Tel Hai is an area located in Northern Israel, associated with heroism and national pride.
On March 11, 1920, a small group of new immigrants were confronted by several hundred neighboring Arabs. The Battle of Tel Hai began over a misunderstanding related to whether or not the area was controlled by the British or French Mandate.
Joseph Trumpeldor, a one armed, recent immigrant from Russia, commanded the battle. His last words before succumbing to his bullet wounds were: “Never Mind, It is good to die for our country.” This phrase become a famous motto in the 1950s and 1960s in Israel.
To this day, Trumpeldor remains a national hero for his willingness jump into a leadership role on a whim, and to defend the Jewish people—especially given how outnumbered they were in this particular instance.
Some Historians believe that the reason this battle was so important was because it was the first significant surge of aggression leading up to the 1948 War of Independence.
The result of the Battle of Tel Hai: the Jews were forced to surrender; the Arabs set the village on fire. In total, 8 Jews including Trumpeldor perished, along with 5 Arabs.
In Tel Hai, you will see a memorial to those 8 who lost their lives. You will also see a huge lion statue dedicated to Joseph Trumpeldor, symbolic of the bravery he exhibited.