>>>The HeHalutz (Pioneer) Movement and Gdud HaAvoda (Labor Brigade)
The HeHalutz (Pioneer) Movement and Gdud HaAvoda (Labor Brigade) 2018-02-19T22:11:57+00:00

The HeHalutz (Pioneer) Movement and Gdud HaAvoda (Labor Brigade)

For our people, for our Land

During the course of the Third Aliyah, more than 6000 young people came to the Land of Israel in the framework of the Pioneer Movement. Pioneer groups existed at the time of the Second Aliyah, however, during World War I, it became a mass movement. Pioneer groups sprang up in tens of cities and towns in Russia and Eastern Europe. Many of the Pioneer youth were trained in farming in Russia before coming to Israel. The Pioneers’ values included physical labor, realizing one’s own potential, Hebrew language and culture and guarding and defending the settlements in the Land of Israel. Their goal was not only to work the land, but to do all kinds of work. Josef Trumpeldor was the moving spirit behind the movement.

Do you need a wheel? I am a wheel.

What is a chalutz? Is he a worker only? No! The definition includes much more. The pioneers should be workers but that is not all. We shall need people who will be “everything” – everything that Eretz Yisrael needs. A worker has his labor interests, a soldier his “esprit de corps”, a doctor and an engineer, their special inclinations. A generation of iron-men; iron from which you can forge everything the national machinery needs. You need a wheel? Here I am. A nail, a screw, a block? – here take me. You need a man to till the soil? – I’m ready. A soldier? I am here. Policeman, doctor, lawyer, artist, teacher, water carrier? Here I am. I have no form. I have no psychology. I have no personal feeling, no name. I am a servant of Zion. Ready to do everything, not bound to do anything. I have only one aim – creation.”  Josef Trumpeldor

HeHalutz (Pioneer Movement)

HeHalutz was an international Zionist movement comprised of young Jews who had come together in order to make aliyah to the Land of Israel. It began with people coming together spontaneously in the 1880s. The organization continued to exist until the Holocaust.

The members of Hehalutz came from a variety of Zionist youth movements. They were the spearhead of aliyah and settlement in the Land of Israel. They were also at the forefront of Jewish defense in the Diaspora and in the ghettos where the Jews were concentrated during World War II.

Avraham Shlonski

Statue of the Roaring Lion at Tel Hai

פרעות תרפ”א

פרעות תרפ”א החלו בכ”ג בניסן ה’תרפ”א (1 במאי 1921) ביפו, והתפשטו ליישובים יהודיים נוספים. המאורעות החלו כשאר המון ערבי פשט על הישוב היהודי ביפו לאחר ששמועות שווא על התקפה יהודית נגד הערבים נפוצה בין ערביי יפו.

הפרעות כללו מעשי רצח, אלימות, אונס, שוד וביזה על ידי ערבים בישובים יהודים. הם נמשכו חמישה ימים, ובמהלכם נהרגו 47 יהודים ונפצעו 140. לערבים היו 48 הרוגים ו-73 פצועים מירי הצבא הבריטי ומגינים יהודים על התוקפים.

בין ההרוגים היה הסופר יוסף חיים ברנר.
במאורעות התחוור ליישוב ההודי בארץי כי הם תלויים לחסדי הגנת הבריטים אשר אינם עושים דיים למנוע ועצור את הפרעות. הישוב היהודי הצליח בקושי להגן על עצמו מפני הפורעים ועליהם לחזק את ארגון ההגנה ויכולותיו על מנת להגן על חייהם.

Let us Work!

After World War I, the economic situation in the Land of Israel was very bad
and it was difficult for the pioneers to find work. At the same time, the British Mandate decided to initiate public works projects, which they intended to be carried out by Arab contractors. Hapoel Hatzair (The Workers’ Party) and Ahdut HaAvoda did everything possible to get the work. Competing with Arab contractors, they succeeded in winning the contract to pave roads. Hundreds of workers set out to pave roads. Tent camps, housing the workers, popped up along the roads. Different groups based on ideology began to form. There were the pioneers who combined settlement and defense. There were those who combined Zionism and socialism. The largest group of all was Josef Trumpeldor’s Gdud HaAvoda, which was founded half a year after Trumpeldor died defending Tel Hai. The main objectives of this group were: farming settlements, absorption of immigrants, defending the Yishuv, securing Hebrew work and the realization of socialist Zionism.

Gdud HaAvoda was founded by leaders of HaHalutz and members of Hashomer: Mania and Israel Shohat, Yitzhak Sadeh and Yehuda Almog, who recruited 88 other founders. Most of them had been members of Trumpeldor’s youth group, HaHalutz, in Russia. The official declaration of the founding of the Gdud was on August 25, 1920, just half a year after the death of Trumpeldor. It took place in a tent camp of the workers paving the road from Tiberias to Zemach. Hundreds of pioneers joined the group. During the course of its existence, until 1929, there were about 2500 men and women in the organization.

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