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Apr 18, 2017

When Eli Cohen ate matza in Damascus

Avraham Cohen, the brother of Eli Cohen - aka "Our Man in Damascus" based on the name of the book written about him, revealed a new and fascinating tidbit about his deceased hero of a brother..

Avraham Cohen has been gathering every morsel of information he has been able to find about his brother. As you surely know, Eli Cohen was a spy for Israel in the Syrian government in the 1960s, and much of Israel's success in the Six Day War on the front with Syria can be directly connected to information passed along to Israel by Cohen about war preparations, as well as his influence within Syria setting them up for Israel.

Cohen revealed a never-before-known incident about his brother, and how he was moser nefesh to eat matza on Pesach even in Syria.

Eli Cohen operated in Syria under the name Kamel Amin Thaabet and posing as a successful businessman he made strong connections at all levels of the Syrian government.

Avraham heard the following story from a Syrian-Jewish woman who told it to him after having made aliyah to Israel. She claims to have been a witness to the story as a child in her father's shop.

Early on in Cohen's career in Syria, in 1962, shortly after he arrived in Syria, he went through a market in Damascus. This woman's father operated a shop in the market. Cohen approached him and said he is very hungry and needs food. The man, her father, responded that because it is the Jewish holiday of Pesach he does not have any bread or pita but only has matza available. Thaabet, aka Cohen, responded that he does not know what this matza is, but he is so hungry and needs something to eat, whatever it may be. Her father gave him the matza, and, she related, Cohen took his food to the corner of the room, mumbled something to himself and ate the matza, before leaving.
source: Kol Hai News, among other sources

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