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David Ben-Gurion writes to an admirer and he reminisces about the writer's parents.
ALS: "Your family friend,/D. Ben Gurion", 1p, 4¾x8½ lined sheet. Sdeh Boker (Negev, Israel), 1970 December 6. To Rina Yashar, Holon. In Hebrew, fully translated. Begins: "To Rina Yashar, Shalom and greetings". In full: "Do not regret the letter you have written to me. I was happy to receive it and enjoyed it. Being of the generation of your family, I was well acquainted with your parents. I did not know Yosef Vitkin personally but his activities and urging of youth groups in the diaspora to come to this country were well known to me. And now you have disclosed to me that fifty years ago, a boy was named Yaraiv, a name I (wrongly!) considered for some time as my invention. I only have a grandson bearing that name, while you have a brother (of that name) who already has grandchildren of his own, I imagine. I cannot write to your grandson that your father taught me to plow the earth, as I do not recall it. I remember your father from Segera. He was a farmer there, and I was a labourer of a farmer named Rogaczewski (later changed to a Hebrew name). I worked for Rogaczewski for three years and I knew your father well and we were friends. Although he was Ha'Poel Ha'Tzair'nik and I was Poel Zion. Thank you very much for your kind letter." DAVID BEN-GURION (1886-1973) wrote this letter shortly after he retired from government service (for the second time) to return home to the Kibbutz Sde Boker. Ben-Gurion had arrived in Eretz Israel in 1906 and worked for three years in the colony of Segera, the country's first agricultural workers' commune (which later evolved into the Kvutzah and then the Kibbutz). YOSEF VITKIN (1876-1912), an ardent Zionist who had come to Israel in 1897, was first a laborer and then a teacher there, instilling in his students a love for Jewish values and an appreciation of Israel's landscape. In 1905, he wrote and distributed a pamphlet, "A Call to the Youth of Israel whose Hearts are with their People and with Zion", that encouraged aliyah based on the principles of manual labor in the homeland and was influential in renewing Zionist ideals and efforts in Europe. Vitkin was also one of the founders and leaders of the HaPoel HaZair party mentioned in this letter. Ben-Gurion was a member of the Poel Zion (Workers of Zion), a Zionist-Socialist group that he joined at the age of 18 after becoming a teacher in a Warsaw Jewish school. After arriving in Israel, Ben-Gurion also helped to establish the Hashomer, a Jewish self-defense group. Ben-Gurion proclaimed the independence of Israel on May 14, 1948. A signer of the Israeli Proclamation of Independence, he was the head of the provisional government (1948-1949) and Israel's first Prime Minister from 1949-1953, when he retired to Kibbutz Sde Boker. Ben-Gurion returned to service in 1955, first as Defense Minister and then as Prime Minister (1955-1963). He remained active in government service until 1970, when he returned once again to Sde Boker. Stamped "No. 28" at upper left corner. Perforated right edge. Fine condition.

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Born: October 16, 1886 in Plonsk, Masovian, Poland
Died: December 1, 1973 in Tel HaShomer, Ramat Gan, Israel

Film Credits
2010 War of the Gods (Other), 2010 Nazi Hunters (Other), 2008 Weaponology (Other), 2006 Knowledge is for Acting Upon: The Manhattan Raid (Other), 2000 Operation Thunderbolt: Entebbe (Other), 2000 In Our Own Hands (Other), 1997 The Long Way Home (Other), 1996 Israel: Birth of a Nation (Other), 1973 Ben Gurion Remembers (in person), 1967 Strike Zion! (Other), 1959 Small World (in person)

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