Owner of Lost Six-Day War Tefillin Found
Following an exclusive report on Arutz Sheva, a pair of tefillin (phylacteries) that were lost during the fierce battle for Ammunition Hill in the Six-Day War has been reunited with its owner.
The tefillin belong to Rafi Yanai, who was one of the IDF soldiers who liberated Jerusalem 46 years ago. His daughter called Arutz Sheva reporter Kobi Finkler and told him that her father had identified the tefillin and asked to receive them.
The director of the Ammunition Hill memorial site, Kitri Maoz, told Arutz Sheva with great excitement that the tefillin will be returned to their owner promptly.
The tefillin – or rather the case they were found in – hold one clue to the identity of their owner; embroidered on the casing are the Hebrew initials resh yud.
The story started a month ago, when a member of the famed 55th Brigade that liberated Jerusalem in the Six Day War brought the tefillin to the directors of Ammunition Hill, and told them he had been holding on to them since the battle.
He found them right after the battle had been won, but his unit was immediately transferred to the Golan Heights – so he never had an opportunity to try and find the tefillin's owner. He forgot about the matter until he returned to Jerusalem after the war to pick up the equipment the soldiers had stashed there before heading north.
The soldier took the tefillin home with him and put them away in a closet – where they remained unused for 46 years. He remembered them only recently, after reading about a plan to set up a museum on Ammunition Hill to commemorate the battle. Directors of the site said they were searching for items that they could use in displays. The ex-soldier remembered the tefillin and brought them in.
Directors of the site searched through records of soldiers who fought in the battle, in the hope that they could match up the initials with a soldier's – but were unsuccessful until the publication in Arutz Sheva made the reunion possible.