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Shelling out

In 1954, Israel’s 1st PM apologized to salesman for not paying for eggs

Daughter-in-law of Zvi Havivi finds letter from David Ben-Gurion expressing wife’s remorse, along with more than 7 liras sent 5 months late

Former prime minister David Ben Gurion, left, speaks as his wife, Paula, right, looks on during a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York on March 3, 1967. (AP/John Duricka)
Former prime minister David Ben Gurion, left, speaks as his wife, Paula, right, looks on during a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York on March 3, 1967. (AP/John Duricka)

Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and his wife Paula recalled, five months late, that they did not pay for eggs they had purchased.

They sent the forgotten payment, along with an apology note to the egg distributor, Zvi Havivi.

“To Mr. Zvi Havivi, Ben Yehuda 236, Tel Aviv. Attached you will find a cheque for the sum of seven Lirot and five hundred Prutot for the eggs from 12.5.54 [May 12, 1954]. My wife is very sorry she was distracted from this debt, our apologies. Yours sincerely, D. Ben-Gurion,” read the October 5, 1954, letter.

The letter survived for years among other paperwork, and was eventually uncovered by Havivi’s daughter-in-law.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Judith Waldhorn — who lives today in the United States — said she had found the note a number of years ago, after Havivi’s death.

“My late father-in-law, Zvi Havivi, used to distribute Tnuva eggs!” Waldhorn wrote, referring to the major Israeli food company.

“We found this letter by chance years ago, after his death. A little hard to read but personally, for us it is very touching,” she added.

חמי ז״ל, צבי חביבי, היה מחלק ביצים של תנובה! את המכתב הזה מצאנו במקרה לפני שנים לאחר פטירתו!קצת קשה לקריאה אבל אישית, אותנו זה ריגש מאד!

Posted by Judith Waldhorn on Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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