Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)
- TITLE: A New Beginning
By William van der Zande
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If there was ever “a before and after” in the life of the Jewish people than this was the time. Two thousand years on the move, scattered all over the world and then in matter of years it all started to change.
The trigger started around the beginning of the 20th century, when more and more Jews in the Diaspora started coming back to their Homeland. Literally starting from scratch they cultivated the land that been given the name “Palestine” by the Roman Empire. It did cost millions of dollars to redeem their own land and to develop it again with blood, sweat and tears and many died.
The land blossomed again and more and more people started to come back but were stopped many a time in their track by politicians from many countries. However, the greatest shock was the ultimate onslaught in Europe in de mid thirties and beginning forties. 6.000.000 Jews died and millions of soldiers lost their lives in these terrible days of trouble, called “Shoah” in Hebrew.
A moment of reasonable quiet arose in the years after World War II.
In a brief moment of compassion the world opened the door for the Jewish people to continue their history in their own land. The people that lived alongside them slammed the door that gave them too the opportunity to live independent in their own state!
Just before that famous day of November 29th 1947, Zipporah P. arrived in the land and instead of studying at the University of Jerusalem; she studied First Aid and got right in the middle of the struggle “to survive or not to survive”.
She felt at home and wrote many amazing letters to her parents and sister in the troubled year that changed the history of her people for ever.
Forty years later, in 1987, she did find these letters again in the house of her parents and relived that emotional year in her life and that of her people. She bundled these letters in a book titled: “Letters from Jerusalem 1947-1948.”
Sir Martin Gilbert, the famous Jewish historian wrote in his foreword: “For many years I have been entranced by Zipporah Porath’s:” Letters from Jerusalem 1947-1948” and regarded it as one of the most interesting contemporary accounts of the period of Israel’s struggle for Independence….
Having lived in the land of Israel for 20 years now, and after reading this book myself, I wholeheartedly agree!
British Mandate Palestine before 1947-1948 and Israel after! What’s in a name! Believe me, it’s a world of difference!
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