Where did we get the name HaY'Did (the Friend)?

This 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 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.


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 army."
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 himself.
"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 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 the British.
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 Israel Army.
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.'"


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."

Orde 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!

Another Article on Wingate from JUICE ADMINISTRATION
This article is written by the Orthodox Jews as a history lesson on the Founders of Israel

Another Website with even more information on Wingate
This site has lots of letters, books and information on Wingate from around the world