Study and Theory/
Tel Hai

Joseph Trumpeldor

Courage and Heroism in Tel- Hai

January 10, 1920.

All those who are now present in our two locations, i.e. in our northern front, can be divided into three types: soft-hearted people, brave people and intermediate ones in terms of fearlessness, in other words, they have an inclination towards the former or the latter type and ordinarily maintain a mediocre position. The majority are of the third type, and when there is a question that needs to be solved, with their tendency to fluctuate, they weigh the scale sometimes to one side, and sometimes to the other; thereupon all of our general resolutions are of random character, and sometimes contradict each other. The fearful or soft-hearted ones are the minority. Some express their apprehension outwardly, yet there are others who defend their positions with logical and intelligent claims. And there is one who tries with all of his might to overcome his fright. Always, especially at night patrols, he imagines that Arabs are getting close by, and that they are stealthily bent over, creeping on the ground towards us. Nevertheless, not only does he not avoid dangerous missions, but, on the contrary, he frequently offers to carry them out. The brave ones may be divided into two, the experienced and the "green" ones. The latter do not fear danger, yet they had never encountered difficult situations, therefore, it's difficult, to determine how they would behave under such circumstances. These are mostly – youths for whom hidden and concealed danger amuses them and attracts them. One of this type of brave individuals is the young Yehudit, who laughs under bullets and hops out at any occasion, in contrast to the prohibitions of the older members, this, she does with excuses, such as to draw water and the like. Among the experienced courageous people, there are two types: those brave by nature, and those brave by recognition. The former were born – brave, these are people with strong and healthy characters, in whom bravery is intrinsic, therefore the minute and insignificant feeling of fear is alien to them. This is not true about the latter, who force themselves to be fearless. By their awareness and understanding, they feel that they were ordered to confront danger and they do it with the bravery of their will. We also have people who convey a mixture of the two types of bravery. We do not lack the common prototype of "self-claimed heroes", who pride themselves at times of peace, with their past and future heroic acts, yet at a time of danger they become completely blurred. But usually, all of the brave and intermediate individuals, together comprise a united group, who, when necessary, stand united in the battlefield. Had the Gogols, Dostoevskys, and the other Russian authors seen these few brave and courageous young men, they would definitely alter their description of Jews. Two small Hebrew strongholds in the midst of a stormy sea of uprisers, a sea that threatens to swallow them at once, with only forty brave youths standing on their posts fearlessly. Every night few pairs of daring pairs of eyes wander and stray in the surrounding darkness, to check and see whether an enemy is lurking behind the door or not, while inside there are sounds of healthy laughter, arguments and merry singing...

    

A French riding patrol set out today as well to the Hula and returned to Metula. Although the situation is still unclear, we decided to go out and work in the field tomorrow. It’s a shame to waste precious time, in which we could plant wheat. Naturally, the work will be done under protection of a row of guards.

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