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Saturday, April 29, 2017

The 28th of Iyar, Book Review

This is cross-posted on Israel Bloggers.
The State of Israel has been gearing up for celebrating the 50th anniversary of our miraculous victory in the 1967 Six Days War. I have very clear and detailed memories of that time, which coincided with my last weeks as a high school student in Great Neck North, New York. Recently it hit me hard that I’m about the youngest generation to have such memories, and I’m what you’d call, “retirement age.” Everybody has been mourning the rapid loss of the Holocaust survivors, and the fact that so many stories can no longer be heard or discovered. Here in Israel we need to record more personal histories of the early days of the state, up to and including the Six Days War before it’s too late.

That’s why I’m very happy that Rabbi Emanuel Feldman has republished his lovely and honest memoir, The 28th of Iyar, his day by day journal written during the weeks leading up to the Six Days War and the war itself. Feldman and his family had been winding down their sabbatical year in Israel when the Arab countries began threatening to annihilate the State of Israel. So many people, including Feldman’s Israeli brother, kept trying to convince them to go back to Atlanta, Georgia, as tension began to mount in Israel.

In a very conversational and humorous style, Rabbi Feldman writes of his attempts to continue teaching “as usual” in Bar Ilan University. He also entertains with his surprisingly difficult quest to find a way to be useful to the war effort and volunteer in some capacity. At that time, and including during the Yom Kippur War, cars were “called up” for reserve duty as well as soldiers, so since Feldman was a foreigner with a car, he ended up delivering mail and telegrams for the Post Office.

Besides reading the humorous anecdotes, I was relieved to discover that my memories of how Israel had absolutely no foreign allies leading up to and during the war wasn’t a faulty memory. Feldman writes very clearly of how disappointing it was to see that not even the United States was willing to do anything to help the State of Israel. For that alone, I suggest that people read Rabbi Feldman’s book. Too many people have this totally false presumption that the United States has always been Israel’s “friend” and ally.

The 28th of Iyar is a well-written and very readable book. Yes, I recommend it highly.

ITEM #: 7447
Dimensions: 6 X 9
ISBN: 9781680252941
Weight: 1.0750 lbs
Binding: Hard Cover / 176 pages
Published by: Feldheim Publishers


Mr. Cohen said...

Batya said:

"...we need to record more personal histories...before it’s too late."

my personal response:

This is my unique knowledge of a little-known
piece of Jewish History, that needs to be
publicized, before is is too late:

Greek NYC Jews and Syrian NYC Jews:


Batya Medad said...