|N E W S L E T T E R No 34
- September 2002
- Erev Rosh Hashana 5763
THE STRUGGLE FOR OUR EXISTENCE IN THE LAND OF OUR FATHERS CONTINUES
The past year with its evil events has terminated; may the New Year commence with its blessings
For the last two years the people of Israel have been fighting for their security and their right to live in our land in the War of Attrition that the Arabs of Israel are carrying out against us.
For the last two years? No, for many, many more. Who knows, as we do, how many attacks, evil events and wars we have endured here from the 19th century to the present day? The first attack of Arabs on a Jewish settlement was in Petach Tikva in the year 1886; it was the attack in which Rabbi Arieh Leib Frumkin was very badly injured when he went out to save what he could while being fired upon by the attackers. In his diary Rabbi Frumkin describes how hundreds of Arabs from Yehudia invaded the settlement and beat up, broke and destroyed everything they could.
The contents of his diary were widely published in "The Mother of Settlements", the book commemorating the 50th year of Petach Tikva, from which we will quote here. "On Kaf-Vav Adar about two hundred Arabs from Yehudia came to destroy the village. The male residents of the settlement went on the same day to Jaffa and stayed there, but we will say until when. I therefore brought the women and children into our closed house, which was like a tower (fortress). I went out towards the Arabs and commanded that the gate be closed. Then four of them hit me and injured me with their sticks, which had iron on the ends, until no breath remained in me … I spent ten weeks turning over on my bed, all my body covered with black blood clotted like tar". We also described these events in the book "Achuza B'Petach Tikva" published by the Frumkin Foundation.
Hanna Leah (Frumkin), Rabbi Arieh Leib's third daughter, who saw these events from her window on the second floor of the house, wrote a more detailed description of the happenings in her Memoirs. Amongst other things she wrote, "Several hundred Arabs suddenly attacked with cruel tools in their hands, and took over the complete settlement to destroy it, to kill and to ravage. They began to break windows and doors; they hit and hurt everyone they came into contact with. The women and children began to shout and to run away to my father's courtyard, which immediately became full of women and children. When everyone entered the courtyard, and the door closed behind them, I saw that my father was standing outside, in front of the house, and around him loads of murderers who were hitting him with sticks and every fatal instrument in their hands. My mother and the children began to cry, to shout and to beg my father to enter the courtyard when they would open the gate for him. But he answered them that they should not open the gate and must not allow the mass of people to hurt and invade the place. It was awful to see our father being hit so cruelly in front of our eyes. He was covered in blood and nearly fell to the ground with no strength". Hanna Leah Segal's Memoirs, by the name of "At the Beginning of Petach Tikva", were also published by the Frumkin Foundation.
The event was made known outside of Palestine and astonished the Jewish people of the Diaspora. Many decided that it was dangerous to make Aliya to the Holy Land and to live there, and preferred to remain in the Diaspora. Rabbi Frumkin understood that all this grim information would influence the immigration of Jews to Palestine and therefore submitted a letter to the newspaper "HaMagid" (the most important weekly paper of the Jews of Russia in those days, popular with the members of "Chovevei Zion") with words of consolation: that there is no need to compare the attacks of the Arabs in Palestine to the pogroms in Eastern Europe, and ended, "So that your readers should believe the events from a very faithful source, I was at the place of the event from the beginning to the end ..". The letter was printed in "HaMagid" in the year 1886, and appeared in the book commemorating the 75th year of Petach Tikva (page 155).
THE FUTURE OF THE STATE IS OUR FUTURE
What can we say and how can we express ourselves? Since then, our family has been forced to cope with the attacks and aggression of the Arabs of Palestine in the riots of 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1936, in the War of Independence and the Intifada, which is continuing until the present day. But what is the difference? When Rabbi Frumkin, his parents and his sister came to Palestine, there were less than 50,000 Jews in the land. With the establishment of the State, the Jewish settlement numbered 650,000 as against more than one million Arabs. The United Nations then suggested a large Arab country, encompassing three sea ports (Gaza, Jaffa and Acre), Ashdod and Ashkelon, the Western Galilee and Nazareth, the Airport and town of Lod and all the area between Lod and Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion agreed to this Partition Plan, with all its limitations, but the Mufti rejected it. Our Independence opened the gates of the land to the immigration of Jews from all the countries of the Diaspora, and we reached a population of five million people.
If Rabbi Frumkin were to be asked then, 116 years ago, "Do you believe that one million Jews will make Aliya?" he would certainly have replied, "Perhaps when the Messiah comes, but it is our duty to bring the Redemption closer".
May we be strengthened by our ancestors' ideology and may the coming year be a better one for our families and the whole House of Israel.
The Executive of the Frumkin Foundation
The Frumkin Family extends hearty congratulations and Mazal Tov to:
² Zahava and Naftali Nevies on the birth of their son Nachum Elimelech, grandson for Josephine and the late Nachum Elimelech Nevies æ"ì.
² Miri and Daniel Gewirtzman on the birth of their son Tom, grandson for Ora and Yehuda Gewirtzman (Ra'anana) .
² Revital and Yoav Nir on the birth of their son Ilan, grandson for Shifra and Yaakov Nir and greatgrandson for Yehudit Ginat.
² Avigail and Mark Miller on the birth of their son Matti, grandson for Carol and Laurence Miller (Manchester).
² Ruth (Harari) and Ilan Kremer, on the birth of their son Ronni, grandson for Ruth (Dubrow) and Mordechai Kremer.
² Duffy and Ra'anan Gewirtzman on the birth of their daughter Ella, granddaughter for Ora and Yehuda Gewirtzman (Haifa).
² Rose and Allen Nevies on the birth of their son, grandson for Sheila and Saul Nevies (London).
Bar and Bat Mitzvah
² Tuval Uriel, son of Ruth and Tammuz Mor, on his Bar Mitzvah (Adora).
² Mizhav, daughter of Meira (Nevies) and Avi Kaufmann, and granddaughter of Josephine and the late Nachum Elimelech Nevies æ"ì on her Bat Mitzvah (Ma'aleh Adumim).
² Adi, son of Mira and Alon Udani, and grandson of Yehudit Ginat, on his Bar Mitzvah (Yavne'el).
² Dana, daughter of Sharonit (Nevies) and Natti Haron, and granddaughter of Josephine and the late Nachum Elimelech Nevies æ"ì, on her Bat Mitzvah (Yishuv Nili).
² Mai, daughter of Gili Gewirtzman and Ayelet, and granddaughter of Ora and Yehuda Gewirtzman, on her Bat Mitzvah.
² Ilan Shlomo, son of Alisa and Julian Weiss, on his Bar Mitzvah (Ran'anana)..
² Dr. Susie Dimson, daughter of Prof. Elroy and Dr. Helen Dimson and granddaughter of Phyllis and David Dimson, on her engagement to Ian Gabbie (March 2002, London).
² David Waters, son of Jennifer (Goldberg) and Martin Waters, and grandson of Rose (Frumkin) and the late Wilfred Goldberg æ"ì, on his marriage to Risa Lubins from Newark, New Jersey, USA (December 2001).
² Robert, son of Ruth (Miller) and Michael Hart, on his marriage (Manchester).
Special congratulations to
² Carmela (Efros) Kalmanson on her 75th birthday, and to her husband Martin on his 80th birthday (Florida, USA).
² Aviva Halaban on her 80th birthday (Jerusalem).
² Etti Lubochinsky, on her 70th birthday (Holon).
² Wanda and Yaakov Grossman, on their Golden Wedding Anniversary (New York).
Nachum Elimelech Nevies
The Frumkin Foundation announces with regret the passing of Nachum Elimelech Nevies, during Chol Hamoed Pesach.
Nachum was born in Wales, the fifth child of Phoebe and Naphtali Moshe Nevies, and a member of a family which observed the colourfulness of Jewish life in the Diaspora, in spite of being distanced from an organized Jewish community.
Nachum studied Semitic and Classic studies at University until he was enlisted in the British Army, in which he served for 6 years in the Second World War. He always searched for Jews and Judaism in all the places he reached within the framework of his Army service - whether it was in Britain, India or Burma. He organized a framework of Jewish and Zionist studies for children, refugees and Jews in general. He was always enhanced by the success of Judaism's existence in spite of difficulties. Once he encountered a lonely family in an isolated forest in Burma, a family which sat around a table on Shabbat and sang songs in Hebrew, and then again children who were sent in the War years to remote towns in England so as to be far from the bombing attacks. For them he organized Jewish studies every Shabbat and also set up well-organized congregations which preserved their identity and personality.
After his discharge from the Army, Nachum engaged in Zionist activity and in the editing of a newspaper. He was very impressed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, became acquainted with him and supported his ideology. He even served as the Head of "Beitar" in South Wales.
In the year 1948 he made Aliya to Israel and worked "temporarily, until he improved his knowledge of Hebrew", for many years at Ben-Gurion Airport. There he was privileged to see waves of mass immigration from all countries of the world, and the reality of the Prophets' vision of the return to Zion. It always affected him very emotionally to see the new immigrants as they descended from the 'plane, bent down and kissed the earth of the Holy Land. At one time a man came up to him and asked him, "Are you Nachum?". "I was a boy in India and you taught me songs of the Land of Israel and Shabbat songs that are sung in England!".
When he lived in Neve Monosson he was very active, as the Chazan and Sefer Torah reader, in the planning of the synagogue, its building and activities, but not in order to receive a prize. Local children knew that, on Shabbat, they went to the synagogue to make Kiddush, to hear stories and to receive candy from Uncle Nachum.
After his marriage to Josephine and the birth of their 3 children, the family
moved to Ramat Gan. Their home became a retreat for all members of the family
who arrived from abroad, for a visit or to make Aliya. Everyone who needed help,
advice or just a welcome, knew that they would always be well received at Josephine
and Nachum's home.
Jewish history played an important part in Nachum's life and as an example, his private family history was very significant to him. Nachum was very interested in research into his family history and genealogy. Everyone who was acquainted with him knew that a conversation would not last a long time without him taking out all the papers documenting the family connection with the founders of the our nation, and family trees in big volumes in his clear and neat writing. Nachum was an intelligent person who loved books, who always liked to read aloud and to cite a wise saying, sections of poems or songs or a quotation from the Sages. He was very innovative in his thinking, his humour was British, he had a flash in his bright eyes and always a smile on his lighted up face.
May his memory be for a blessing.
Frumkin Newsletter 2001
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