Tales of our Homeland #4: Begin’s Regrets Part 1


Sources and notes for further study

This issue is based on passing references by Begin in his memoir The Revolt. It is a worthwhile (if sometimes rambly) book that is somewhat hard to find these days. Within the epic tale of the Irgun Zvai Leumi’s revolt against the British Mandate, these two small incidents stood out to me. They demonstrated the innate honesty of the man. To a less sensitive soul, these minor actions would have been forgotten. But Begin expressed regret years later. 

Line 1 Menachem Begin wikipedia entry Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine

Line 2 Menachem Begin: The Man of a Thousand Faces from the National Library of Israel website. Great pictures! Wanted poster Begin appears at the lop left. Begin claimed the British used the shadowy picture to make him seem more evil. But it also made him difficult to recognize. 

Line 3 The story appears in The Revolt, Chapter VIII, “Man with Many Names”:“On the first Sabbath after our arrival I was honored, as befits a newcomer, by being “called up” to the [Torah]. The [gabbai] asked what my name was. I was afraid to mention my first name lest, in combination with my father’s name, it might recall something to somebody.”

To be continued!

Michael Unterberg (author) and Zvi Ron (artist) have been making comics together since they were classmates in Yeshivah of Flatbush elementary school. They both live in Gush Etzion.

Please do not reuse without permission from the authors. Thank you. 

About the Author
Rabbi Doctor Zvi Ron made Aliyah in 1986, learned in Yeshivat Shaalvim and served as a shooting instructor in the IDF. After receiving Smicha from the Israeli Rabbanut, he and his wife, Sharon, went on Shlichut to Richmond, Virginia where he served as Rabbi of Keneseth Beth Israel Synagogue for 10 years. The Rons moved to Israel in 2004 and live with their four children in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion. He is the author of two books on Tanach: Sefer Katan V'Gadol and Sefer Ha'Ikar Chaser as well as dozens of articles in numerous publications. He is editor of The Jewish Bible Quarterly and he was a contestant on the game show The Weakest Link.