(photo from commons.wikimedia.org)
By age 20, Elad Peled was a senior commander in the Palmach, one of the branches of Israel’s pre-state army. He was wounded during the fighting and was taken to the hospital. On the way, he passed the Israeli town of Pardes Hanna, and remembered there was a girl he had met and liked who lived there. He wrote a quick note on a piece of paper and threw it out the window, saying that he was trying to contact her. A few days later, her parents came to the hospital with flowers and, just a few weeks later, Peled married Zimra, also a member of the Haganah, who had been accompanying convoys trying to reach besieged Jerusalem.
That was 67 years ago, just a few months before the creation of the state of Israel. Today, Elad and Zimra (who was one of only 100 babies to be born on Ellis Island, the immigration gateway to the United States) are among two of the 700 interviewees compiled by Toldot Yisrael, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to sharing the testimonies of the founders of the state of Israel.