OLEI HA-GARDOM ("Those Who Went to the Gallows"). A collective name for the 12 members of the organizations who fought actively against the British Mandatory Government in the struggle for the emergence of the State and were sentenced to death and executed (with the exception of two who cheated the gallows by taking their own lives). All belonged either to the Irgun Ẓeva'i *Le'ummi (Eẓel) or the Lohamei Ḥerut Israel (Leḥi), with the exception of Shlomo ben *Yosef, who was hanged before the founding of these two militant organizations. Most of them turned their trials into a defiant "J'accuse" against the alleged illegality and brutality of the British Mandatory Government, and all marched proudly to their deaths with heads erect and singing patriotic songs.
In 1974 the municipality of Jerusalem named a street in the new suburb of East Talpiyyot after the Olei ha-Gardom collectively, and others after each individual member. Symbolically enough, the suburb is adjacent to the building which at the time was the official seat of the British High Commissioner (and is now the seat of the UN organization in Israel).
After their return from Kenya in 1947, where they were exiled by the British, members of Eẓel and Leḥi founded a synagogue, Aḥdut Israel in Jerusalem, in the name of the Olei Ha-Gardom, of which Rabbi L.I. *Rabinowitz was appointed rabbi in 1972.
Nedava, J., Olei ha-Gardom (1966); Gurion, Y., Ha-Nizzaḥon Alei Gardom (1971).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.