Study and Theory/
29th November

Yosef Ofer

I Was the Last to Leave the Dining Hall

Yosef Ofer, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Israel as an adolescent and joined an immigrant youth group at Kibbutz Afikim, in a letter to his girlfriend

“I just couldn’t wait to sit down and pen a few words tonight – a night that people probably witness only once in a lifetime... It’s very late, three o’clock in the morning, and I was already deep asleep when I was woken suddenly by the sound of horns and shouting. I thought Afikim was under attack. Until I was fully dressed, it took me a few seconds to remember that tonight was the vote for the Jewish state. And that’s what all the noise was about. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I ran to the dining room where half of the kibbutz was dancing the hora. Some were shouting with joy, others were kissing one another. But I couldn’t find myself there. I didn’t know what to say or to whom to say it. I danced along with everyone else, and when I was spent, I was the last to leave the dining hall.”

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