The Circassians in Israel: From the Caucasus Mountains to the Galilee

A look at the heritage, ethos and culture of the Circassians or “Adyghe” - one of the most interesting and unique minority communities in Israel. Expelled from their homeland in the Caucasus Mountains in the 19th century, they settled in three villages in the Land of Israel, two of which survive to this day…


Israeli Circassian men wearing the traditional dress of the Caucasus warrior. The Circassian flag in the photo features three arrows surrounded by twelve stars

Every child raised in the Israeli school system is educated and brought up on the Israeli ethos, including its days of remembrance: Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Daym, as well as other official days of remembrance and commemorative events. However, two high schools in Israel, Kadouri and Sasa, both in the northern Galilee region, mark yet another date:  the Circassian Day of Mourning, which commemorates the Circassian genocide and the exile of the Circassian people from their homeland. The reason these schools mark this day is that they serve the residents of the Circassian villages of Kfar Kama and Rehaniya, where the vast majority of the Circassian population in Israel lives. This is one of the most unique population groups in Israel, and despite its limited size, it occupies an important place in local and general history.


From the Caucasus Mountains to the North of the Holy Land: The Circassians as an Exiled People

The Circassians, or “Adyghe” as they call themselves in their language, are a people originating from the northwestern Caucasus, a region located east of the Black Sea, between Russia, Turkey and Iran. The Circassians lived in relative freedom in their homeland without establishing a “state”, and were generally divided into 12 separate tribes (although in practice there were apparently additional sub-groups as well). By the end of the 18th century, these people collectively saw themselves as “Adyghe” – Circassians. The Russian Empire attempted to conquer the region with the aim of annexing the Caucasus and settling other populations there. Circassian opposition to Russian colonization lasted for about a hundred years. These difficulties led the Russians to take extreme action, and in the final stages of the war (1860–1864), they burned hundreds of villages and engaged in ethnic cleansing, targeting the entire Circassian population. Most of the survivors were expelled from the Caucasus, and about a million of them found refuge in the territories of the Ottoman Empire, including the Land of Israel.

The Caucasus, homeland of the Circassians


Originally, there were three main Circassian settlements in the Land of Israel, of which two remain: Kfar Kama and Rehaniya; the third settlement, near the town of Hadera, was abandoned due to an outbreak of malaria. Throughout the 19th century, the region of the eastern Lower Galilee, where Kfar Kama was founded, was under the de facto control of Bedouin tribes. The Ottoman government tried to impose its rule over the region in various ways, settling Maghrebi migrants from Algiers there and sending Kurdish battalions to confront the Bedouin, but with little success. The arrival of the Circassians changed things and effectively paved the way for Jewish settlement in the area about twenty years later. The “Old Village” complex in Kfar Kama, founded in 1878, reflects the conditions in the Land of Israel at that time. In the Caucasus, the Circassian villages were built over large areas, with houses constructed close together, thereby creating a defensive wall around the village’s public spaces for reasons of security and defense.  Kfar Kama is one of the most impressive surviving examples of local construction from the late 19th century and early 20th century in the Land of Israel.

Wherever they went, the Circassians often brought modernization along with them. Besides the Galilee, they established 13 settlements in the central Golan Heights, while also settling across the Jordan River, where they established the modern city of Amman. They introduced advanced construction methods, metal and woodworking techniques, a mixed economy, and also incorporated European architectural styles, such as the famous “Marseille tiles” still visible in their villages. Kfar Kama became an important regional center in the late Ottoman and Mandatory periods. They built a modern mill in a central area of ​​the Old Village which became a meeting place for all of the area’s inhabitants—Arab peasants, Bedouins, Jews and the local Circassians. In the 1948 war, the Circassians chose to fight alongside the Jews, and ever since then they have fulfilled their compulsory service in the IDF.

Circassians in Kfar Kama, 1960s. Two of the men wear the “kalpak” hat, characteristic of the region of the Caucasus and Central Asia, and one wears a keffiyeh. From the Boris Carmi Archive, the Meitar Collection


The Circassians are a people and not a “sect,” as they are sometimes mistakenly referred to in Israel. They are a national minority community in Israel that maintains a robust relationship with kinfolk in Israel and abroad, as well as their desire to return to their homeland. At the same time, they are also Israeli and are completely integrated in all aspects of life in the country. While the Circassian population in Israel numbers only 5,000 people (out of several million in the Circassian diaspora), they are perhaps the most active Circassian group in terms of preserving their extensive heritage, as well as the memory of the genocide and expulsion from their homeland, which is commemorated on their Day of Mourning, May 21. Moreover, the Circassians in Israel work to preserve the Adyghe language.  Adyghe, which had been a spoken language only, became a written language in the 19th century (although the Circassians also had a well-developed and unique graphic marking system, which is now preserved mainly in various family symbols). The language has no less than 64 consonants and is taught in elementary and middle schools. Every Circassian child learns Hebrew, English, Adyghe and Arabic, and some also study Russian and Turkish. The schools in Kfar Kama and Rehaniya are the only ones in the world where the students are Muslim and the language of instruction is Hebrew.

Students in the elementary school in Kfar Kama on Circassian Flag Day. Photo: Chen Bram


The “Adyghe Xabze” and the Circassian Ethos

Most Circassians are Sunni Muslims. They adopted Islam at a relatively late stage, having previously been Christians, and pagans before that. Nevertheless, whether Muslims or Christians, Circassians have a single code of conduct, called Xabze, that guides the way they live. This is a set of laws, a code, which directs their daily behavior and wields great influence on their education and values. In addition, the Adyghe have their own mythology and folktales. Their epic Nart sagas are continually passed down, from generation to generation, telling the stories of various Caucasian folk heroes.

A Circassian from Kfar Kama in traditional dress, 1970s. The Boris Carmi Archive, the Meitar Collection


The word Adyghe means “person of virtue” and Adyghe Xabze refers to the traditional way a Circassian is expected to behave. Adherence to this way of life is very important, and those who do not respect the custom must bear the burden of hinap – “shame”. The Xabze code guides education, the rules of society and honor, marriage, ceremonies and daily conduct. Most Circassians prefer to marry among themselves in order to preserve their ethos. Besides their customs, the Circassians continue to preserve their traditional music and dance. The traditional clothing—chiefly the Circassian warrior’s coat, featuring special pockets across the breast for bullets – is worn mainly for the traditional Circassian dance.

A Circassian boy from Kfar Kama wearing a traditional Circassian warrior’s coat as well as a dagger on a belt around his waist, 1970s. The Boris Carmi Archive, the Meitar Collection


The Circassians have integrated into Israeli society in many ways. In the past, many continued to serve permanently in the security forces after their compulsory service. Many others work in all sectors of the economy, as researchers and scientists, educators and industrial workers. Many leave for a period to study, but most choose to return to live in their villages. The Circassians have also integrated into Israeli society in sports: Bibars Natkho, the captain of Israel’s national soccer team is a Circassian from Kfar Kama; his late cousin Nili Natkho, who was killed in a car accident, was a promising, young basketball player who led her teams, Maccabi Raanana and Elitzur Ramla, to the national championship and cup. The Circassian population in Israel stands out for its high percentage of recipients of higher education, and in recent years, a special curriculum has been developed specifically for Circassian schoolchildren.


Kfar Kama: An Extraordinary Landscape in Israel

In the early 20th century, with Jewish farms and colonies already established in the Galilee, the Jewish immigrants of the Second Aliyah came to an important realization: Jewish workers were not enough; there was also a need for Jewish guards and watchmen. However, regardless of the desire for Jewish independence in security affairs, there was a tradition that the Circassians of the Galilee held a central place in securing the Lower Galilee region. David Ben-Gurion, upon visiting the Jewish settlement of Sejera where the Bar-Giora Jewish defense organization (later Hashomer) was established, took note of the qualities of the neighboring Circassians from Kfar Kama, “resolute and gallant of spirit, excelling in bravery and courage,” and added the familiar Arabic saying: “Fish akhbar min cserkes” – “None are greater than the Circassian”. Eventually, the people of Hashomer established a Jewish defense in the Galilee, and even gained the respect of the Circassians, after proving their grit.

Traditional Circassian dance at the Kfar Kama Heritage Center. Photo: Shir Aharon Bram


Kfar Kama is built over the ruins of an ancient Byzantine village, and the mosque is built of basalt stones, in a style drawn from another period when Circassians lived in Israel—the Mamluk period. The Mamluks, military slaves in the Muslim Empire, at one point managed to make themselves rulers. The Mamluk Burji dynasty, which ruled Egypt for 132 years, was of Circassian origin. The most famous of the Mamluk rulers, however, was the Sultan known as Baibars, after whom the captain of the Israeli national soccer team, mentioned above, is named.

If you happen to visit the Old Village, pay attention to the details, to the construction of the houses, and most importantly, speak to the locals, who are known for their hospitality. It is also highly recommended to taste the delicacies of Circassian cuisine, especially the traditional Circassian cheeses and pastries which can be bought in the village. You can also visit Kfar Kama’s Circassian Heritage Center and museum, where you can learn more about how the Adyghe commemorate their history and preserve their culture.

Haluz, a traditional Circassian pastry, eaten on Eid al Fitr in Kfar Kama, from the kitchen of Lamaan Nash

Kwisatz Haderach: Translating “Dune” into the Original

A new cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction classic was a great opportunity to speak with Emanuel Lottem, who translated Dune into Hebrew. The result was a fascinating conversation about fantasy literature in Israel and how Lottem came to translate the book while enlisting the help of his colleagues at the Foreign Ministry…

The name Emanuel Lottem is familiar to all Hebrew-reading fans of the fantasy and science fiction genre. Lottem, who began his career as a translator in the 1970s, has translated dozens of genre books—from the greatest classics in the field to the most recent titles. Along with being one of the most prolific Hebrew translators in the realms of popular science, science fiction and fantasy, Lottem is also a founding member of the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy, serving as its chair from 1996 to 2001.

On the occasion of the release of the new Dune film, we spoke with the Hebrew translator of Frank Herbert’s classic, the Hebrew edition of which has remained in print for over 40 years, consistently connecting with new audiences over multiple generations.


How did you get started as a translator, and why science fiction?

I had just started working at Tel Aviv University and the salary wasn’t that great, so I was looking for some extra income on the side. Through a family friend at Am Oved Publishers, I started getting offers to translate books. When Am Oved began publishing its “White Series” of science fiction books [named for the white paperback covers – Ed.], I told the publishers that I wanted to translate books for this series. Their answer was: “You’re a serious person. What’s a serious person like you doing with this nonsense?” But, one day, the editorial secretary called me and told me that they were interested in translating a book called Dune. Naturally, I agreed at once. I was familiar with it since it was a book I really liked. That was in 1976.


How do you approach the work of translation?

When the opportunity arose to translate Dune, I was already working at the Center for Political Research and Planning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was a civilian intelligence analysis body within the Foreign Ministry, set up following the Agranat report [commissioned by the Israeli government to assess failings during the Yom Kippur War – Ed.]. We worked from an off-site campus where there were lots of young and lively people. The atmosphere was one you would associate more with university student life than with the usual image of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. I discovered that many of my coworkers were science fiction fans. After I’d got the call from Am Oved, during the morning coffee break in the cafeteria, I told them about the book I was going to translate. They were very excited, immediately offering to help. So I delegated a few of the tasks involved in the translation.  The late Meron Gordon, who eventually became ambassador to Warsaw and Moscow, took it upon himself to find the verses from the Bible that appeared in the book, so that we wouldn’t end up translating the Bible into Hebrew. Erella Hadar, who later became ambassador to Prague, undertook to translate concepts from the feudal period that also appeared in the book. David Matnai, later ambassador to several countries in Southeast Asia and an expert in classical Arabic, agreed to correct some phrases in Arabic that were inaccurate in the original version.

I typed out the translation of the book by hand, and then the secretaries at the Center happily typed  a clean copy—on a typewriter; back then, there were no computers or word processors. The order of work went like this: I translated, my colleagues commented and corrected, and then a final copy was made, which I submitted to Am Oved. Not only do I thank them on the first page of the Hebrew version, but the sharp-eyed reader will notice that in one of the appendices at the end of the book, which describes the establishment of a certain religious council, I used for it the acronym of the organization we were working for at the time.

Dune (2021), directed by Denis Villeneuve

In an interview with Haaretz, you mentioned that this is one of your three favorite science fiction books. What is it about this book that you like so much?

The book’s psychological depth, the breadth of the plot, and the character development. Science fiction from the 1940s and 1950s is still my favorite, but the characters are usually two-dimensional and lacking in depth and development. In Dune, the reader follows the development of the characters, and as the book progresses, you discover more and more layers to them. This is some true artistry from Frank Herbert. I especially like the idea of ​​what foresight means. Let me explain: there is a character who can see the future, but what he sees it in a similar way to Borges’ The Garden of Forking Paths. He sees the paths and wants to choose one path or avoid the other—and without giving away too much, because I don’t like spoilers—his dilemma is about choosing the right path, when in the middle there is an abyss, and he can’t see where the paths split. It’s not a self-fulfilling prophecy; foresight is a much more complicated and deep phenomenon.

Can the person who “sees the futures” choose the right future? That’s the book’s big question.


What were the challenges you faced in translating? I understand you had a difficult task adapting the book into Hebrew.

In today’s computer age, I can correspond with authors and ask them questions. Back then, we never met. What were the challenges? To replicate the book’s depth. It’s easy to do a superficial, literal translation, but if you want to do it well and capture the book’s psychological depth, you need to put in more effort. On the other hand, the mysticism in the book translates well from one language to another. It’s often challenging to translate Hindu or even Christian mysticism, and you need to think about how to convey the spirit of the text without getting into Jewish mysticism, because that’s not the author’s intention. In this case, the mysticism is Muslim-Jewish. There’s a character who is described as the   “Kwisatz Haderach” [kfitzat haderekh is a Kabbalistic concept in Hebrew meaning a miraculous leap from one place to another – CM], so in this respect, I was on solid footing.


How is the original different from the Hebrew translation? Obviously, you didn’t touch the plot.

The Arabic in the original book was not very accurate, and as I mentioned before, David Matnai helped me a lot with this. For example, pretty much in the beginning of the book, the main character Paul arouses the admiration of another character who comes to investigate and discover who he is, and she utters a cry of wonder and admiration—kul wahad! Kul wahad is not an exclamation of admiration in Arabic. Matnai gave me a better word expressing admiration in Arabic—aj’aib—which means  “wonder of wonders!” There are a number of little examples like that throughout the book.


Can one translate a book one doesn’t necessarily like?

I try not to. The choice is a little more limited today. I used to be able to pass on something like that if it came up. In principle, one can translate a book one doesn’t like, because the work of translating is, at its core, technical. Art comes on top of the technique. With Frank Herbert, I went to great lengths to ensure that if there were mistakes, they would be corrected in the Hebrew. There were books where I didn’t do that.


What do you read in your spare time?

I read mostly science fiction, but also fantasy. I have a problem with the fantasy genre, though. For me, everything written after Tolkien—it’s just not the same. Here and there, you find a pearl.


To this day one hears things like “If it’s fantasy or science fiction, I’m not reading it.” Do you feel that even today the perception is that these are inferior genres, and that perhaps the boundaries of the fantasy  “ghetto” have not yet been breached?

The fantastic genres emerged from the literary ghetto largely thanks to Ursula K. Le Guin. The older generation in Israel, the generation that believed that books had a mission—Zionism first and foremost, of course—that generation saw science fiction as a waste of time. They didn’t consider, for example, that Altneuland [a utopian novel written by Theodor Herzl in 1902 – Ed.] is a science fiction story. And when asked what about 1984, and Brave New World—they would say that it was  “fine literature”, not science fiction.

This feeling has slowly been fading in recent years. If it could be said about Ursula K. Le Guin in the 1980s, then in Israel it could only be said in the 2000s, now that original and respected writers like Shimon Adaf are writing fantasy. Perhaps Adaf is our Le Guin.

Science fiction is no longer ridiculed in Israel. This, by the way, is why science fiction enthusiasts tend to organize and meet at conferences—to spend time with like-minded people a few days a year, who love what they love and who don’t look down on them. When I was still chair of the science fiction society, I would hear things like “ninety percent of science fiction is garbage.” It really made me angry, and I felt that because of my position I had to respond. Then I thought to myself, if it’s only ninety percent, then we’re in pretty good shape compared to general literature.


What translation are you most proud of?

No question at all, The Lord of the Rings and its various sequels—including most other J. R. R. Tolkien books that appeared in Hebrew. Some of these works were originally published in English only recently, not just the Hebrew translations. We have yet to see another writer of Tolkien’s stature. There hasn’t been another and I hope there will be, but I cannot see where they might come from. He was a singular, unique writer in his generation, in every sense. For me, he was everything.  It was an honor to translate his work into Hebrew.

The First Woman to Sign Israel’s Declaration of Independence

Rachel Cohen-Kagan was one of the most prominent activists for the advancement of women's rights in the young State of Israel. Her efforts led to her being among the signatories of the Declaration of Independence


Rachel Cohen-Kagan at the declaration of the new state. Photo: Benno Rothenberg, from the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel

In recent times, elections have been a frequent topic of discussion here in Israel, yet only occasionally does the important issue of women’s representation in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, make the headlines. On Election Day, broadcasters busily analyze election forecasts to determine, among many other things, what the number of women will be in the new Knesset, but the issue typically gets pushed to the side fairly quickly.

It turns out that the matter of female representation has been a key concern of Israel’s elected representatives—and especially of the elected women representatives—since the very first days of statehood. One person who stood out for her activities on the matter was Rachel Cohen-Kagan, one of the early champions of Israeli feminism. Throughout her years in the Knesset, she fought hard for women’s equality and rights.

Rachel Cohen-Kagan

Cohen-Kagan was born in the city of Odessa in 1888 to the Lubarski family. She studied mathematics at the University of Odessa, and then married Dr. Noah Cohen, a medical doctor from Tashkent. In 1919, they were among the new immigrant passengers on the Ruslan, a famous ship whose voyage marked the traditional beginning of the Third Aliyah, a major wave of Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel. She eventually joined WIZO and became active in the Zionist women’s organization until she was chosen as its chairperson following the death of Henrietta Szold.

Woman!…Apart from you yourself, no party will protect the special interests of the woman and child, the housewife, the new immigrant…” – A WIZO party election poster in Hebrew for the Constituent Assembly in 1949. The Ephemera Collection at the National Library of Israel

Cohen-Kagan was the WIZO representative on the National Committee (the executive branch of the pre-state Assembly of Representatives) where she was in charge of the Social Welfare department, and when the People’s Council was established, Cohen-Kagan was WIZO’s representative there as well. As a member of the People’s Council, she was one of the 37 signatories to the State of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and one of only two women to sign it. In fact, she was the first woman to sign the Declaration, before her colleague Golda Meir (Meyerson), since the signing was in alphabetical order, and the Hebrew letter כ (kaf) comes before מ (mem). Cohen-Kagan described her feelings during the historic event: “When a person feels that a dream becomes a reality and their heart fills with joy, they can scale the rooftops. To this day, I find it difficult to put into words what I felt on that day. My language abilities, specifically, and human language in general, fall short. I think it can only be properly expressed through music and art.”

Rachel Cohen-Kagan signs Israel’s Declaration of Independence. David Ben-Gurion sits to her right behind a set of microphones, while Moshe Sharett is to her left. Photo: Benno Rothenberg, the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel

In the run-up to the First Knesset elections, or the “Constituent Assembly” as it was then called, WIZO merged with the Union of Hebrew Women for Equal Rights in Erez Israel in order to run as the first and only all-women party. Even prior to the elections, Cohen-Kagan raised the issue of women’s representation in parliament. She was interviewed by Haaretz in December 1948 (a few weeks before the January elections), but the interview was buried in the women’s section of the paper – “La’isha velabayit” (“For Women and the Home”).  In the interview, titled “Women Needed for our Constituent Council,” Cohen-Kagan said: “To be honest, being the only woman in parliament is not pleasant; it’s even hard! . . . The very fact implies difficulties. Just as it would be rough for a man if he were the only one in an all-women parliament.” Later she added, “…to this day the male public views the appearance of a woman at the parliamentary gates as a very special phenomenon. In this respect, a good degree of maturity is still lacking on the part of men. They simply have a hard time forgetting that I am a woman…”

A WIZO Party election poster for Constituent Assembly in 1949, the Ephemera Collection, the National Library of Israel

Cohen-Kagan, who believed that women bring a unique perspective, saw women’s representation in the Knesset as a necessary component for the running of the state: “It is important and imperative that the women’s point of view be given greater prominence. Just as a man and a woman’s viewpoints integrate in the private household and everything is conducted through the merging of the two approaches for the sake of harmony and good will, it should be the same in the running of the state. In this way, the woman’s viewpoint will be expressed and realized in all general matters, and especially in those in which a woman’s participation is essential, because she is the one who looks out for the needs of daily life.” Cohen-Kagan believed there were certain issues in which the women’s viewpoint was especially significant: “Most important here are questions of welfare, social security for children and the elderly and the problem of education in general. I have no doubt that with the influence of women’s participation in the life of the state, there would be greater concern for all the weak and disadvantaged in our country, a more humane approach to their problems, and without doubt, their situation would improve.”

Women Needed for our Constituent Council” – A segment of the Hebrew interview with Rachel Cohen-Kagan in the December 21st, 1948 issue of Haaretz. You can find the complete interview here.

WIZO won one seat, and Rachel Cohen-Kagan entered the first Knesset. During her tenure, she proposed the “Family and Equality of Women” law in 1951, sought to combat violence against women, supported women’s service in the IDF and dealt with other issues to promote the status of women in Israel. In 1951, the Knesset dissolved and the WIZO party never ran again as an independent party. Ten years later, Rachel Cohen-Kagan ran again for the Knesset and was elected as a member of the Liberal Party in 1961. She served as a Knesset member for another four years.


Many thanks to Dr. Sharon Geva who greatly assisted in the preparation of this article. You can find more information about Rachel Cohen-Kagan and the activities of other women in the early days of the State of Israel at the National Library of Israel.


Moshe Dayan: A Life in Pictures

The Israeli general and politician Moshe Dayan was one of the most iconic and photogenic figures in the country's history. We dove into the National Library collections and selected a handful of pictures that captured both historic and personal moments in his eventful life

No deep dive into the dark recesses of the archives was required here.

Moshe Dayan was a star attraction for Israel’s leading photographers during the early years of Jewish statehood. In fact, narrowing down the selection of photographs presented here was no easy feat. Dayan had always been drawn to the cameras, and the cameras were drawn to him.

Among the photographers who frequently shot the young IDF Chief of Staff was Benno Rothenberg, a colorful figure in his own right and a prominent professional cameraman in Israel who shared Dayan’s love of archaeology. Shortly before his death, Rothenberg deposited his 50,000 photographs in the trusty hands of collector Zvi Meitar, as did two other leading photographers – Boris Carmi and Moshe Levin. The digitization of these collections has recently been completed, in cooperation with the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund. The photos are now available online on the National Library of Israel website.

It is also worth mentioning the work of photographer Dan Hadani. From 1965 and until the year 2000, Hadani managed the Israel Press and Photo Agency (IPPA), documenting countless events in the history of the State of Israel: wars, elections, protests, social struggles, settlement projects, ceremonies, concerts, various cultural events and more – all together nearly a million frames. This collection was transferred to the National Library several years ago, with almost half a million images now accessible through the Library catalog.

In addition to the above, a number of unique, special photographs of Moshe Dayan were deposited at the National Library in 2017 as part of his son Assi Dayan’s personal archive. Several more photos come from the Bitmuna Collection and the Ben Zvi Institute Archive. All of these are made accessible on the National Library of Israel website as part of the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection.

Moshe Dayan, commander of the Jerusalem front, with members of a police unit on their way to Mt. Scopus, 1950, the Dan Hadani Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Moshe Dayan preparing snowballs with commanders from the IDF’s 6th Brigade, Winter 1949, the Dan Hadani Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan speaks before residents of Yamit who were protesting the planned evacuation of the Sinai settlement as part of the peace agreement with Egypt. 1978, the Dan Hadani Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Moshe Dayan, with Menachem Begin and U.S. President Jimmy Carter, following the signing of the peace treaty with Egypt, the Dan Hadani Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


The chuppa ceremony at the double wedding of Assi and Aharona Dayan and Yael Dayan and Dov Sion. David Ben-Gurion and Rabbi Shlomo Goren can be seen under the canopy. The Dan Hadani Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel.


Moshe Dayan reading with his son Assi. The Hebrew text on the back of the photograph reads: “An idyllic family evening. The officer becomes teacher to his young son Assaf”, 1955, the Assi Dayan Archive, the National Library of Israel.


Moshe, Ruth, Yael, Udi and Assi Dayan – a family photo taken after Moshe was appointed Chief of Staff, the caption naming the family members was written by Assi, the Assi Dayan Archive, the National Library of Israel


Moshe Dayan with Binyamin Zarhi and a Bedouin horseman at the Dead Sea, Zarhi was a classmate of Dayan’s. Photo from a family album prepared by Assi Dayan for his son Lior. The Assi Dayan Archive, the National Library of Israel.


Moshe Dayan as a child at Degania. Moshe is the child on the right. Nadav Man, Bitmuna. From the Shmuel Dayan Collection. Collection source: Zohar Betser, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel.


Haganah prisoners at Acre Prison, including Moshe Dayan at the head of the procession, 1939. Nadav Man, Bitmuna. From the Shmuel Dayan Collection. Collection source: Zohar Betser, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel.


New IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan at the home of David Ben-Gurion, 1953. Photo by Benno Rothenberg, the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel.


A portrait of Moshe Dayan, the third IDF Chief of Staff, photo by Benno Rothenberg, the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Moshe Dayan at a ceremony for fallen soldiers, 1948, photo by Benno Rothenberg, the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Moshe Dayan at an archaeological dig, 1957, photo by Benno Rothenberg, the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Moshe Dayan at an archaeological dig, 1957, photo by Benno Rothenberg, the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Defense Minister Moshe Dayan at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron following the Six-Day War (right to left: journalist Moshe Pearlman, Rehavam Ze’evi, Dayan, his chief of staff Mordechai Bar-On and Head of IDF Central Command Uzi Narkis), 1967. The Ben Zvi Institute, Archive Network Israel and the National Library of Israel.


Moshe Dayan and his wife Ruth with their eldest daughter Yael, Nahalal, 1939, the Ben Zvi Institute, Archive Network Israel and the National Library of Israel.


Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan with IDF officers in a rubber boat on the day the IDF withdrew from Sharm el-Sheikh in Sinai. Rehavam Ze’evi (on the right, holding a paddle), Shmuel Tankus, Moshe Dayan, Mordechai Bar-On and Uzi Narkis, 1957. The Ben Zvi Institute, Archive Network Israel and the National Library of Israel.


David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan at Rafi party headquarters, 1966, photo by Boris Carmi, the Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel


Matan Barzilai, head of the Archives Department at the National Library of Israel, took part in the preparation of this article.