Commander of the Exodus by Yoram Kaniuk, Seymour Simckes

By Yoram Kaniuk, Seymour Simckes

Hailed through the recent York instances as "one of the main creative, superb novelists within the Western world," the world over well known Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk turns his hand to nonfiction to convey us his most vital paintings but. Commander of the Exodus animates the tale of Yossi Harel, a modern day Moses who defied the blockade of the British Mandate to bring greater than 24,000 displaced Holocaust survivors to Palestine whereas the remainder of the area closed its doorways. Of the 4 expeditions commanded by means of Harel among 1946 and 1948, the voyage of the Exodus left the private influence on public attention, fast turning into a beacon for Zionism and an emblem to all that neither weapons, cannons, nor warships may stand within the method of the human want for a house. With grace and sensitivity, Kaniuk indicates the human face of heritage. He can pay homage to the younger Israeli who was once encouraged no longer by means of politics or own glory, yet through the pleading eyes of the orphaned little ones languishing at the shorelines of Europe. Commander of the Exodus is either an unforgettable tribute to the heroism of the dispossessed and a wealthy evocation of the imaginative and prescient and bold of a guy who took it upon himself to opposite the process historical past. "[Yossi Harel's] notable achievements were engraved in background through the expertise of Yoram Kaniuk." -- Ehud Barak, leading minister of Israel

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Not far from them stood a young man alone, as though chained to the deck, wrapped in solitude, locked inside it. He too had come up for air. He too stared at the sea and did not see it. His stance by the many-headed, many-handed statue appeared forsaken and fixed. He trembled. His tears froze in his eyes. His loneliness seemed a kind of stubbornness and, at the same time, an attempt to catch the elusive waves he could not actually see because of the tears rolling down his face. For a moment, at the sound of Yossi’s footsteps, he turned his eyes, which looked empty.

His placement in Egypt caused him great pain. He was a gifted commander, devout in his faith and farsighted. Wingate expected to stand at the head of the Jewish army. Out of despair, he cut his throat with a razor after he arrived in Egypt and only by chance was saved. He was flown to England, recovered, was assigned to Ethiopia, and fought on the side of Emperor Haile Selassie with units modeled on those he had set up in Hanita. He reenacted the raids he had led in Galilee and Lebanon, this time against the Italian army, penetrating deep inside enemy lines.

At that time it was extremely perilous to cross the desert alone, on account of predatory beasts and Arab rioters. But a sense of “national mission,” as it was called in those days, presented itself before his eyes as he made the treacherous ascent to Masada. He stood on the mountain facing the Dead Sea and felt close to the rebels and proud of the spiritual strength he found in himself to make it here on his own, evading snakes, Bedouins, and the heat and knowing that despite the dangers he was unafraid.

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