YADIN (Sukenik), YIGAEL

YADIN (Sukenik), YIGAEL
YADIN (Sukenik), YIGAEL (1917–1984), Israeli archaeologist; second chief of staff, and politician, member of the Ninth Knesset. Born in Jerusalem, Yadin was the son of the archaeologist Eliezer lipa sukenik . He went to the Hebrew Gymnasium in Jerusalem, and at the age of 15 joined the Haganah. In 1935 he started studying archaeology, history, and Arabic at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Following the outbreak of the Arab disturbances in 1936, Yadin left his studies in favor of active military service. He was first engaged in field units, and later in command and training. In 1939 he was appointed as yitzhak sadeh 's adjutant. In 1943 he was appointed head of the Operations Section in the Haganah General Staff. Following disagreements with Sadeh, he returned to his studies, receiving his M.A. in 1945. In 1947, not long before the UN approval of the partition plan of Palestine, he was recalled by david ben-gurion for active military service, filling a variety of positions in the course of the War of Independence. When Ya'akov dori fell ill , Yadin served as acting chief of staff. In   this period he objected to the plan to capture the Latrun area, and Ben-Gurion's decision to disband the Palmaḥ . Yadin served as the military advisor to the Israeli delegation to the armistice talks with Egypt in Rhodes, and participated in the talks that followed in Lausanne. In 1949, following Dori's retirement, Yadin received the rank of lieutenant general, and was appointed as Israel's second chief of staff. As chief of staff he reorganized the IDF and established the standing army, compulsory military service, and the reserves system. In December 1952, at the age of 35, he resigned, as a result of differences of opinion with Ben-Gurion over cuts in the IDF budget. He then devoted himself to scientific work at the Hebrew University in the field of archaeology and research into Israeli antiquities. He became a lecturer at the Hebrew University in 1953, and received his Ph.D. in 1955 for a thesis on the "War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness," one of the dead sea scrolls . For this study Yadin received the 1956 Israel Prize for Jewish studies. In 1955 he was appointed lecturer in archeology at the Hebrew University and ran the excavations at hazor , which continued from 1955 to 1958, and again in 1968. His other famous excavations were in the Qumran caves in the Judean Desert in 1960–61, at masada in 1963–65, and at Megiddo in 1966–67. He was appointed professor in 1963. In his excavations Yadin employed thousands of volunteers from Israel and abroad and trained a new generation of young archaeologists in Israel. He also helped bring archaeology to the general public and was a popular lecturer and broadcaster. He gained international acclaim for his historical-philological decoding and interpretations of the Dead Sea and Judean Desert scrolls. Upon his initiative, the Shrine of the Book was built at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, to house the scrolls. In 1968 Yadin became editor of the archaeological journal Kadmoniot. Yadin often cast new light on basic problems of the biblical, Second Temple, mishnaic, and talmudic periods, not only through the excavations themselves, but through an original approach that brought the actual artifacts into a general cultural context, with special reference to contemporary literary evidence. Yadin was critical of moshe dayan 's private archaeological exploits and collection of antiques. On the eve of the Six-Day War, Yadin served as military advisor to Prime Minister and Minister of Defense levi eshkol , until Dayan was appointed minister of defense. Following the Yom Kippur War, Yadin was appointed one of the five members of the Agranat Commission established to inquire into the events and developments leading up to the war. In the late 1950s he headed a movement that called for reform of Israel's electoral system. However until 1976 he rejected all offers to enter the political arena. In that year, against the background of popular dissatisfaction with the ruling Labor Alignment, and growing protest, he established the democratic movement for change (DMC), together with Prof. amnon rubinstein , shmuel tamir , Me'ir Amit , and others. The DMC ran in the elections to the Ninth Knesset in 1977, receiving an impressive 15 seats. However, even though the DMC joined the new government established by Menaḥem Begin , and Yadin was appointed deputy prime minister, Begin had a majority in the Knesset without it, and soon the new party disintegrated. Yadin remained in the government until Begin formed his new government in August 1981 after the elections to the Tenth Knesset, but had little influence, and lost much of his popularity. From September 1978 to March 1981 he belonged to a parliamentary group called the Democratic Movement, and after this group ceased to exist remained a single MK, without any formal status. In August 1981 he retired from politics to return to academic life until his death in 1984. Among his writings are Ha-Megillot ha-Genuzot mi-Midbar Yehudah ("The Hidden Scrolls from the Desert of Judea," 1957); with Chaim Rabin, Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1958); Military and Archeological Aspects of the Conquest of Canaan in the Book of Joshua (1960); The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness (1962); The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands in the Light of Archaeological Study (1963); Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus: The Ben Sira Scroll from Masada, with introduction, emendations, and commentary (1965); Masada: Herod's Fortress and the Zealots' Last Stand (1966); Bar Kokhba: The Rediscovery of the Legendary Hero of the Second Jewish Revolt Against Rome (1971); Hazor, the Rediscovery of a Great Citadel of the Bible (1975); The Temple Scroll; the Hidden Law of the Dead Sea Sect (1985); and Investigations of Beth Shean: The Early Iron Age Strata (1986). Among works he edited are Jerusalem Revealed: The Archeology in the Holy City 19681974 (1975), and The Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters: Hebrew, Aramaic and Nabatean-Aramaic Papyri (2002). Yigael Yadin's brother YOSEF (1920–2001) was one of the founders of the cameri Theater in Tel Aviv and participated in numerous plays and films. He was awarded the Israel Prize for screen and theater arts in 1991. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Masada: The Yigael Yadin Excavations. Final Reports (1989–99); N. Asher Silberman, A Prophet from Amongst You: The Life of Yigael Yadin: Soldier, Scholar, and Myth Maker of Modern Israel (1993).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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