Tag Archives: heritage

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

I’m of the generation that grew up watching John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and greatly admired both men. After I read a few of the books written by Dale Evans Rogers, Roy’s wife, I admired him even more. They were straight shooting, honest men. Hard working, with guts and integrity. And that was just in their private lives, let alone their persona in the movies. As you can tell, I’m from a time gone by.

I guess what got me to thinking about heroes was a facebook meme I saw a couple days ago. It had a picture of Batman and said “My boss told me to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Now I’m sitting in Human Resources at a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.” I was telling a girlfriend about it and said I wanted to find one that said I’m sitting in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Judah Maccabee. She seemed a little astonished. She said Judah’s battles were in many arenas. Spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological. She felt that was quite a chunk to chew. I agree.

The night before I had watched a 1982 movie called “The Wall” about the Warsaw ghetto, and how the resistance came to be. Well, at least Hollywood style. One of the leaders of the resistance turned out to be (in the movie anyway) a woman named Rachel. She was one of the first to insist to the resistance the cattle cars weren’t going to the Ukraine. She was the first to insist they were going to have to be responsible for defending themselves. She was the one that was teaching them how to shoot a pistol. Sadly there is not enough back-story in the movie to know how she acquired such knowledge, but her directions were pretty good. But as best as I can tell, she was just a nice woman who was enjoying a nice Jewish life with her family when the world went crazy.

Judah was the same, he and his family were having a nice Jewish life in Modin. Well, as nice as you can have when Antiochus has decided your religion will not be allowed to exist and you must abandon it and now accept HIS religion. Oh, and if you follow yours, you will die.

My girlfriend pointed out some of my thought processes are a tad bit different than a lot of peoples. Ok, maybe so. So I asked her who HER heroes are? She is quite a bit younger than I am.

Her choices were Corrie Ten Boom, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry and all the founding fathers. For quite similar reasons. Corrie? A nice old lady building and fixing watches, well, until the world went cray-cray. Laura? She and her family were some of the early pioneers. Their lives were not easy and they went through many difficult and trying times. But they stuck it out to help settle their land and have nice lives. The founding fathers? Well, they were farmers and simple men. Men with families just going about their daily lives. Yet, when the need for them to rise to the challenge in the case of freedom and liberty, they did. She summed it up with ordinary, everyday people doing extraordinary things. People with regular lives becoming amazing heroes. Ordinary people overcoming extraordinary odds.

I asked a relative of mine who her heroes were. She is five years younger than I am. Hers? Winston Churchill, “Iron” Margaret Thatcher, and sigh, Colin Powell. All for the same reason, they were people who took unpopular stances when it was necessary to do the right thing, because it was the right thing.

A friend of mine a couple years older? Leonard Bernstein. Because he stepped in and did such a marvelous job when the chips were down. I kind of caught her off guard with the question as our whole conversation up to that point had been a completely different topic.

My point is this, all of the people I surveyed are within about 15 years of each other. We have similar reasons for picking our heroes.

What are children taught today are heroes in the public schools? There are pages on Michael Jordan, paragraph on George Washington? Really. The media tells us it is a football player who is “courageous” enough to tell the world he is “gay”. Ok, takes courage, but is the result the same as Nathan Hale? A man has a sex change operation? Courage? Um, well, ok. But actually I think his/her saying on public television that he/she is a Republican took more. It reminds me of collage in the 60s. All these kids dressed alike, bathing as often, chanting the same slogans and protesting for the same causes claiming they are “bucking the system” and never seeing the irony.

Today we have celebrate “diversity”, as long as you go along with what the liberal political correctness tells you IS diversity. If not? You will be attacked in the media as a hater, your bank account subject to IRS seizure and the tolerant left will try to shut your business down. We must be diverse, as long as we are diverse the way it’s “allowed”. Ahh, what was it Hitler said about giving him a generation? I’m sure professor Bill Ayers said similar though. Just a guess.

So now I will sound like the old person I am. I will bemoan that today the main topic is who will win American Idol, what are the Kardashians wearing and where is Paris Hilton, while they may not know there is a Paris, France.

Perhaps it is just me, perhaps it is the rainy day, but I can not help but wonder, for how little can the title “Hero” be purchased today? Will people be the same today as they were in the meeting in the film clip from “The Wall”, they delayed fighting evil, because they did not recognize evil for what it was, and if they began to they were unable to admit to it. Almost every hero listed above, no matter who selected them, recognized a threat to their area and addressed it.

From 1st Maccabees 3:17

Now when Seron, a prince of the army of Syria, heard say that Judas had gathered unto him a multitude and company of the faithful to go out with him is to war ; he said, I will get me a name and honor in the kingdom ; for I will go fight with Judas and them that are with him, who despise the king’s commandment. So he made him ready to go up, and there went with him a mighty host of the ungodly to help him, and to be avenged of the children of Israel.

And when he came near to the going up of Beth-horon, Judas went forth to meet him with a small company: who, when they saw the host coming to meet them, said unto Judas, How shall we be able, being so few, to fight against so great a multitude and so strong, seeing we arc ready to faint with fasting all this day ? Unto whom Judas answered.

It is no hard matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few; and with the God of heaven it is all one, to deliver with a great multitude, or a small company: for the victory of battle standeth not in the multitude of an host; but strength cometh from heaven. They come against us in much pride and iniquity to destroy us, and our wives and children, and to spoil us but we fight for our lives and our laws. Wherefore the Lord himself will overthrow lo them before our face and as for you, be ye not afraid of them.

Now as soon as he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly upon them, and so Seron and his host was overthrown before him. And they pursued them from the going down of Beth-horon unto the plain, where were slain about eight hundred men of them ; and the residue fled into the land of the Philistines.

Then began the fear of Judas and his brethren, and an exceeding great dread, to fall upon the nations.

Judah Maccabee Meme
Judah Maccabee Meme

So who are YOUR heroes, and why?

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Profiles in Courage-updated

One of the museums we visited was the Etzel museum in Tel Aviv. That monthly pass really is a good deal. I still have a couple days left on it, I keep contemplating popping back over there to just add a bit to my story, but I guess I won’t. There is more than one Etzel museum in Tel Aviv and this one was named for Amichai (Gidi) Paiglin.

This is one of those things that at the time seemed like a good idea, and seemed like it would be simple. I’d just make a few notes on the people and topics that really struck me and I wanted to share with our readers and then supplement with info from the net and put in a few links. That’s not how this turned out. What seemed to me, like something that would certainly have a page on Wikipedia, or I could find information “somewhere” on the web, there is nothing but a barren wasteland of info. At least for my first part, which is going to have to be done only from my notes and memory. Which at times is a barren wasteland in and of itself.

Ten days before the State of Israel was declared by David Ben-Gurion (whom I like less all the time) was the last day of a truce. The British were going to be pulling out, and The Irgun had decided to capture Jaffa. The battle had been pretty fierce and there were a many lives lost. In the area of of town where our story takes place the Irgun thought that they had an area where it would be safe for the women to bed down for the night, and that by the next morning they would finish the operation. That probably seemed like a good idea at the time as well. It didn’t work out the way it was planned either. The Arabs managed to sneak past the Etzal during the night and were in the parts of the town where most of the women were.

Marion Aharoni was one of the two women in the minaret who woke up to the sound of Arabic voices the next morning and realized that there were enough of them that the forces in that part of the town wouldn’t be able to hold it. Apparently communications had already been disrupted, and so Marion told the other gal to try to get to headquarters and advise them of the situation. In the meantime headquarters had become aware of what was happening and was trying to sort out their resources and their people to figure out how to best deal with the situation at hand. One of the people in charge of a unit was Ruth Moritz, I believe I have her code name down as Dvora. Ruth was amazing, she was a beautiful woman, I think, and had shown a lot of command skill. Her boyfriend Avaham Canaaite had been killed at the battle of Yafo (Jaffa). Ruth was near headquarters when the other lady finally arrived and informed them of the situation. Headquarters informed Ruth they had talked to their people in that area and no one was left in the minaret. Ruth said she was going to head over there anyway to make sure Marion got out. Headquarters told her no. Ruth said she was going and for everyone else who had legs to get out of there now. Headquarters advised Ruth she should go see to her unit and make sure they were all ready to roll, either evacuate or fight. Ruth told them she would just go check the minaret herself and make sure no one was left behind to face the Arab mob alone. And so she went. If she met fighters along the way, she advised them to get out. She made it to the minaret where Marion was still holed up waiting for orders. Not that there was a thing she could have done. By the time Ruth made it there the Arab mobs were very close. And there were a lot of them. And so to avoid falling into the hands of the Arab mobs they chose to jump from the minaret. Many Arabs at that time, as now, have the same unfortunate goal and tendency to slaughter Jews when possible. No one really knew what happened to the women. After two years a mass grave was found with the bones of two women and three men. I believe it was four years later that they finally found out what had happened.

Another update: We knew Ruth had incredible courage to go back and try to get out Marion who was in her company because she felt she was responsible for Marion. But something that is in the video that I had forgotten is Marion’s incredible courage. Marion was still in that tower because she had not heard the command to retreat. She heard the Arab mobs, she knew they were close. But she stayed and held her position because she had not heard the retreat command. What kind of incredible courage would that take? These were two amazing, smart, strong, courageous women. They deserve to have their names known and remembered outside of Israel.

The view of the minaret I think they jumped from was visible from my “office”.

View from my "office"
View from my “office”

And the evening we walked home from Yafo to Tel Aviv we walked by what I believe is the tower they jumped from.

The minaret
The minaret

The other thing that was striking to me was the Altalena. Yes, of course I knew about the Altalena, the ship. I did not know that was the name Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote under in Russian newspapers though. The other thing was the date. I was at this Etzel museum on 1 June. 1 June 1948 was the day the Irgun, Hagana, and Lehi were all to have been disbanded and incorporated into the newly formed IDF. The cliff notes version of this is the Altalena was a ship bound for Israel carrying fighters and much needed weapons to the Irgun. Timing was an issue, and David Ben-Gurion, was aware the ship was coming in and basically sold the Irgun and Menachem Begin out. The IDF was ordered to attack the Altalena if they wouldn’t turn over all the weapons to the new IDF. That did not happen, and a firefight broke out between the IDF and the Irgun. Menachem Begin headed for the Altalena in a rowboat under fire from the IDF. He made it to the ship and they sailed for Tel Aviv where there were more IDF forces. Ben-Gurion ordered the ship sunk on the high seas by the new Israeli air force before it reached Tel Aviv.

Heiman Shamir Deputy Commander of the Air Force, tried to convince non-Jewish pilot volunteers to attack the ship. However, three pilots refused to participate in the mission, one of them saying, “You can kiss my foot. I did not lose four friends and fly 10,000 miles in order to bomb Jews.”

I told a Rabbi once, not everything that wasn’t born Jewish is an enemy of Jews. These three pilots would nicely prove this point.

In the end, Jews fired on Jews, and the Altalena was sunk despite having raised a white flag on Begin’s orders as he attempted to prevent a civil war.

Take-a-way thoughts of mine. We know the name of the shooter in the church in South Carolina, we know the name of several famous gangsters in America’s history, and possibly some names of famous Israelis. Certainly Ben-Gurion and Begin. While I was at the museum some groups of young soldiers were coming through. They were to study at the museum as part of the class apparently. In fact one room we were unable to access. It was a room where perhaps there was a movie you could view, but it was being used for a party of some sort. But these student soldiers study the people, the events and the history. And it matters to some of them, and perhaps to some, not so much. I was actually very surprised there was nothing on the net about Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni, but there isn’t, and so perhaps this telling, as imperfect as it is, will keep a memory of valor, courage and leadership alive.

Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni
Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni

And make no mistake, Ruth was a leader. When we have people like Shannon Watts, Dianne Feinstine, Nancy Pelosi and every other anti-gun harpie out there telling women that they won’t be safer if they can defend themselves, you know what crap it is. When you have the screeching harpies telling women that if they have a gun someone will take it away from them and use it on them, that’s crap. When you have the faux feminists telling women that a gun is too complicated, that they should get mace and a whistle, you know it’s crap. When the faux feminists tell women to just call the big strong policeman and wait, that’s crap. Ruth and Marion were true feminists, they were strong, beautiful women that fought in defense of themselves, their families and their country.

Right now part of America is busy throwing away the heritage that they have been sold by a liberal educational system and biased media. They throw it away with both hands because they don’t know true history, and don’t understand what they are throwing away. I was very glad to see those young Israelis going through that museum.

When in a dire situation, more people on your side is a very good thing.

The Altalena take-a-way? Politicians do what’s best for politicians. Betrayal sadly, apparently, should be expected. It’s about the power baby, it’s about the power.

Etzel Museum
Etzel Museum

 

I have never been so happy to need to update something as I am to add this. If you whine to the right people, sometimes, just sometimes, really great things happen. The whining was about the lack of information on Ruth online. The victim listener of my whining suggested that some problems are solved by going back to the language in which the incident occurred. That would be Hebrew. JACKPOT!!!

I had forgotten that Marion was in Ruth’s unit. A bit more than friends, I believe Ruth was her leader.

These sites are all in Hebrew, but with evil google’s translate you can read a rough version in English. Enough to get more information. AND, a movie. I’ve written the museum to see if they would consider posting the English version I saw while I was there.

Wikipedia

Etzel Museum remembrance page

Irgun Fighters of Independence

תודה לך דב עוד פעם

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