Yigael Yadin

Yigael Yadin bigraphy, stories - Israeli politician

Yigael Yadin : biography

1917 – 1984

Yigael Yadin ( born Yigael Sukenik () 20 March 1917 – 28 June 1984) was an Israeli archeologist, politician, and the second Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.


  • Views of the Biblical World. Jerusalem: International Publishing Company J-m Ltd, 1959.
  • The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands. McGraw-Hill, 1963.
  • Masada: Herod’s Fortress and the Zealots’ Last Stand. New York: Random House, 1966.
  • Hazor (Schweich Lectures for 1970)
  • The Bar Kochba Caves. (Hebrew). Maariv, 1971
  • The Temple Scroll published posthumously London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson,1985

Yigael Yadin published many research papers and ancient text explanations, at the Hebrew University press (in Hebrew):

  • The Sons of Light against Sons of Darkness (from the Qumran Caves), 1955
  • The Message of the Scrolls, 1957
  • The Hidden Scrolls, 1958
  • The book of Ben Sira, 1965
  • Teffilin of Head from the Qumran caves, 1969
  • The Temple Scroll (from the Qumran caves), 1977


  • Neil A. Silberman "A Prophet from Amongst You: The Life of Yigael Yadin, Soldier, Scholar, and Mythmaker of Modern Israel" Addison Wesley (1994).


Early life and military career

Yadin was born in 1917 to noted archeologist Eleazar Sukenik and educationalist and women’s rights activist Hasya Feinsod Sukenik.http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/sukenik-feinsod-hasya He joined the Haganah at age 15, and served there in a variety of different capacities. In 1946, however, he left the Haganah following an argument with its commander Yitzhak Sadeh over the inclusion of a machine gun as part of standard squad equipment.

He was a university student when, in 1947, shortly before the State of Israel declared its independence, he was called back to active service by David Ben-Gurion. He was Head of Operations during Israel’s War of Independence, and was responsible for many of the key decisions made during the course of that war. In June 1948 he threatened to resign during the Generals’ Revolt during which he accused Ben-Gurion of attempting "to transform the army as a whole into an army of one political party (Mapai)".Peri, Yoram (1983) Between battles and ballots. Israeli military in politics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24414-5. Page 55.

Yadin was appointed Chief of Staff of the IDF on 9 November 1949, following the resignation of Yaakov Dori, and served in that capacity for three years. He resigned on 7 December 1952, over disagreements with then prime minister and defense minister David Ben-Gurion about cuts to the military budget, which he argued should be at least one third of the national budget.Peri. Page 193. By age thirty-five, he had completed his military career.


Upon leaving the military, he devoted himself to research and began his life’s work in archeology. In 1956 he received the Israel Prize in Jewish studies, for his doctoral thesis on the translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. As an archeologist, he excavated some of the most important sites in the region, including the Qumran Caves, Masada, Hazor, and Tel Megiddo. He considered the Solomonic Gate at Tel Gezer to be the highpoint of his career. He was sometimes forced to deal with the theft of important artifacts, occasionally by prominent political and military figures. In one instance, where the thefts were commonly attributed to the famous one-eyed general Moshe Dayan, he remarked: "I know who did it, and I am not going to say who it is, but if I catch him, I’ll poke out his other eye too."

Even as an archeologist, Yadin never completely abandoned public life. On the eve of the Six-Day War, he served as a military adviser to prime minister Levi Eshkol, and following the Yom Kippur War, he was a member of the Agranat Commission that investigated the actions that led to the war.