Alexander Zaid – Givat Zaid – גבעת זייד
On the top of the Givat Zaid hill, the center of the ancient city, is a modern bronze statue of Alexander Zaid riding on a horse and watching the Valley of Jezreel below.
Born in Siberia, Alexander Zaid moved to Vilna at the age of 13 and subsequently joined the Zionist labor movement. In 1904 he was one of the first pioneers of the Second Aliyah to reach Eretz Yisrael, working in Rishon LeZion and Petah Tikvah. He was wounded by Arabs in Zikhron Ya’akov, and then moved to Jerusalem where he worked as a stonemason.
Zaid was a farmer and a security guard for the Jewish lands around the area.
In 1907, he was one of the founders of Bar Giora, a secret defense organization, which was at the origins of the HaShomer organization (The Protector). HaShomer was established in Kfar Tavor in the Lower Galilee in 1909. He devoted himself to the organization until his death.
In 1916, Zaid joined a group of HaShomer members who settled in Upper Galilee in what was to become Kfar Giladi. He stayed there for 10 years and then moved to nearby Tel Hai, and then to Sheikh Ibrik in the Jezreel Valley to take charge of guarding the neighboring settlements for the Jewish National Fund. He was repeatedly faced with dangerous situations, but never abandoned his position, even when he was wounded by Arab rioters in 1932.
Zaid settled here in the 1920’s and discovered the catacombs in Beit She’arim. He was murdered by a Bedouin of the Tabash tribe in an ambush while on guard duty nearby during one of his patrols (1938). His sons and friends revenged his death and killed the Arab assassin. Zaid’s house is located here and his family continues to work in the farm.
At the junction of HaShomrim Street and Jezreel (Yizrael) Street in Kiryat Tivon a monument in a park marks the spot where Alexander Zaid (1886-1938) of HaShomer (“The Watchman,” i.e., the pre-State Jewish defense organization) was murdered while on his way to the temporary settlement of nearby Kibbutz Alonim. A sign near the memorial marks the spot where his murderers lay in wait for him. On the other side of HaShomrim Street is the entrance to the cemetery where members of HaShomer, including Zaid himself, are buried (Hashomrim Cemetery). Another tombstone in memory of Zaid can be found in the cemetery for HaShomer members in Kfar Giladi, although Zaid is buried here in Kiryat Tivon.
The Song of Zaid
|שיר של זייד|
מילים: אלכסנדר פן
לחן: מרדכי זעירא
קיים ביצוע לשיר זה פעם ועוד! שלח ואת,
רסן ורגב חובקות הידים.
שחר – האות, אופל – העד:
סלע והר יתומים הם עדין…
לילה – אוכף, יום – מחרשות:
זה הוא הקו, זה הוא האות!לא גלמודה את, ארצי היוקדת,
זהר קסמת לי בעול מתרפק.
אנו הפכנו אותך למולדת:
מסחה, תל עדש, תל חי, שיך-אברק.
אומץ ניצב, מורך כרות –
זהו הצו, זאת היא חרות.הרה! – על הר, גא ומחריש,
דור מתבוסס בעמל, העפילה!
שעט משמר, תלם חריש,
זרע בדרכים משממה האבילו.
אומן בניר, עין בליל –
זה הוא השיר, זה ההלל!לך, אדמתי החמה, המבורכת
לו גם ארוה צמאונך בדמי,
עת קריאתי במותה מחייכת
לילה יבקיע תוך זרם ודמי.
שבע לבנות, פעם למות –
זה הוא האות, זה היעוד!אומץ ניצב, מורך כרות –
זהו הצו, זאת היא חרות.
Sheik Ibrik – Givat Zaid
Near Zaid’s statue is a Sheik’s Holy tomb, called Sheik Ibrik. Sheikh Bureik, also called Sheikh Abreik or Sheikh Ibreik’, was an Arab village located 10 miles southeast of Haifa. It’s not clear who is buried here, but the name (Ibrik means vase) is according to an Arab Tradition associated with a legend about a believer who frequently washed his hands with water in the pitcher. Based on the legend, many sick people came here to pray and wash in the spring south-east to the tomb. The poet Alexander Penn, who was not fluent in Arabic, wrote “Sheikh Abreik” by mistake in his Song for Zaid.
You can climb on the roof and enjoy the fascinating view of the Valley of Yizra’el and Mt. Carmel, Givat Hamoreh and Mount Giboa (where King Saul was killed).
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