Memorial to Brigadier General Itzhak Sadeh, Commander of Palmach


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Hakafat Hatavor is the first running race in Israel (since 1953).
Itzhak Sadeh ("The old man") 

Itzhak Sadeh, the commander of the Palmach units, a soldier, a writer and an educator, was one of the founders of Zahal (Israeli Defense Forces - IDF) which led to the independence of the State of Israel.

Born in Lublin in 1890, he was honored with a medal from the Russian army for his bravery during World War One. During 1917-1919 he assisted Joseph Trumpeldor in the foundation of "Ha-Halutz" (The Pioneer) movement and in 1920 made aliya to the land of Israel. There he became one of founders and leaders of "Gdud-Ha-Avoda" ("The Work Battalion").

In 1921, Sadeh was a Hagganah commander in Jerusalem and during 1929 riots he took part in the battle defending Haifa.

As the 1936 riots started, Sadeh established in Jerusalem the "Nodedet" (the wandering troop or the patrol unit) that confronted the enemy in their villages and bases. He demanded to "go out of the fences" and initiated military operations.

In the summer of 1937, he founded the "Fosh" - the Hagganah field troops, and among other activities commanded the operation of settling kibbutz Hanitah on an isolated hill on the boarder of Lebanon. In 1941 he participated in the foundation of the Palmach, Hagganah's enlisted military forces of volunteers, and served as its chief commander until 1945. During that year he was appointed to be Hagganah's Chief of General staff and among other activities was in charge of the movement's operations against the British Forces and the operations involving bringing clandestine Jewish immigrants to Israel.

During the beginning of the Independence war (1948), Itzhak Sadeh commanded the defense of kibbutz Mishmar Ha-Emek which was attacked by the Syrian forces, who surrounded the kibbutz in an attempt to divide the country in two. Sadeh was promoted to the rank of Brigadier ("Aluf"). He established the first armored brigade in Zahal (IDF), which eventually led critical battles such as the capture of the Lod airport and the Iraq-Suidan fortress facing kibbutz Negba.

Afterwards, he participated in operation Khorev in the Negev and the forces under his command reached the entrance of El-Arish in the Sinai desert.

When the Independence War ended and the Palmach was dismantled, Sadeh left military service (1949). He wrote essays, stories and plays. The book "Around the Bonfire" (Misaviv Lamedura) includes a collection of articles he wrote under the pen name "Y. Noded" (Y. Wanderer).

Itzhak Sadeh died in Tel-Aviv in August 1952. He was a charismatic and colorful figure. His nickname in the Palmach was "Ha-Zaken" ("the old man"). Both kibbutzim Nir Itzhak and Mashabey Sadeh in the Negev are named after him.

Sadeh was a promoter and educator in the field of Jewish sport. He was the wrestling champion of St. Petersburg and even participated in wrestling performances. As an active sportsman he recognized physical education as an important cultural and educational value. He set policies and guidelines as a member of "HaPoel" board. He created Hapoel's slogan: "Alafim and not Alufim" (Thousands not Champions). Thousands of sportsmen and soldiers will take part in "Around Mount Tavor Run", in honor of Itzhak Sadeh, which will take place in 2003 for the 51th time.

This is the 51th Tavor run in memory of Itzhak Sadeh,
51 years after his death in August 1952.

P.O.Box 12012 Tel Aviv, Israel

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This site is the first site in Israel of a running race (since 1996).