Palmach Veteran Remembers Hebron, Temple Mount

Back in the 1930s, one could visit the Temple Mount, but not the Tomb of Machpela.

24.5.18, 10:00
You never know who you're going to bump into in Hebron. This gem from the Hebron video archive is a chance encounter with one Ephraim Ben Haim. This secular kibbutznik swung by Hebron to visit his old friend Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, a religious Zionist rabbi who was one of the founding members of the new Jewish community of Hebron back in the late 1960s.
Hebron spokesman David Wilder got a chance to briefly chat with him:
Question: When did you visit Hebron for the first time?
Answer: 1937.
Question: What happened then?
Answer: In 1937 I came to Israel to finish my degree on Zionist Agriculture and its Development in the Land of Israel. I arrived in Haifa and then went to friends in Tel Aviv. Then I went to Jerusalem and visited the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) and saw the Even HaShtiya (Foundation Stone.) Back then you were allowed to get in. Then I went to Hebron.
Question: What do you remember from Hebron back then?
Answer: From Hebron I remember the Seventh Step. There was a hole and Jews were only allowed to look in from this hole.
Question: And you arrived here after 1967? [After the Six Day War, Jews were allowed to visit Hebron again.]
Answer: I made aliyah in the beginning of 1939, and up until now lived on a kibbutz.
Question: And you came back to visit Hebron after the Six Day War?
Answer: Yes, many times. I also have a very good friend here named Lazer Waldman.
According to the Palmach website, Ephraim Ben Haim was born in 1916 in the Netherlands. He was a member of the Palmach, the "shock troops" of the Haganah self-defense unit from 1941-1943.
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