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Zev Jabotinsky wrote about Joseph Trumpeldor in The Story of the Jewish Legion, which was translated into English by Shmuel Katz. Jabotinsky met Trumpeldor during World War I at a refugee camp in Egypt set up by the British for Jewish refugees from pre-state Israel, then under Turkish rule.

Jabotinsky described Trumpeldor as a vegetarian, a pacifist, and a socialist. He said that Trumpeldor was better served by one arm than most of the rest of us humans are served by two arms. “In Hebrew his favorite expression was ‘ein davar’ (never mind)…. there is a whole philosophy contained in this ‘ein davar’: do not exaggerate; do not see danger where none exists; do not regard a man who does his duty as a hero – for history is long, the Jewish people everlasting, and truth is sacred, but everything else, trouble, care…‘ein davar.’ ”

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Jabotinsky complained to Trumpeldor about the ungrammatical Hebrew spoken by young people in Palestine. Trumpeldor said, “ein davar.” He complained to Trumpeldor about the way people were marching, in preparation for joining the Jewish Legion. Trumpeldor answered “ein davar.”

I urge readers to try to get a copy of Jabotinsky’s The Story of the Jewish Legion. I also suggest reading Lone Wolf: A Biography of Vladimir (Zev) Jabotinsky by Shmuel Katz.

Reuven Solomon
(Via E-Mail)

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