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Letters From Jerusalem 1947-1948

by Zipporah Porath


Jerusalem Palestine Air mail letter, 1947

Eye Witness to the Israel War of Independence and the Birth of Israel


To order the entire book: In Israel or Europe: send email to

Zipporah Porath zip(at)netvision.net.il (Israel) or call Tel/Fax: 972-3-635-1835.

 In USA: send email to Jonathan Porath jporath(at)mac.com


A sample of letters from the book: Letters from Jerusalem, 1947-1948

Letters that capture the spirit of the new country and Zionism, and relate events as they unfold.

Visit to the doomed: Gush Etzion, October 1947 - In October of 1947, Zipporah Porath went to see Zionism at work in four new kibbutzim - the four doomed communities of Gush Etzion. She wrote to her parents, "The only problem is that they are smack in the heart of Arab territory. So what sense of security can there be?"  

Palestine Partition - November 29, 1947 - Historic letter from Jerusalem recalls a night to remember: The UN decision to partition Palestine:

I walked in a semi-daze through the crowds of happy faces, through the deafening singing, "David, Melech Yisrael, Chai, Chai ve Kayam" [David, King of Israel, Lives, Lives and Exists.] past the British tanks and jeeps piled high with pyramids of flag-waving, cheering children.  

Joining the Haganah - The spirit, a bible and a pistol, made up for the lack of weapons and training.

Fallen Heroes of Gush Etzion  - Thirty five who set out to save a besieged community, and their tragic murder.

Palestine 1948: Fight or Flight - As Jerusalem prepares for a siege, a young American student explains why she is staying.

Palestine Pioneering - Observations on what it takes to make a new nation.

Palestine: Ben Yehuda Street Bombing 1948 - A letter describing the Ben Yehuda Street bombing of February 1948, and explaining why such acts of terror were so easy to carry out.

Palestine: Ben Yehuda St. Bombing 1948 (2) - A letter from Jerusalem describing grim restraint and fierce determination in the face of impossible odds. 

Palestine Siege: Jerusalem 1948 - A real siege, and the story of an egg.

Palestine siege: ration card.

The darkest hours of Jewish Jerusalem - March 1948 - no convoy can get through. It seems like nothing can save Jerusalem. The ultimate trial of Zionist determination.

Jerusalem 1948: A convoy arrives - describes the joy of momentary relief of the siege.

Hadassah convoy massacre 1948 - Describes the massacre of nearly 80 medical personnel, patients and their guards by Palestinian Arab terrorists.

Palestine 1948: Passover in besieged Jerusalem - When one egg was a feast.

Israel: a country is born - Letters from besieged Jerusalem, May 15 and 16, 1948.

Out of the Jerusalem Siege:1948 - First letter after leaving besieged Jerusalem, June, 1948.

Israel - warts and all, 1948 - "This will be a great country in ten years."

Israel: This is my home - 1948 - From student to volunteer soldier to new immigrant.

"A magnificent book... exciting, inspiring, filled with humor and idealism." Jewish Week, New York


“...I have been entranced by ‘Letters from Jerusalem 1947- 1948’…one of the most interesting contemporary accounts of the period of Israel's struggle for independence....extremely readable, very moving…an essential source…of great interest today, especially for the younger generations who did not live through it.”  Sir Martin Gilbert, eminent historian


To order the entire book: In Israel or Europe: send email to

Zipporah Porath,  zip(at)netvision.net.il (Israel) or call Tel/Fax: 972-3-635-1835.


In USA: send email to Jonathan Porath jporath(at)mac.com

or click here for review and order information


Israel War of Independence: Related Articles and References

Israel - Birth of a Nation - The struggle for Israel's independence

Israel War of Independence

1948 Arab-Israel war Timeline

Arab-Israel War 1948

Six day War

 MACHAL In Israel's Wars

MACHAL in Israel's War of Independence

MACHAL - in illegal immigration to Palestine and Virtual Museum of Israel War of Independence

ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log   Middle East Analysis    Latest Israel News Israel News headlines


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