Shmuel Yeshaya (1) – the night of the bombing


Shmuel Yeshaya was a Haganah member, but unfortunately the records of the Jerusalem chapter were ruined and the family has no proof of this.

The only document I have so far is of him serving as an ARP (Air raid precautions)   warden.

A.R.P Yeshaya    ShmuelYeshayaARPCard(1)

A.R.P Yeshaya

Business card

Business card



My mother tells, that on the day of the bombing, her younger brother went up to the boidem to retrieve two hand guns which were kept from the British authorities. They were handed to a Haganah representative on that day, out of fear that the british would conduct searches in the victims houses.

She recalls, that immediately following the bombing, there was a curfew enforced in Jerusalem. Since there was no word from her father, and since no one else knew that he had gone to the hotel on his business, she kept silent about it until morning. In the meantime, all through the night, her neighbors, who were Etzel members were celebrating the success of the bombing action.


In the morning the bitter news came on the radio, as they announced the names of the dead.
From that moment it was chaos. Seventeen funerals took place, four of them in the cemetery of the Mount of Olives. Women were not allowed up the mountain, so she never got to participate in the funeral itself. After the funeral came the shiv’aa – a seven day period of mourning as done in the Jewish religion. One of the uncles, Shmuel’s brother in law, demanded that he  be given some coins each day, which my mother provided. At the end of each day, he stood by the door, handing the son those coins, which he in turn gave to the  a group of mourners , who were especially hired for this purpose (in Judaism, there is a need for ten men for certain prayer ceremonies).

Relatives who came to the funeral and the Shiv’aa from all over Palestine, mostly from Jerusalem, expected to be fed. Nobody took interest in the source of the money that payed for that food, despite the well known fact that Shmuel had very little savings, since he had taken upon himself his father’s bankruptcy (that resulted from the 1929 crisis).
One of the relatives went as far as to demand special meat claiming to have ‘a delicate stomach’. Most of te relatives that participated in the shiv’aa were quite well off, none askes if the family needed financial help.

And so, while everybody believed that Shmuel’s brother in law was actually supporting the children and the widow, it was my mother’s hard earned money which was intended as tuition money for her studies in University, which payed for the fat and greedy relatives food.


Only one woman showed graceful conduct: that was my mother’s aunt Hadasah. She was my grandmother’s eldest sister. This wonderful woman stood in the kitchen all day long for seven days to do the cooking for all the mourning relatives.

Hadasah was a truely religious woman. My mother tells that on the Sabbath day, she and her husband would sit on their porch for a long time after the first  three  stars appeared on the sky of the night. Conventionally, in older times, Jews defined the end of the Sabbath when 3 stars shone in the sky.  But Hadasah and her husband, Volf, wanted to enjoy the Sabbath for as long s they could.  They also owned an ice-based refrigerator which they used on the Sabbath. They did not employ what is called a “Sabbath clock” which enables religious Jews to use electricity without actually pressing the button…

3 thoughts on “Shmuel Yeshaya (1) – the night of the bombing

  1. Pingback: האם המטרה מקדשת את האמצעים? לקראת יום השנה ה-68 לפיצוץ מלון המלך דוד | dawn522006

  2. Pingback: לקראת יום השנה ה-68 לפיצוץ מלון המלך דוד | dawn522006

  3. Pingback: 67 years to the bombing of the King David Hotel, Jerusalem, 1946 | dawn522006

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