Monday, February 26, 2018

Rivka of Mishmar HaYarden

There is a new book out that you need to read.
Not too far east of Rosh Pinna in the Hula Valley, just past Kibbutz Gadot, is a memorial of the north side of the road.  Just over a year ago, my wife and I visited the site as part of a Menachem Begin Heritage Center long weekend/Shabbat.  I was the guide for the group of mainly religious Zionist people and that Friday we included for them a visit to Shlomo Ben-Yosef's grave at Rosh Pinna and that of Yosef Trumpeldor at Tel Hai as well. 
For most of them, it was the first real in-depth introduction to the legacy and deeds of those who were of the Revisionist Movement of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
The memorial commemorates the heroic pioneer struggle of Mishmar HaYarden to resettle the Land of Israel, despite the, at times, hostility of the official Yishuv bodies as well as the area itself. First founded in 1884, it was reestablished in 1890 and overrun and destroyed by the invading Syrian forces in a battle in early June 1948.  In November 1939, 38 members of the Irun, 35 men and for women (all of them girls aged 17) who were undergoing arms training were arrested by the British.
Arieh Yitzchaki has written a book on the moshava

and now, my friend and tour guide, Gershon Portnoy has translated from Hebrew the slim book "Three Days in Sivan" authored by Aharon Even-Chen which appeared in 1987.
It tells the story of Rivka Grabovsky, her family and of Mishmar Hayarden.
Rivka was of indomitable spirit.  She had lost her husband and a son when Arabs ambushed them in the fields in 1938. 

The book concentrates on the story of the final years and days of the village before being captured by the Syrians who take into captivity those men and women who survived the final battle. It describes the many months they spent in a Damasus prison before being released.  And all through the book stands out the remarkable pioneer: a devoted wife and mother farmer, defender and proud Jew -- Rivka Grabovsky.
Get the book:

You can contact him through Facebook or directly at or 0585797367.


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