Hero’s Family Mourns Death in Holy Land
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Hero’s Family Mourns Death in Holy Land

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Norman Shapiro will probably come home to Brooklyn for vacation this Summer. His brother, Herbert, will remain in Palestine, the land of his forefathers forever.

He gave his life that another might live.

At the Shapiro apartment at 7902 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, the family yesterday sat Shiva for the oldest boy of the family. Herbert was nineteen and “a fine boy with all the prospects in the world of making a name for himself,” according to neighbors who yesterday sought to console the Shapiro family. He worked as a laborer during the Summer vacation, and in the Fall would have reentered the Hebrew University, where he studied to become an agricultural chemist.

Herbert and Norman had both gone to Palestine to study agricultural methods. Together they intended settling down on the land. David, the third son, now eleven years old, would probably have joined his brothers.


Full details of Herbert’s death have not yet come to the Shapiro family. Three short telegrams and a few brief news items informed the family of the death of their son.

The first news of the death of their son came to the Shapiro family when they read the item in a Jewish Telegraphic Agency dispatch appearing Monday in the Jewish Daily Bulletin.

Broken and despairing, the father called the editorial offices of the Bulletin to ask if the news were confirmed. He immediately cabled the American Consulate in Jerusalem, hoping against hope that somewhere there was a mistake.

Late in the afternoon Mr. Shapiro returned home. He entered the orthodox Jewish period of mourning, because he had learned beyond doubt that his son had died. Over the trans-Atlantic cables the following message, dictated by American Consul General Ely E. Palmer at Jerusalem, trickled onto the teletape in a New York office:

“Herbert drowned twenty-eighth trying to save another. Body recovered, buried Herzlia.”

Shortly after they had received the tragic news, Samuel Shapiro received a second cable from Norman, which read: “Herbie and two friends sacrificed lives saving another from drowning. Buried Herzlia Cemetery today Letter following.”


Later in the day, Dr. Judah Magnes, chancellor of the Hebrew University cabled: “Deeply grieved over Herbert. His gallant action greatest inspiration to all of us.”

The morning papers carried a short item stating that Herbert Shapiro and two other Jewish boys were drowned when they attempted to save Nehemiah Reznik, twenty-eight, who was stricken in deep water.

Reznik was saved. The exhausted boys who had swum out to carry him back to land, however, did not survive. They swam in the treacherous waters near Herzlia and all their skill as swimmers and all their strength could not overcome the fearful undercurrents. While they were swept to their death however, Fate stepped in to aid the object of their gamble with life.

Norman may come home for vacation this Summer. He will find a sorrowing family, if he does. One year ago Samuel Shapiro left Palestine.

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