes won’t get votes in 2016

By not standing you are drawing distinctions between religious & secular, AND religious & religious.

Israel’s radio is like a voice from home…

Truly, in the modern world, we live in the time of ‘What’s in it for me?’ The time of the ‘selfie’!

My final reaction remains – who builds a mountain of ashes, who turns it into a “tourist” site?

Is the recent increase in Arab terror attacks related to the fact that there’s no new government?

They called it “religious coercion” but it was really “secular coercion” and secular intolerance.

One exciting element of traveling is that it was my first time ever doing so as a dual-citizen!

More Articles from Batya Medad
Jimmy Carter (C-R) and former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, both members of The Elders group of retired prominent world figures, lay a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, on May 2, 2015

My gut says it’s the New Israel Fund behind the violent demonstrations by Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Reverse Apartheid

Today’s world and a shocking amount of Jews and Israelis support apartheid against Jews in of Israel

Hilary standing by her man through thick, thin, blondes, redheads&brunettes won’t get votes in 2016

Is the recent increase in Arab terror attacks related to the fact that there’s no new government?

Celebrating 67 years of democratic independence, surviving wars&threats; so much to be thankful for!

I’ve felt that if only we had established these communities sooner, then the victims would not have been killed

Bibi gives a great speech, especially when talking to foreigners, but on policy, he’s very weak.

An Israeli TV show about Holocaust Day asserted the Holocaust is/was a European not Jewish tragedy

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/a-soldier-remembered-in-his-letters-to-talia/2013/03/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: