The Nazi Guide to Finding the Proper Spouse

These "10 commandments" for building a good relationship were found in a pamphlet distributed to all students graduating from a trade school under the Nazi regime.

nazi relationship guide

“I found this on the shelf and thought you might know what to do with it,” she said as she handed me a thin paperback pamphlet with a German title and a swastika embossed on the cover.

Apparently, spring cleaning in the office can lead to some interesting discoveries when you work in the National Library of Israel Digital Content Department.

The book I now held in my hand was a copy of “Du Und Dein Volk,” or in English, “You and Your People,” a widely spread piece of Nazi propaganda that was published in early 1940 and distributed by the Reich Education Ministry to young adults finishing their education. Thousands of copies of this pamphlet were printed and distributed across Nazi Germany, providing the young graduates with an easy to read, condensed version of the Nazi doctrine that all Germans were required to know.

Du Und Dein Volk

This particular copy of the pamphlet found on our shelves was bestowed to a graduate of the “Berufsschule für Tischler,” vocational school for carpentry in Vienna, named August Feigel. His name was written in cursive in blue ink on the first page of the book. It appears there alongside the name of his school, the date the book was gifted (July 6, 1940), and the signature of the school’s headmaster, suggesting this book was given as a gift to all graduating students.

Du Und Dein Volk
The opening page of the book showing that it was gifted to August Feigel, a graduate of the “Berufsschule für Tischler,” vocational school for carpentry in Vienna.

Upon further inspection, and with a lot of help from my German-speaking colleagues, I understood that this “light reading” contained a general summary of Nazi ideology that outlined the responsibilities of the average German citizen, encouraging the youths to marry and have many children while warning them of the dangers of marrying someone improper, including those without the proper German mindset or someone who is not of Nordic blood.

In a section entitled, “Your Marriage and Your Children,” the text emphasizes the importance of marriage and of bearing as many healthy children as possible, to maintain and strengthen the right racial components for the good of society.

Du Und Dein Volk
Adolf Hitler’s portrait included at the center of the pamphlet.

“Your genetic line is like roots underground. When two such roots meet and unite, a person grows like a plant and breaks through the soil,” reads the text. “The sun smiles upon it, rain falls, it’s blown by storms, it wilts and withers, and finally dies a human death. Yet the genetic stream flows on long after the sun and rain and storms of that one life have passed.”

The section goes on to discuss the importance of maintaining a clean genetic pool and the critical nature of choosing an appropriate spouse who has within them the appropriate racial ancestry, as well as the responsibility that lies with every individual to strengthen the Aryan race by producing healthy children. The chapter concludes with a summarized and condensed list of the ten key commandments to follow when choosing a spouse with which to build and strengthen German ideals.

Du Und Dein Volk
The 10 commandments of Nazi doctrine for finding a spouse.

“You now know how to choose your spouse and understand the meaning of the following principles from the Reich Office for People’s Health,” reads the text. It then goes on to list the 10 commandments for finding a spouse:

  1. Always remember that you are a German.

  2. Be sure to marry if you are genetically healthy.

  3. Ensure that you keep your body clean.

  4. Keep your soul and spirit clean.

  5. As a German, you should only take a spouse of German or Nordic blood.

  6. When deciding on a spouse, investigate his or her ancestry.

  7. Physical health is the prerequisite for outward beauty.

  8. Marry only for love.

  9. In relationships, do not seek a temporary plaything, look for a partner for marriage.

  10. You should want as many children as possible.

This emphasis on maintaining the proper bloodline and increasing the pure German population was a key point for graduating students as they moved out of the structured environment of their education to the real world where they would fend for themselves.

After listing the ten initial commandments, the text adds an important warning to the reader: “People of absolutely pure blood are rare among us.” Just because someone matches the external criteria of the Aryan race, “that does not mean that he necessarily possesses all the spiritual characteristics that correspond to the physical appearance.”

“Enough advice and warnings,” concludes the section. “If you understood these rules, you can be assured that your instincts will lead you in the right direction. You should not marry out of the calculation, but rather from love!”

Du Und Dein Volk
The ideal German family according to Du Und Dein Volk.

A few pages later, the pamphlet includes a photo depicting the ideal family, featuring a blonde woman surrounded by her children. The text goes on to describe the importance of family before switching to a discussion of “The Jewish Question” and preventing the birth of genetically ill offspring.

The final pages in the pamphlet include a template for the student to fill in his own family tree, leading back to his great grandparents, so that he could prove his pure lineage. August Feigel, the recipient of this book, did not take advantage of this opportunity.

Du Und Dein Volk
A family tree template for the student to fill out.

“Woe to the generation that is given clarity and does not make use of it,” concludes the text. “There are only two options: to climb to liberating heights or to decline. We choose the first path, though we know it brings sacrifices and challenges, though it is difficult and will take more than one or two or three generations.”

Looking back over the last three generations, the Nazis did not achieve their goals in “purifying” the genetic pool but this pamphlet, now preserved in the National Library of Israel, stands as a witness to the dangers of racism and anti-Semitism that are still apparent today.

Special thanks to Dr. Stefan Litt for his help in writing this article.

This post was written as part of Gesher L’Europa, the NLI’s initiative to connect with Europe and make our collections available to diverse audiences in Europe and beyond.

Columbus’ Crusade

A letter unearthed 500 years after Columbus' famous journey hints at an extraordinary venture that never materialized…


Columbus claims ownership of the New World. Print from 1893.

The rising waves pounded against the holds of the two ships that had embarked on their voyage a month earlier. They were now rocking from side to side and dipping in and out of the chilly waters of the Atlantic. The sailors working topside tethered themselves to the deck in order to avoid being thrown overboard into the depths. In his small cabin, the captain sat at his desk. He had already lost one of his ships, and now he feared for her two sisters. In an effort to stem the bad fortune that seemed to have befallen them, the captain decided to cast lots, in an effort to appease the will of God. Those selected by divine fortune would don traditional religious garb and make a pilgrimage to Santa Maria de Guadalupe.

The lots decreed that the captain himself would embark on the trek to the famous monastery, if they ever made it back to Spain. He thought of his two sons in Cordoba who might soon become orphans, but one fear rose above all others: that word of his astonishing discovery would never reach the ears of the king who had sent him on his important mission in the first place. And so, he dipped his quill in ink, unfolded the piece of parchment, and began writing the story of the long and challenging journey he had begun the previous summer. When he finished, he stamped the parchment with wax and sealed it in a barrel. He threw the watertight barrel into the sea with a prayer that it would somehow reach its intended destination.

The barrel was never discovered, but Christopher Columbus and his crew somehow survived the storm and reached the port of Lisbon several weeks later.

Upon his return to European shores, the captain sent four long letters. First, he wrote to the Portuguese king, explaining the reason for his anchorage in Lisbon while he rested and resupplied for the continued voyage to Spain. Next, he sent a letter to the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, who had sent him on his journey (and who were responsible for the expulsion of Spanish Jewry just a year earlier). The final two letters were sent to Luis de Santángel and Gabriel Sánchez, key figures in organizing and financing the excursion.

None of the original letters have withstood the ravages of time, but we know of their existence from various sources. Columbus kept a daily log, detailing the voyage westward, his stay in the Caribbean (he believed he had reached the islands east of China and India), and the treacherous return voyage to Europe. In the log, he told of the letter in the barrel that he had cast out to sea. Later in the diary, he noted that he had arrived in Lisbon on March 4th, 1493, and that he had sent his first letter to the King of Portugal.

At one point, the diary was copied for Queen Isabella. But, the manuscript has since been lost. An edited version was composed by Bartolomé de las Casas, the Spanish historian and Dominican friar who gained fame as a social reformer in the 16th century. This version was also lost, and then rediscovered at the end of the 18th century. Until the rediscovery, all that was known of Columbus’ inaugural voyage to the West came from the letters written to Santángel and Sánchez.

In 1989, almost five-hundred years after the epic journey, a copy of a letter composed by Columbus was published. The letter was copied by an unknown source, but it most likely dates back to the 16th century. Some speculate that the copy was based on Columbus’ letter to Ferdinand and Isabella.

The letters to Santángel and Sánchez have been well studied, due to the fact that they were printed a few weeks after they were sent by Columbus. The letter to Sánchez was translated into Latin and titled Epistola de Insulis Nuper Inventis (“A Letter from the Newly Discovered Islands”). It was printed in Rome by Stefan Plannck in May, 1493. That year, the letter was also printed and circulated in Paris and Basel. The Basel copy also features woodblock prints, probably created by Columbus himself.


A woodblock print of Columbus’ ship from an edition of the letter printed in Basel in 1493

A short time ago, I received a message from a researcher in England who wanted to know if there was a watermark in a particular book in the National Library catalogue. Watermarks are a type of logo embedded on a page that can identify the paper manufacturer and the period in which it was printed. I found the watermark (a figure in the shape of a dragon or pegasus) and then had a closer look at the book itself.

Opening page of Epistola de Insulis Nuper Inventis, from the National Library collections. Click on the picture to view the complete book
Opening page of Epistola de Insulis Nuper Inventis, from the National Library collections. Click on the picture to view the complete book

If this relatively thin book, written in dense gothic letters, had not been an incunable, I probably would not have given it more than a few moments. An incunable is a book printed before the year 1501, during the first few decades following the invention of the printing press. When one of these incunabula comes your way, you give it the respect it deserves. I decided to look into the origin of the title and found that this was a printed copy of the very same Sánchez letter. This rare item had, apparently, reached the National Library in the early 1960s.

The letter began with Columbus summarizing the voyage on which he had been sent on behalf of King Ferdinand of Spain. The printer seems to have forgotten to mention Queen Isabella. This error was corrected in subsequent editions. Another mistake was the misprint of Raphael Sánchez as the finance minister’s name. It was later amended to Gabriel Sánchez.

The letter describes Columbus as having arrived in the Indian Ocean thirty-three days after leaving the Canary Islands. Today we know that it was not the Indian Ocean, but the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas. Columbus gave Christian names to the islands and continued on his way. At first, when he arrived on the island of Juana (today known as Cuba), he did not immediately realize that it was an island because of its vast size. When the locals informed him that he had yet to reach the continent, he continued his search until he landed on the island of Hispaniola (today known as Haiti). On arrival, he claimed the island in the name of King Ferdinand.

Columbus described Hispaniola as a veritable paradise, with many rivers, towering mountains, diverse vegetation, fields, birds of song, and precious metals. Columbus went on to record that the residents of the island were healthy and highly-skilled, but easily frightened. Only after the Spanish crew offered them fabrics and other gifts did the residents agree to approach them. In return, the islanders gave Columbus and his team an abundance of gold and cotton. Columbus did not think the inhabitants were idolaters. They believed that goodness came from heaven, and saw Columbus and his crew as angels who came to them in unfathomably large vessels.

The locals moved from island to island in small rowboats. They carried goods to their neighbors on the other islands. They all spoke the same language, and Columbus noted that this could assist the Spaniards in their later attempts to convert the islanders to Christianity.

If Columbus considered the people of Hispaniola frightened and naive, the inhabitants of the nearby island of Quaris seemed particularly violent to him. He wrote that they enjoyed eating human flesh and robbing the inhabitants of neighboring islands. They armed themselves with bows and arrows and allowed their hair to grow long, a direct contrast to the residents of the largest island in the area, whose heads were completely shaven. This island was described as having more gold than any other.

Columbus ordered that a fort be constructed on the island of Hispaniola. There, he left some of his crew with enough food for a year. He added that he had left one of the ships with them (the Santa Maria), but “forgot” to mention that the ship was no longer seaworthy due to the fact that it had run aground while its crew and captain had fallen asleep.

Columbus concluded the letter by praising God for the success of the mission. He proposed the idea of organizing religious festivals to celebrate the discovery of the “lost souls” overseas.

Columbus’ official goal was strictly economic – to discover a shorter maritime route to India. A shorter route would have saved money on long and dangerous commercial excursions to the East. But what did the Spaniards intend to do with the surplus funds? The answer is found in the lost letter that Columbus sent to the King and Queen of Spain upon his arrival in Lisbon.

In the letter, Columbus promised that, thanks to the planned commercial success of his new route, in just seven years time he would be able to finance 5,000 cavalry and 50,000 infantry to embark on the conquest of Jerusalem. He adds, “That was the goal for which I took on this project.” If so, Columbus and the King of Spain planned a crusade to Jerusalem – a conquest unlike any attempted since the 13th century. This startling fact was revealed only after the discovery of the letter in 1989.

With the exception of the First Crusade, which reached Jerusalem in 1099, the conquests that followed all resulted in failure or only partial successes. What would have happened if a Spanish armada, armed with cannons and gunpowder, had sailed to the Land of Israel? One can only imagine, as the plan never came to fruition. Following Columbus’ discovery, the peoples of Europe became captivated with an even more fascinating destination – the New World, America.


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“Tropical Zion” Revealed

The Mother Who Stayed Behind to Defend Her Home During Israel’s War of Independence

Zipporah Rosenfeld, a fighter and a mother, faced an impossible dilemma: family or country?


Zipporah Rosenfeld immigrated to Israel from Europe as a survivor of the Holocaust. Like many of her generation who lived in the shadow of the catastrophe, Zipporah felt a sense of urgency to start her own family. She had met her husband Yehiel while still in Europe. After the war, the coupled decided to immigrate to Palestine and settle in Gush Etzion (the “Etzion Bloc”, in English), a cluster of settlements in the West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Their first child, Yossi, was born there. Despite the Etzion Bloc’s location in the midst of a hostile Arab population, its Jewish residents felt they had found a place they could call home. Over time, they began to develop economic ties and a life of co-existence with the neighboring Arab villages.

The Partition Plan put an end to all that. According to the border plan, Gush Etzion would remain outside the borders of the Jewish state. Yet, even with the sweeping approval of the plan by most of the member states of the United Nations, the Palestinian representatives and the Arab countries made clear they were willing to fight with any means at their disposal in order to prevent the partition plan from being implemented.

The Rosenfeld family, the Historical Archives of Gush Etzion
The Rosenfeld family, the Historical Archives of Gush Etzion

Over the years, there have been quite a few grievances aired surrounding the representation of the National Religious sector in the context of commemoration of Israel’s War of Independence. However, the group whose story has been suppressed perhaps more than any other is that of the religious Zionist women who bore the burden of caring for the children during wartime, with many risking (and sometimes even forfeiting) their lives in defense of their homeland.

The Women of Religious Zionism and the Building of the Nation

Even before the war, National Religious women, including the women of Gush Etzion, took an active part in the building of the country. It was a significant departure from the traditional conception of the role of the religious Jewish woman. The women of Gush Etzion, like many National Religious women, welcomed their new responsibilities in building the nation. During the period of calm before the war, the women of the Gush trained and took up defensive positions when the men were out patrolling the surrounding area.


Women of Gush Etzion at target practice. Photo: Gal Rattner
Women of Gush Etzion at target practice. Photo: Gal Rattner


However, with the outbreak of fighting and the Arab Legion’s attack on Gush Etzion, most of the mothers and children were evacuated.


British armored vehicles used during the evacuation of women and children from Gush Etzion
British armored vehicles used during the evacuation of women and children from Gush Etzion, the Historical Archives of Gush Etzion

The female fighters who remained were all unmarried, with the exception of two, one of whom was eventually evacuated before the fall of the Gush. Zipporah Rosenfeld, the only mother who stayed behind to help in the defense of her home, was caught in a terrible dilemma.


A group of men and women manning a guard post during the siege on Gush Etzion
A group of men and women manning a guard post during the siege on Gush Etzion, the Historical Archives of Gush Etzion

When the fighting began, she hurried to send her only son Yossi along with the other evacuees from the Gush. She chose to remain with her husband and protect her home with her own body. Almost to the end, Zipporah debated whether to leave and join her little boy or stay and fight. “We left the decision until the ambulances arrived. I’m torn. I must decide between my duty as a mother and my obligation to my fellow members under siege” (Lilach Rosenberg-Friedman, Revolutionaries against Their Will, 324 [Hebrew]). As one of the fighters, she saw with her own eyes the severe shortage of people able to use a rifle, and therefore decided to delay her evacuation. Eventually, the siege by the Arab Legion prevented the possibility of evacuation and Zipporah and her husband Yehiel were killed in the final battle of the Etzion Bloc.


Yehiel, Yossi and Zipporah Rosenfeld before the start of the battles for Gush Etzion, the Historical Archives of Gush Etzion
Yehiel, Yossi and Zipporah Rosenfeld before the start of the battles for Gush Etzion, the Historical Archives of Gush Etzion

Along with Zipporah and Yehiel, another 127 soldiers were killed in the last and most difficult battle over Gush Etzion, which took place on May 13, 1948. Among the fatalities were twenty-two women, the highest number of female fatalities in a single battle in all of Israel’s wars. Dozens of women from across the Etzion Bloc were taken captive by the Jordanian Legion. They were taken with the remaining men to Umm al Jamal, a prisoner-of-war camp on the eastern side of the Jordan River. The women were released six weeks later, while the men only returned to the territory of the fledgling state nine months after being captured.



After the fall of the Etzion Bloc, the survivors were taken captive by the Jordanians. The women were released after six weeks, while the men remained in captivity for nine months
After the fall of the Etzion Bloc, the survivors were taken captive by the Jordanians. The women were released after six weeks, while the men remained in captivity for nine months,  the Historical Archives of Gush Etzion

Our collective national memory of the War of Independence reserves a place of honor for secular female fighters who sacrificed their lives for the nation. It is worth asking: What of the memory of the religious female fighters of the War of Independence? Why has the memory of fighting women — women like Zipporah Rosenfeld, who contributed equally to the war effort and who helped to strengthen the morale of the fighters on the battlefield—been relegated to the shadows? The pressing need for armed combatants in the period when the young state fought for its existence justified the enlistment of female fighters from the National Religious sector. The participation of women in battle did not stem from a change in the National Religious perception of the proper role of women in society, but from necessity. Indeed, immediately following the war, the leadership of the National Religious sector exerted heavy pressure to exempt religious women from army service.

The children of Gush Etzion’s founding generation, like Yossi Ron, the son of Zipporah and Yehiel – most of whom were evacuated with the outbreak of fighting – have been working for years to correct this historical bias and to remind all of us—the National Religious sector and the Israeli public in general—of the worthiness of remembering and cherishing the memory of the religious female fighters and those who fell in battle.

Pictures: The Historical Archives of Gush Etzion


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The Kabbalistic Ceremony that Helped to Identify the Fallen Soldiers


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The Kabbalistic Ceremony That Helped to Identify the Fallen Soldiers

When the thirty-five fallen soldiers of a legendary military convoy were brought for burial at Mt. Herzl, following Israel's War of Independence, only twenty-three could be identified with certainty. To resolve the problem, Rabbi Aryeh Levin performed a little-known Kabbalistic ritual.


The funeral of the Convoy of the Thirty-Five, 1948. Photo: Historical Archives of Gush Etzion

Twice, the funeral procession descended from the village to the lower slopes of the hill above the wadi, to where a mass grave had been dug in the young pine forest. Those carrying the stretchers with the dead, soldiers, members of the settlement, and relatives walked silently down the sloping path. A heartbreaking sight was a mother walking silently behind a stretcher, her hand supporting the head of her only son, which protruded slightly from under the cover draped over the stretcher—as if her son were alive and his mother’s caress would soothe him (“Yoman Kfar Etzion” [Hebrew], January 18th, 1948).

On the night between the 15th and 16th of January, 1948, thirty-five members of a convoy, commanded by Danny Mass, set out on a mission to deliver supplies to besieged Gush Etzion (the “Etzion Bloc”, in English), a cluster of settlements in the West Bank, just south of Jerusalem. Before dawn the unit was discovered and surrounded by thousands of Arab fighters.  All thirty-five members of the convoy were killed in a battle that lasted the entire day. They have come to be known in Hebrew as the Lamed-Heh (ל”ה), after the two letters which together indicate the number thirty-five.

A Hebrew obituary notice for the fallen "35 Heroes of the Nation"
A Hebrew obituary notice for the fallen “35 Heroes of the Nation”

Twelve Graves Remained Unidentified

Two days later, the bodies were discovered by Hamish Dugan, chief of the British police in Hebron. He intended to bring them to burial in Kfar Etzion, but before he could so, Arabs residents of the nearby village of Surif mutilated the bodies beyond recognition. This led, later, to the problem of identifying the dead.

The funeral of the Convoy of the Thirty-Five, 1948. Photo: Historical Archives of Gush Etzion
The funeral of the Convoy of the Thirty-Five, 1948. Photo: Historical Archives of Gush Etzion


The funeral of the Convoy of the Thirty-Five, 1948. Photo: Historical Archives of Gush Etzion
The funeral of the Convoy of the Thirty-Five, 1948. Photo: Historical Archives of Gush Etzion

A few months after the end of the War of Independence, in late 1949, the Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, Shlomo Goren, initiated a mission to bring the bodies of Gush Etzion’s fallen defenders, including the Convoy of the Thirty-Five, for reburial at the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl.

The burial site of the Thirty-Five on Mt. Herzl

The bodies had been identified for the temporary burial in Kfar Etzion with great effort, but after the fall of Gush Etzion, the burial details were lost including the information of who was buried where. As a result, when the bodies were brought for permanent burial at Mount Herzl it was necessary to re-identify the bodies, and only twenty-three of them could be determined with certainty. Twelve graves remained unidentified. The families of these twelve fallen soldiers approached Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, who suggested they contact Rabbi Aryeh Levin and ask him to perform a Kabbalistic ceremony known as Goral HaGra [“The Lottery of the Vilna Gaon”] in order to identify the bodies.

The Verses that Miraculously Provided Answers

Rabbi Aryeh Levin was known for his kindness. He was called the “Rabbi of the Prisoners” for his habit of writing letters to prisoners and visiting them every Sabbath to visit them in their jail cells to lift their spirits during the British Mandate period. He was particularly known for his visits to the imprisoned members of the underground movements and those headed for the gallows. He also regularly visited the Hansen Leper Hospital in Jerusalem’s Talbiyeh neighborhood to offer encouragement and comfort to the residents. He himself participated in the funeral arrangements and identification of the bodies before the burial of the fallen of Kfar Etzion in 1948.

Goral HaGra, a ritual attributed to the Vilna Gaon (Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman), is conducted by randomly opening a bible and linking the verses on the page to the matter at hand. The purpose of the ceremony is to find answers to a question of great importance. If there is no hint in the verse, one skips to the next verse that begins with the last letter of the previous verse.

Rabbi Aryeh Levin. Photo: the Eddie Hirschbein Collection at the National Library of Israel
Rabbi Aryeh Levin. Photo: the Eddie Hirschbein Collection at the National Library of Israel

At first, Rabbi Levin refused to perform the mystical ritual, but after being convinced that it would help the bereaved families gain a measure of closure—he acquiesced. The Rabbi was given both a list of the fallen whose burial places were unknown and a sketch of the unidentified graves (there was no need to dig up graves or desecrate the existing burial sites). He went over the sketch, one grave at a time, and tried to affix a verse to each.

The bible printed in Amsterdam in 1701 used by Rabbi Aryeh Levin for the ceremony. Photo from the book Ish Tzadik Haya by Simcha Raz

According to the book by Simcha Raz, Ish Tzadik Haya (“There was a Righteous Man” [Hebrew]), the Rabbi’s work was miraculously swift. At first, a few general verses appeared that contained hints of the letters Lamed-Heh followed by eleven verses in rapid succession that hinted at the names of the dead according to the order of their burial in the sketch. Some of the verses even contained the specific name of the deceased. In others, there was a clear hint. No verse was found for the body of the twelfth fallen soldier, Jacob Kotik z”l, but at this point there was no need, since the identification of the other eleven left no doubt as to where he was buried.

A record of the Goral HaGra ritual performed for the twelve graves at the burial site of the Thirty-Five on Mount Herzl. From the book Ish Tzadik Haya.

Twelve Candles Illuminated the Eastern Wall

Journalist Yitzhak Dish described the ceremony:

“It was Thursday, night time. They went upstairs to the yeshiva located in the attic of the small, modest house of Rabbi Aryeh, in the Mishkenot Yisrael neighborhood (a small neighborhood near the Mahane Yehuda market). In the darkened hall, twelve candles were lit, which illuminated the eastern wall next to which was the Torah Ark. Those present included: Rabbi Aryeh along with his son-in-law and son. Two of the parents of the deceased were also in attendance: Mr. Reuven Mass and Mr. Yitzhak Dov HaCohen Persitz. They began with the recitation of Psalms.

A sacred silence prevailed. The burning candles added to the sense of awe. They opened the Bible randomly without looking for a particular page. After each opening, they leafed through it again, seven times, and repeated the act seven times and decided that the findings would determine to whom each grave belonged before marking the tombstone. And this is the rule that was followed: the last verse on the page must include the name or a hint of the name of one of those whose identity is being sought.”


The article published in Herut on May 21st, 1965. Click on the picture to read the article [Hebrew].

Sometimes it’s best to let the departed be. Through the generations, various rabbis have voiced reservations about this custom, which is supposedly aided by magical means. Despite the progress of science, to this day none of the members of the families of the twelve have asked for the bodies to be identified using more advanced methods such as DNA markers, and the fallen of the Convoy the Thirty-Five remain buried based on the identification determined by the Goral HaGra.

Rabbi Levin lived for years on Mount Gerizim Street in the Mishkenot Yisrael neighborhood in Jerusalem. After his death, this street as well as streets in other cities in Israel were named after him. In July 2005, the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation issued a commemorative medal and a stamp bearing his portrait was also published.



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