On the Hebrew calendar, Saturday was the 100th anniversary of the battle of Tel Ḥai, a Jewish farming village in the Galilee that was attacked and overrun by Arabs. The date is usually associated with the heroic stand made there by Joseph Trumpeldor, whose remarkable life was the subject of a recent essay in Mosaic. But among the other Jewish fighters who fell in battle was Dvorah Drechler, who in prior years had campaigned for the Zionist self-defense organization Hashomer (“The Watchman”) to allow women to participate in its patrols. Amit Naor writes:
Drechler was born in the Ukraine in 1896. Though hers was the only Jewish family in her village, they nevertheless maintained Jewish traditions and were sympathetic to the “Love of Zion” pre-Herzlian Zionist movement in Russia. In 1913, Drechler arrived in the Land of Israel to join her sister, Ḥayah, who had immigrated several years before and married Eliezer Kroll, a member of Hashomer (“The Watchman”), the Jewish defense organization. Because of her sister and brother-in-law, Dvorah also joined a group of Hashomer members who settled that year in the northern community of Tel Adash, known today as Tel Adashim.
During World War I, despite the fear imposed [on Palestinian Jewry] by the Ottoman regime, [Drechler] made daily visits to Hashomer’s prisoners in Nazareth, bringing them food and information. She also did not hesitate when the group sent her as reinforcement to [the Galilean village of] Kfar Giladi, from which she and Trumpeldor were sent to defend Tel Ḥai.
This was how Drechler came to be at Tel Ḥai and how she found herself assigned to a defensive position on the top floor of the courtyard’s main building. . . . In that top-floor room with Drechler was another woman—Sarah Chizik. According to legend, their bodies were found in an embrace, alongside the three other members of the group who were killed in the room.
Read more on The Librarians: https://blog.nli.org.il/en/hoi_rebel-woman-tel-hai/