did we get the name HaY'Did (the Friend)?
is reprinted from The Jerusalem Dispatch by Bridges for Peace article by permission. Read
this and then I will tell you our testimony about this name...
CHRISTIAN HELPED ESTABLISH THE ISRAELI ARMY
CHARLES ORDE WINGATE
Christian Zionism is not a new phenomenon. In fact, early
Christian Zionists were actively preaching Christian support of
the Jewish people and a hoped for re- establishment of Israel in
the early 15th century. Once the Authorized King James Version of
the Bible was published in 1611, laymen could read God's Word for
themselves. It was clear to many that the prophets of old spoke
of such things.
WINGATE'S SPECIAL NIGHT SQUADS
During the British Mandate Period in Palestine (1917-1948), a
British military officer, Orde Wingate, a Christian Zionist who
was born into a family of soldiers and missionaries, believed it
was his destiny to help create a Jewish Army in Palestine -- the
foundation of the modern Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Wingate's contact with the Jewish residents of Palestine was
relatively brief, bur he profoundly influenced the tactics and
spirit of the Hagana, Israel's pre-state "people's
He was an intelligence captain with a British division commanded
by General Bernard Montgomery, which arrived in Haifa in 1936 to
help put down the Arab uprising that began that year. In 1938, he
proposed the creation of his Special Night Squads (SNS),
comprising both regular British soldiers and Jewish volunteers.
"He thought that this would combine the steadiness of the
regular soldiers with the keenness of Jewish settlers, who also
knew the lie of the land and could also speak Arabic,"
recalls 79-year-old Avraham Akavia who trained with Wingate,
translating Wingate's lectures into Hebrew. The night squads were
to seize the initiative from armed Arab bands that were blowing
up the British-owned oil pipeline transporting oil from Iraq to
Haifa and causing general havoc. After obtaining the reluctant
approval of the British military command in Jerusalem, Wingate
began putting the mixed units into the field, often leading them
"Wingate was the first to say the Jews would make good
soldiers," says Akavia, "Not even all the Jews thought
that." To the Jewish settlers, he said, "We are
establishing here the foundation of the Army of Zion. If it
fights, it will achieve its independence in its land." More
than 100 Jewish non-commissioned officers attended the first
course given by Wingate at Kibbutz Ein Harod (near Beit Shean),
He taught the squads to make use of the night, when they would
move on foot. Instead of defensively guarding potential targets,
they would operate close to Arab villages, where the chance
surprise was greater. Instead of waiting all night in fixed,
usually futile, ambushes, they would undertake "mobile
ambushes" - moving carefully until they spotted Arab bands
and only then setting up an ambush.
"He taught us initiative -- that you don't go by the book,
bur operate according to the circumstances," says Akavia.
"He set for us an example of a leader, not just a commander.
He set the pattern of 'Follow me.'"
WINGATE - A CHRISTIAN ZIONIST
Wingate made no secret of his support of the Zionist cause, and
had formed a strong friendship with Chaim Weizmann, who would
become the first president of the State of Israel. He had told
leaders of the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine),
"I'm here to lead you."
The British leadership was not amused. Despite the Arab uprising,
the British command felt it needed the Arab world more than it
needed the Jews. Before the end of 1939, Wingate was abruptly
dispatched back to England. Akavia saw his passport later and
read on the front page: "The holder of this passport is not
allowed to enter Palestine or Trans-Jordan," put there by
Before he left Palestine, in his last address to the night squad
he trained, many of whose members would become leaders of the
Hagana and the IDF, Wingate said, "You are the first
soldiers of the Jewish army." He said it in Hebrew, which he
had been studying .
Back in England, he was assigned to the Royal Artillery, but in
1940, he was dispatched to Ethiopia to command one of the task
forces trying to oust the Italians. Through the Jewish Agency, he
sent a message to Akavia asking him to join him as his secretary.
Akavia went to help Wingate and was told by him, "The more
I'm successful here, the more I'.. be able to help your people,
so you're working for Zionism."
Wingate was later dispatched to Burma where he commanded a
division. There, he was in a fatal plane crash and buried in
Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, along with the
American crew of the plane. In the House of Commons, Winston
Churchill eulogized him as "a man of great genius who might
well have become a man of destiny."
Had he survived, that destiny might have been played out on the
battlefields of Israel's War of Independence. An indication he
had not given up his vision of leading the new Jewish army into
battle, even as he was engaged in a jungle war on the other side
of the world, was in a letter he sent to Akavia from Burma. It
included, in carefully lettered Hebrew, the sentence, "If I
forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither."
It is intriguing to contemplate what impact this brilliant
military figure might have had if he had lived and had Ben Gurion
offered him a post with the IDF. The IDF undertook the War of
Independence bereft of experienced senior commanders. There were
British officers holding senior posts with the Arab Legion, while
foreign volunteers, including non-Jewish pilots, served with the
Says Akavia: "Wingate told me he had become a Zionist while
on the boat which first brought him to Palestine. He said, 'I
thought about the Jewish problem and came to the conclusion that
the only solution is the Zionist solution.'"
WINGATE - HAYEDID "THE FRIEND"
After his death in 1944, a memorial service was held in Jerusalem
at the Yeshurun Synagogue, officiated by the chief rabbis at that
time, who read Psalms and gave prayers for the devout Christian
who had linked his destiny to that of the Zionist cause. His
death has been remembered every year for over 52 years by members
of the Jewish War Veterans based in Israel. That is quite a
testimony to a man who was called, "Hayedid," by his
night squad, "The Friend."
with one of his night squads
On July 11, 1996, Sotheby's in London will
auction a number of items from the Orde Wingate Archive,
including his Bible, draft plans by Wingate for the formation of
a Jewish Army -- 19 pages written in 1939, and a variety of
letters from Winston Churchill and Chaim Weizmann.
This article was reprinted with the
permission of Bridges for Peace
from their Jerusalem Dispatch quarterly magazine. Their home
office is in Tulsa, and we are friends with them. Their site is
constantly being updated. You will love it!
Now for why we chose this name...
One of my favorite series of
books are called the Zion Covenants
and the Zion Chronicles
by Bodie Thoene. You can find them at most bookstores and your
public library. There are eleven books in the two sets of
fictional history and they are well worth getting your own set,
okay? You may not like fiction, but these books are based on
actual people that lived in from 1930-1948. The books show you
the historical background of WWII and the establishment of the
nation of Israel. EXCELLENT!
As I was reading one of the
books The Jerusalem Interlude
I met the fictional person known as Hayedid. He was a Christian
who trained the volunteer army of Israel. Here we were involved
in training, educating and equipping volunteers from all over the
world! It was the perfect name for what we were called to do!
People ask us "how do you pronounce it?" We teasingly
reply, "Well, if you're from south east Kansas you kind of
say ..."hi! Ya Did, or "how you done, or how you
did?" The correct pronunciation isn't important---the
important thing is to know that we are very friendly and welcome
you to visit!
Article on Wingate from JUICE ADMINISTRATION
This article is written by the Orthodox Jews as a history
lesson on the Founders of Israel
Website with even more information on Wingate
This site has lots of letters, books and information on
Wingate from around the world