Sunday, June 1, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 13

Volume 4, Issue 33
May 29, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 402,691

"Why Did He Resign?"

In a television series called 10 Mysteries of Israel, one of those explored was the resignation and last years of Menachem Begin. Program directors were attempting to ascertain why it was that Menachem Begin resigned from office. They interviewed various people who did not know Begin personally, or if they did, were not privy to his decisions.

They also interviewed, Harry Hurwitz, the Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, who had been close to Menachem Begin and was present when Begin was informed in Los Angeles that his beloved wife Aliza had passed away in Jerusalem. Begin broke down and simply asked "Why did I leave her?" He had not wanted to go on this trip to the US, but his wife had written him a note from the hospital urging him to go because it was for the good of the nation. However, all the way back to Israel Menachem Begin kept repeating the words "why did I leave her?"

Hurwitz is convinced that while other factors influenced his decision and its timing, the major reason for his resignation was the death of his wife.


Annual Shavuot All-Night Study

This year's Shavuot all-night study event will be on the theme of "60 years of the State of Israel: Realization of the Prophets' Visions?" The main speakers will be lecturing in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium, but throughout the Center other classes will be held and small study groups will gather. The evening wi ll finish with an early, pre-sunrise walk to the Kotel for morning prayers.

The schedule of the main speakers is as follows:

11:00pm Dr. Micha Goodman "Spiritual Opportunity: Israel's Rabbinate"

00:00am Mr. Irmi Stavitsky "The People of Israel in their Country"

01:00am Dr. Tzvika Tzameret "What Ben-Gurion Meant by 'The Chosen People'"

01:30am Mr. Herzl Makov "The Vision of Bible Justice
According to Ze'ev Jabotinsky"

02:00am Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau "For the young and old, we are a
defensive shield"

03:00am Leave to walk to the Kotel

This Shavuot all-night study session was created in partnership with Keren Keshet and Ma'agalei Tzedek. There will be simultaneous sign language for the hearing-impaired.

12 Prime Ministers: Commemorative Stamps

The Australian Zionist Federation in consultation with one of the leading stamp deals in the world, Mr. Max Stern, initiated a special set of stamps marking Israel's 60th anniversary. The set has the pictures of the 12 Prime Ministers of Israel and one of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement.

A few days ago Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Lamm of Melbourne, their sister-in-law who lives in Jerusalem and their nephew, Tommy Lamm, called on the Founders of the Begin Foundation and presented to him a beautifully packaged set of stamps which are now in the archives. The set was provided by Dr. Danny Lamm of Melbourne who currently heads the Zionist Federation in that city.

Polish President Recalls the ZZW

During the recent visit to Jerusalem for the President's Conference marking Israel's 60th anniversary, the President of Poland Mr. Lech Kaczynski participated in an awards ceremony for a number of honorees that took place at Jerusalem's Mt. Zion Hotel. In the course of his address, he noted the fact that there had been two Jewish Underground fighting organizations in the Warsaw Ghetto. The one which is generally talked about consisted of members of Left wing organizations and the second was the ZZW comprising members of the Betar, Irgun and members of the Revisionist organizations. It surprised him to learn that this was unknown to most Israelis including senior government and military officials.

Book Fair in Jerusalem

An elaborate book fair is taking place this week—Book Week—in Jerusalem and other cities in the country. The book fair is promoting Israeli produced books in many categories.

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center has a stand at the fair which features the books initiated and published by or in cooperation with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. By now 25 titles are available in and from the Begin Center. These are on display and on sale.

Begin Sports Center in Holon

Israel television featured quite extensive coverage of the recent Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix team competition which was won by Israel vying against very well-known international gymnasts. The event took place in the Menachem Begin Sports Center in Holon.