web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


1,000 Jews Vs. The British Empire: The Story Of Lehi: An Interview with Historian Zev Golan

Historian Zev Golan

Historian Zev Golan

In the book, you profile 13 leaders and members of Lehi, including a Chabad chassid, Moshe Segal. Can you talk about him?

I don’t know if he was Chabad at the time, but he certainly was afterwards. He set up the women’s seminary in Kfar Chabad and was its principal for several years in the 1950s. He also corresponded not only with the [seventh] Lubavitcher Rebbe but also with the one before that.

He was the leader of a religious underground called Brit Chashmonaim; he was a member of the Irgun high command before he joined Lehi; and he was also the first Jew to blow the shofar at the Kotel when the British made it illegal. He was arrested, and only when Rav Kook, the chief rabbi at the time, threatened a hunger strike did the British agree to release him.

Every year afterwards, young Jews went to the Kotel and blew the shofar, and Rav Segal often coordinated [this operation]. The shofars would be smuggled to the Kotel area without the British knowing, somebody would blow it, hand it off to somebody else – often a young woman, who would be searched less by the British – and then try to escape. This went on [from 1930] until 1947, and it made the Kotel an area that symbolized Jewish pride.

Many years later, in 1967, Rav Segal became the first Jew to return to the Old City as a resident. He rebuilt the Chabad synagogue with his own hands and continued to blow the shofar at the Kotel until his death in 1985. He died on Yom Kippur at night.

In the memoirs of Lehi leader Israel Eldad, which you translated and published in 2008, Eldad writes: “Between [Abraham Stern] and even the best among his opponents there still lay this tremendous difference in approach: They admitted we must fight in order to be free, and he said we must fight because we are free.” What did he mean by that?

Stern was, in his soul, a sovereign, free, proud Jew living in the Jewish state.  If I can return to an earlier question, Rav Segal told me that when he put the tallis over his head and blew the shofar at the Kotel he was living in a free Jewish state. There was a little area under that tallis where no non-Jew could tell him what to do in his homeland.

These people were free in their souls and that’s why they fought. They said, “Nobody can oppress us, nobody can tell us when to blow the shofar, nobody can tell us that we can’t bring our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in Europe to live with us here.” Other Jews, even the best of them, looked around and said, “We’re oppressed, we want to be free. How can we best realize that goal?” When you start thinking like that, there’s a lot of room for political negotiation and machinations, or being docile because “it’s not the right time.”

You argue in the book that Lehi’s ideology, which you call Revolutionary Zionism, is still very much relevant in 2011. How so?

Revolutionary Zionism means that nothing competes with the importance of liberating and establishing Jewish sovereignty in the land – and in bringing redemption. So as long as the land – from the Nile to the Euphrates – is not liberated we have to liberate it. As long as the people are not living entirely in Eretz Yisrael, we have to bring them back to Eretz Yisrael. And as long as we don’t have the Temple, we have to build the Temple.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


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 “1,000 Jews Vs. The British Empire: The Story Of Lehi: An Interview with Historian Zev Golan”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Resnick-012315-Artist

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

I was very pro-Israel, I was very proud of being Jewish, and I was living in New York at the time as a single man in my 20s and I was just looking for a little bit more.

A school voucher means the state is giving you a voucher to send your kid to whatever school you want. That might be problematic as far church-state issues are concerned.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

To many Orthodox Jews the issue is “Permitted & Prohibited;” “Right & Wrong” barely considered,

You can’t say “Jewish French,” “Jewish British,” “Jewish Italian.” They are “French Jews,” “British Jews,” and “Italian Jews” – because they’re seen as Jews first and residents or citizens of their countries second.

Another thing they have been covering up is the nature of the building that was attacked. To this day people refer to it as a consulate or an embassy, but it wasn’t.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/1000-jews-vs-the-british-empire-the-story-of-lehi-an-interview-with-historian-zev-golan/2011/11/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: