4.0 “Helen and David’s Rendezvous in Tel Aviv”

by Elizabeth Stephens

A Whirlwind Courtship on an Israeli Beach

On “May 14, 1948 the British hauled down their Union Jack. And then the same day, Israel proceeded to raise its newly designed flag featuring the Star of David. My father David saw  Ben-Gurion declare Israel a State and become Israel’s first Prime Minister. Chaim Weizman later became the first President of the new Republic. Within minutes, President Truman issued a statement extending de facto recognition to Israel as a sovereign nation. ” Few would have believed that a nation could be born in a day. Before the day ended, Egyptian planes were already bombing Tel Aviv.

File0540

My Mother Bebs’ adventure onboard a Cargo Ship in 1949.

“Bebs” had saved her money to go on vacation to Hawaii, but the family told her she needed to spend her money in their ancient homeland, Israel as it was  engaged in a War for its Independence and she needed to support the cause. I am sure they wanted her to find a nice Jewish boy and settle down there.

The family seemed to have some means, so I was surprised that she was traveling alone during such perilous times. She must have been very brave.

When my Mother Bebs stepped off the cargo ship in Haifa, Israel in August 1949, there was a heightened sense of euphoria in the air as the modern State of Israel experienced rebirth.  As soon as my Father David saw Helen it was love at first sight.  He immediately told his buddies that she was the girl he was going to marry. There was no time to lose as there was a nation to build.

According to her sister Mim, “Maybe meeting David–love at first sight–made her decide not to get back on board the ship for the next port. She was a very independent thinker.”

File0535

It was love at first sight. David told his army buddies on the beach, “She’s the one.”

Helen spoke no Hebrew or Italian; David spoke no English, so they conversed in French. After a whirlwind courtship during a two week period, they fell in love and were married.  According to a relative, Helen and David met the day she arrived in Israel. They made a very handsome couple.

Helen wrote on the back of one her last single photos,

“Tel Aviv—8/13/49~ When I (Helen) was still free & unmarried.

Taken at a sidewalk café on Ben Yehuda St. after we decided to be married the 15th.”  

 

The wedding of my parents.

How beautiful my Mother Helen looked in her veil & her groom, David so very attentive.

File0534

David Lascar do you take Bebs Yaffe to be your lawfully wedded wife as long as you both shall live so help you God? I do.

David and Helen’s Marriage Certificate.

David carried this piece of paper around in his wallet. It was found among my mother’s things. It seemed very special and it made me believe that he had truly loved his wife.

File0538

David and Helen at a table celebrating

The Celebration

Helen then returned home and later David was to follow her to America. I have several postcards beautifully written in Italian sent to my mother from her new husband.

  Don’t Forget Me 

He seemed to be saying, ‘Don’t forget me.’ When I studied some of the addresses I wondered how these postcards ever got delivered.

I am sure the family was in shock that she had married a soldier.  I don’t think they were pleased at all. But then David was finally was on his way to be reunited with his beloved Helen.

Advertisements
About James and Elizabeth Stephenshttp://www.worldviews101.comJames and Elizabeth Stephens presently live in Southern California and have been married since 1978. In 1999, James completed his MA in Leadership Development at Fuller School of Intercultural Studies and in 2010 Elizabeth completed an Associate in Science in Business Information Technology at Pasadena City College. They have three children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s