|Quotes from BEHIND PRISON WALLS, Tzila Armidror |
Rabbi Levin : "The women of Israel in captivity" was his reverent reference to the girls and mothers in prison for fighting for the Hebrew nation's freedom.
"The decision is up to you ... to go 'underground' where the police won't find you, or be prepared to go to prison." But therein lay the essence of the Irgun spirit ... what was best for the whole organization.
Yet far from being broken by the hardships they endured, she and her comrades were steeled by adversity.
On "Black Sabbath" more than 2000 Jewish freedom fighters were jailed by British "emergency regulations."
Every tiny gesture of defiance constituted another chink in the occupier's armor. (Prisoners would protest and stage hunger strikes at every opportunity to demonstrate their Hebrew dignity, heritage, and stamina.)
When the Warder understood that I would fight for my rights, she changed ... the way she treated me.
My ex-husband was now in a POW camp in Germany, one of thousands who had volunteered to go to war ... and it was a cruel jest of fate that officers of the same country on whose side he was fighting would now put his wife behind bars.
They (the British) had pictured "Tzila the Terrorist" as a fire-breathing giantess with clenched fists ... before them stood an ordinary woman.
I would sing, and if a soldier of the Irgun was in the (neighboring) men's wing I would know immediately.
Before a Hebrew fighter could go out to do battle with the murders of his brothers and sisters, he first had to overcome the barriers placed in his path by his own people.
The Irgun fought for the soul and honor of the Yishuv in Palestine on 3 fronts: Jews / British / Arabs.
A woman said to Rabbi Uziel, "They are young girls and don't know what they are doing." in an effort to gain their release from prison. "They knew exactly what they were doing, and they are heroines! If I were only younger, I would do exactly the same thing!" replied Rabbi Uziel.
To the political prisoners and detainees: It must be said that they knew how to turn the darkness of incarceration into light, to forge themselves on the anvil of their afflictions and blunt the weapon of imprisonment with faith and hope.
We were ... small in number but strong in spirit and firm in its decisions.
My thoughts were unfettered (the ropes to bind thoughts have still to be invented) and traveled the space separating me from everything that was precious to me.
Both banks of the Jordan belong to the Jewish people, but in the meantime even our own lives do not belong to us.
The fiercest front (of the war of independence) was the stupidity and pettiness of it own people.
This was the true face of the oppressive regime which allowed innocent people to be imprisoned for unlimited periods.
I watched the corpse be taken away ... knowing his mother and father couldn't even come to his funeral, lest his identity be known to the British and the CID wreak their vengeance on the family.
During ten years in which women were imprisoned in Bethlehem, 180 passed through its portals.
Tovah Savorai's daughter was less than two years old at her arrest ... and she wasn't allowed to have a visit with her for two years.
Every morning we read the Bible. Prison did not alter our faith lives ... all Sabbaths, Holy days, and foods were adhered.
Rabbi Levin knew how to restore faith, warmth, and love to our hearts. His wife would wait at Rachael's tomb, praying and weeping for us, while he visited with us.
The darkness and despair of prison and barbed wire were dispelled by our loyalty to our people and homeland. We sent handmade presents from prison - a Bible cover to Menachem Begin on the announcement of the "Revolt"; baby items to Yair's son born after his death; gifts to family members of detainees and prisoners.
An entire book would be insufficient to describe the kibbutz women's complete and total lack of spirit of comradeship and human feeling. These women who had been educated in the "school of international brotherly love."
We were links in the same chain, and Sarah Aaronson was part of the soul of every detainee in the Bethlehem camp.