|Natan's way to Eretz Yisrael - "stories told over the years"
Natan was born in little village in Russia in 1887.
At the age of 5 his family was deported from the village, they loaded their belongings on a raft and sailed across the river. Arriving on Erev Shabat (Friday night), Natan's mother, Pesia, who was a very wise and hard working woman, went up to the landowner asking for help in building a hut and convincing him that she can be of great help to the locals.
Very soon, Pesia became a dominant figure advising, consulting, healing and matchmaking. The family made their living from land lease and growing vegetables. Untill he was 15, Natan learned in a Yeshiva in Pinsk. He read books and was enthusiastic about the Social-Zionist concept. Natan's family house became a club for the Zionist youth and a center for the "Self Defence" operations. Later on, Natan moved to Odessa, where he worked in a large grocery store and that's when he made the decision to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael. Natan came back to his town and enlisted to the Cavalry unit. At the same time he planned deserting the Russian army. He wanted to cross the Russian border and reach Eretz Yisrael. The operation was perfect and well planned. Only a few family members were involved in this operation, fearing that the army will be after him. While the Cavalry unit was at the rail station waiting to get on the train to the Russian border, one of Natan's relative arrived at the station gate carrying a suitcase with civilian clothes.
Natan, who was expecting his relative joined him into the restroom. He took off his army uniform and left the railway station wearing civilian clothes. He followed his relative to a hiding place in a potato cellar. After the authorities had stopped searching for Natan, he joined a group of people, and with the help of border smugglers, they crossed the border from Russia, thru Hungary and Austria until they arrived at the port of Trieste on the Italian-Yugoslavian border. Natan had enough money left to buy a ticket and board a cargo ship sailing to Egypt to the ports of Alexandria and Port Said and from there to the port of Jaffa. Natan worked as a stevedore on the ship, his food consisted of bread and herring. The strong storm in Jaffa port made it difficult to get ashore, only three people were willing to take the risk. Natan hoped that this situation will enable him to get away from the port control but having no documents, he was arrested. Two policemen over hearing him speak Russian, took him for interrogation at the Russian consulate. Natan got lucky as the policemen became involved in a fight that broke out at the waiting room. He got out of the place, kept running to the side streets and reached an orchard. There he saw a sign in Russian. It was a storeroom. The owner looked Jewish and it turned out that he spoke Yidish. Natan told him he was Jewish and new in the country looking for a job as a porter. The storeroom owner laughed and said that this was hard work and only Arabs took it. Still he gave Natan a chance. After a few days Natan proved to be a hard working laborer. After he has told his story to the owner he was offered to stay at the famous hotel those days: Hotel Chaim Baruch. Although he was under a false identity, the hotel owner told him that the policemen were looking for someone resembling him.
The hotel owner promised Natan to help him find a job, get food and accommodation. A new guest showed up in the hotel one day. He was a farmer from Mescha ("Kfar Tavor" today) buying two mules in Jaffa. This farmer agreed to hire Natan to work on his farm, taking into account Natan's farming experience in diaspora. They both rode the mules for four days. On the first night they stayed in Hadera, on the second in Zichron-Ya'akov and on the third in Haifa. Natan stayed with his mules in a stable In Mescha For the first time Natan became a farm worker in Eretz-Yisrael.
Pioneers' hostel - Second Aliyah
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