On March 1, 1920, a group of armed Arabs arrived at the Tel Hai Courtyard. They insisted on conducting a search for French soldiers. (Nearby Syria and Lebanon were part of the French Mandate.) Joseph Trumpeldor complied, knowing that the search would be fruitless. For unknown reasons, a shot was suddenly heard from the attic. Within seconds, a lengthy exchange of fire began in the courtyard. Toward evening, the defenders of Tel Hai realized that they had no choice other than to evacuate. Trumpeldor was mortally wounded. The doctor who treated him testified that before his death, he uttered the words that would become a rallying cry: “It doesn’t matter. It is good to die for our land.”
13 years earlier, in 1907, an agricultural farm had been built at the site. At the end of World War II, it became Kibbutz Tel Hai. In 2008, the courtyard was restored and renovated with the ssistance of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage sites (SPIHS) and their partners, including great help from the Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA). Today there is a fascinating and innovative Visitors Center at the site. A state of the art multimedia system recessed into the walls portrays the story of Tel Hai, including its relevance to contemporary Israeli life and undamental questions that remain pertinent to this day.
Don’t miss: Lantern-lit tour and a walk on the Path of the Wounded.
Especially for children: Experiential activities, photographs in pioneer clothing and special activities – by prearranged booking.
Did you know? Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a close friend of Trumpeldor, named the Betar youth movement after him (in Hebrew: Brit Yosef Trumpeldor).