Hava Pesah Haruvi
Diary Pages 1892 – 1979

Written by Hava Pesah Haruvi
Year Life episodes, Hava Pesah Haruvi, Diary Pages
1892 | 1906 Childhood

I was born in Hotin, Basarabia in 1982. I grew up in a Hasidic orthodox family, the second of five sisters.
We were wealthy, owned a store, did business and had everything we needed.
I was home-schooled. As this was insufficient, I took additional free lessons from my friends without my parents knowledge.
I had very little knowledge of Hebrew and The Bible. One day I brought home a German translation to the bible. My father caught me and burnt the book. As this was my friends' book, I burst into tears.

My mother died when I was twelve. She got very sick when my youngest sister was born and has never recovered. My older sister reacted very badly to this tragedy and was sick for a long time.
Under the circumstances I had to take care of my sisters. My grandmother and aunt took upon themselves to find my father a second wife. Not only did we need helping hands in the house, but we needed a good worker for the store. My father did not run the business so well and since my mother was sick and died, the store was in a very bad condition.
My step mother whom we called The Aunt, had two sons from her first husband, but they did not join our family. Once my stepmother came to our family, a new era began. Being healthy and well-developed, I had to run the house. The Aunt was busy with the store and ignored our needs. Actually, I was happy with this situation, as I had a chance to manage the household.

חווה חרובי

Hava Pesah at the age of 20 before immigrating to Eretz Yisrael.

1906 | 1913 Preparations for immigrating to Eretz Yisrael.

I managed to save some money from my work at the store which I always gave to my sisters.
I did not want to ask my father for money and I would not dare ask The Aunt for money, in case she would probe into the matter.
In those days, the Zionist political awakening commenced among the local Jews.
As we grew up, we started secretly attending meeting and gatherings. I had no political orientation, but I had very strong national and Zionist emotions.
I realized that being a Zionist, I should go to Eretz Yisrael. Secretly I saved money, and when I turned twenty I arranged my travel documents.
Zvi Bernstein, who was a friend of my eldest sister helped my arrange all I needed for the trip. During this time I learned some Hebrew.
I bought a big bag, stored it in one of my friends' room and gradually moved there my belongings. Yitzhak, who was a good friend of my sister Zipora, studied in Odessa, a port from where I planned to sail, and offered me all the help that I could use. I was waiting for a good opportunity to leave my family, I did not want to go without bidding my father farewell.
I realized this had to be done briefly.

1913 My way to Eretz Yisrael

The Aunt went to visit her two sons, my father was busy in the store and I was packing my things.
I reserved a place on a carriage going to the train station and I took my father by surprise when I informed him that I was leaving and nothing would stop me.

In the meantime, The Aunt came back and a big argument started. The original plan was that the coachman would take my bag from my friend's room and then pick me up from my parents' house.
But as I was delayed by my family, the alternative plan was that he should wait for me elsewhere.
I deceived my parents and escaped through the back yard's gate. I said goodbye to my sisters who knew about my plans. My sister Zipora gave me her new coat, I ran from the house as fast as I could and reached the station with the carriage.

As this was my first time to travel by myself on a train, and I had a long way ahead of me, I felt uncomfortable surrounded with drunk gentiles. I was also terrified that I might run into one of our relatives who was a high official working on the train. Luckily I arrived at night and he was not there. I stored my big bag, bought a ticket and sat quietly in the corner, covering my face with a kerchief so no one coould notice I was so young. After a long voyage of 24 hours, I arrived in Odessa and was met by Yitzhak, who took me to his room, fed me and let me sleep in his bed. He slept on the floor. After buying a ticket in the bureau, we realized that the ship's departure will be within 3-4 days.

In the meantime, Yitzhak's landlady would not let me sleep in his room and I had to stay with friends until my departure date. It was just before Passover, and so I bought a few necessities, including Matzah, fruit and conserves for the trip. On 30.03.1913 I took off. The ship was of the worst kind, carrying at the same time human beings and cargo. We were only four Jews going to Eretz Yisrael - David Remez and his wife, A. Mirov and myself.
The voyage took two weeks. We were sea sick as we were crammed into the cargo parts of ship. The ship docked in every port, loading and discharging. Thanks to David Remez and his wife, we did some sightseeing in the various ports. We arrived in Jaffa Port on the last day of Passover.

1913 | 1914 My first days in Eretz Yisrael.

Mirov's family met us when we arrived. I was invited to stay with them in Tel Aviv.
I found a job and rented a room with two other girls. I planned to travel to the Galilee and as soon as there was a boat going from Jaffa to Haifa I got on in. From Haifa I took a train to Merhavia with a girl I met on the boat.
After I've tried to find work for a few days, we continued on the train to Tzemach.

It was Friday and we were picked up by a carriage from Deganya. The members of Deganya asked us to stay with them. On Saturday, we attended the female workers' meeting in Kinneret and met the women working on the "Migdal Estate". In the evening we started walking to "Migdal Estate" and halfway were met by Joseph Trumpeldor. As he was carrying a gun, he escorted us so we could march and sing without fear. Two days after my arrival, I was sent by Glikin, the head of "Migdal Estate" to work at the vegetable lots. This is where I met Natan who later on was my spouse to be.

1913 My first working place

"Migdal estate" was like a fortress on a hill. The place was surrounded with basalt stones wall, the houses were attached to the wall and the gate faced the Arbel mountain. The estate land stretched from the Ginosar valley to the lake of Kinneret. Water for irrigation was pumped from the local wellspring.

I arrived with a friend and we were sent to work at the vegetable garden. Our accommodations were in the fields overlooking the Kinneret. We stayed in a tin shack, hot as a furnace. We had a kitchen, bedroom and dining room in the shack. Temperatures in the shade were 35-40 Deg. C.

We worked from sunrise to sunset. We had a break only when it was too hot to work. I stayed with my friend in one room, while Natan Haruvi and his cousin Jacob were staying in the other room. The four of us became very good friends and we formed a small cooperative. The girls, me and my friend, cooked and did the laundry. We had our meals together and even bought a cow and a few chickens together. On Saturdays, we went to the estate to collect our mail, exchange books and meet with the rest of the estate workers. In those days men and women used to gather and sing together.

Jacob, who had a guitar, would accompany us. At the time, Larvae of Anopheles mosquitoes have been found in marshes and swamps around the spring. These mosquitoes were the cause for Malaria. I had been sick with Malaria and burning up with fever. Quinine was the most effective treatment for malaria. Despite all this, I found "Migdal" to be very pretty and romantic.
For Saturday night meals, we always cought fish from the spring. After a while the four of us moved to live together in a house near the estate wall, overlooking lake Kinneret and the Ginosar valley

Clay house (Husha) - Our house in Kinneret

Workers at Migdal farm - 1914

1915 Growing vegetables in the Kinneret area - First World War

We were sowing and planting vegetables, selling the crops to the residents of Kinnret. I was in charge of watering the plants. I was carrying tins of water from the lake of Kinneret to the fields back and forth.

Later on the plots were extended, we plowed and worked the land. Our watering methods advanced and we were using water pumped by the farmers of Kinneret. With Turkey's entry into World War, the men, including Natan and Jacob, were subjected to forced labor by the Turkish Army.
I remained by myself in the fields to sell vegetables. We rented a clay house on the shore of Kinneret.

Our cousin's condition got worse as he suffered from Intestinal tuberculosis. I did the best I could but one day he committed suicide. Before Jacob died, he left us a note asking Natan to marry me. Jacob was buried in the cemetery of Kinneret. We lost a close friend and relative of many years. Ever since he died, we kept his guitar.
A month after Jacobs death, Natan married me in Tiberias. We sailed to our wedding on a boat.

1919 Hamra

Following the British conquest of Eretz Yizrael, we settled in the Upper Galilee, at the foot of Mount Hermon. Hamra was the first Moshav Ovdim in Eretz Yizrael.
In 1919, when we came to Hamra, our eldest daughter, Sara was 15 months old.

We rented a room in Metula at Bekman's house. The room served as a gathering place for matters concerning the Moshav, as well as a ward. I lived with my little daughter in Metula and looked after the sick people. The first elections to the National Assembly were held - Natan was elelcted to represent our new settlement.

He was busy at the same time with plowing and planting and with transporting weapons, clothing and food for the settlements in the north. We lived in uncertainty especially security-wise. As the riots worsened the members in Hamra had to leave the settlement and join our room in Metula. At that time, Avraham Herzfeld from the Agricultural Center came to discuss with us the situation.

The members insisted that it was impossible to return to Hamra. During this discussion we were notified that our huts were on fire. As the Arabs attacks intensified and the French were exiled from Metula, we left the place. Kibbutz Ma'ayan Baruch was established on the lands of Hamra. The members of the Kibbutz planted an Eucalyptus tree in memory of the huts that burnt. A special stone was placed as a keep sake.
Plowing the land of Hamra

Plowing the land of Hamra - 1920

Kfar Yehezkel
Our son Yosk'e was born in Safed, just before we settled in Kfar Yehezkel.
We arrived at the Moshav after bitter debates with the members of Hapoel Hatzair (The Young Worker).
We were tired of the seven years of wandering and we hoped that we ended our travails and reached a state of tranquility.

I wanted to start a new life at the Moshav, and so I asked Natan to quit his public activities. While the members of "HaVa'ad HaPoel" (The General Council) insisted he should continue organizing the public works, the members of the Moshav on the other hand blamed him for being interested in public business. Natan's mother, Pesia, arrived from Poland together with his brother Yitzhak's family.

At the time we were living in a tent and upon their arrival we built a hut and extended it in order to make room for all of us. Still, the newcomers did not adjust to the life on the Moshav. Our son, Yosk'e, was sick with malaria and had to be hospitalized. Natan acceded to the demands presented by "HaVa'ad HaPoel" and agreed to manage the public works department in Jerusalem. We had an option to move to a new workers neighborhood near Tel Aviv - Borochov.

חוה חרובי

Hava Haruvi - 1922

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