Eight on the Trail of OneThe "Hasamba" SeriesOur Gang

  • Issue: August 2004
  • Designer: Miri Nistor
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 567, 568, 569 (2 phosphor bars)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

The adventure books depicted on the stamps are devoted to the exploits of groups or "secret societies" of older children, characterized by patriotism,comradeship, courage, and self-reliance. These groups have leaders, but all the members are brave and fight for justice and to save their country from its enemies. They pursue both enemy spies, thieves and other criminals. The stories usually include elements of detective fiction: tracking down the crook/spy, solving the mystery and punishing the villains. The three chosen stories take place during the British Mandate in the years immediately preceding the establishment of the State of Israel.

"Eight on the Trail of One"

by Yemima Avidar-Tchernovitz (Illustrated by Nachum Gutman)
The book is about a group of kibbutz children who get involved with a strange man, Dr. Berg, who introduces himself as a modern Doctor Dolittle. Hagai, a city boy, is sent by his parents to stay with relatives on the kibbutz and joins the group. They suspect that Dr. Berg is a spy. After a confrontation, Dr. Berg tries to murder Amos, one of the children. Hagai comes to his defence but is injured in the struggle. The book, published in 1945, is known as "the first Israeli adventure story." A new adaptation was published in 1996.

The "Hasamba" Series

by Igal Mossinsohn (Illustrated by Shmuel Katz)
The series is about a group of girls and boys who set up a secret society called "Hasamba," (acronym for the Hebrew, Havurat Sod Mukhlat Behekhlet, "The Absolutely Secret Group"). Their adventures take place during the British Mandate and the struggle for statehood as they battle their country's enemies: infiltrators, spies, criminals and other offenders. Yaron Zahavi and his deputy, Tamar, are the first leaders of Hasamba. Later they are replaced by Yoav Tzur and his deputy, Rachel. The format of each story is similar: Hasamba's leader explains the situation and delegates tasks to each member. One member is captured and successfully escapes with help from the outside. The bad guys are punished and there is a happy end.
The series was first published in 1949 and was extremely popular. Hasamba stories have become a part of Israeli culture.

"Our Gang"

by Pucho (Israel Wissler) (Illustrated by Erella Horowitz)
The story describes the experiences of a group of members of the Palmah (the pre-state Jewish strike force) training on a kibbutz just before the establishment of Israel. These eighteen-year-old girls and boys are camped in a pine forest as they secretly train and prepare for battle. At the same time they work on the kibbutz and their daily lives are full of mischief and pranks. The story focuses on five boys sharing a tent: all their names derived from "Yosef' : Yosef, Yossi, Yoske, Yosele, and Yosino. Their names might be similar but each has a different personality, which often leads to bickering.
The highlight of the story is when Yosino's mother comes to visit and asks his sergeant to look after her son, thereby greatly embarrassing Yosino. The book was first published in 1958 and won the Barash Prize.

Dr. Miri Baruch

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Adventure Stories