P. 184

A letter sent by Dr. Haim Gamzu, the renowned theater critic and Director of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, to Yehuda Lis, an employee of Keren Hayesod and friend of Leib Yaffe, who was murdered in the explosion at the National Institutions Building:
  Sunday March 15, 1948
My dear Lis,
We are orphaned! We shall have no one with whom to mourn the difficulties and the beauty of the work at Keren Hayesod. We shall have no one before whom to unload the bitterness of our conversation, our personal grief and our gratitude. How deserted lies Keren Hayesod, once so full of creations of fulfillment! How can we return to the diaspora and tell the scattered people of Israel: Leib Yaffe is gone... will they believe us?
You know my dear what Leib Yaffe was to me. I will never forget how he cares for my child while I was on a mission to South Africa. How he went out of his way to come to Tel Aviv, to see Yossi and speak with him. And all this, just so he could write to me: I saw your son and spoke to him. He is healthy and whole; I can attest to this. How can I forget his personal letters to me, which were never the letters of a great and elderly man, but rather the letters of a friend, who understands and helps to understand.
It was because of him that the work at Keren Hayesod was so precious to me. The secular work and the sacred work in which I saw in Leib Yaffe's reflection. Walking in the path of tribulations of an exiled people that forgot Jerusalem at times had become a national march of pride and the tilling of the furrows of redemption. Leib Yaffe was among the brightest characters that ever crossed my path in life, the friend and the teacher.
My Yossi told me once: Father, when I missed you a lot, suddenly a man with light-colored eyes and silken hair, tall and elegant as a prince, came and delivered your regards. And I missed you less, and I knew that if that beautiful man sent you far away, he signaled that it was necessary for the Land of Israel.
That is how the boy saw you, tall and elegant as a prince...
That was the reality, the murky reality of our time when he often felt himself a foreigner. I remember the days in which he resided in the United States and the bitter disappointment he experienced there almost every hour. The late Mr. Michael Traub has told me much about it. Much had been told to me by Mr. Yaffe himself.

   182   183   184   185   186