29 Moreover, the Glory of Yisrael does not deceive or change His mind, for He is not human that He should change His mind.”
When World War I broke out in 1914, many young Zionists perceived the crisis as an opportunity through which the political landscape of Palestine could be transformed to advance the dream of Jewish self-determination in their homeland. Sarah Aaronsohn, one of the first generation of native-born Zionists, was born in 1890 in Zichron Yaakov. With Aaronsohn at the helm, a young group of idealists formed a clandestine organization they called “NILI,” which was a Hebrew acronym based on the phrase in this verse verse, Netzach Yisrael Lo Yishaker (נצח ישראל לא ישקר), ‘The Glory of Israel does not deceive.’ NILI conducted espionage against the Ottoman authorities on behalf of the Allies. They hoped that with their assistance, the British would come to power and reward the Jews with an independent state in Palestine. In 1917, however, the Turks discovered Sarah Aaronsohn’s espionage and arrested her. Despite interrogations and torture, she refused to disclose any information about NILI’s efforts, taking her own life instead. She sacrificed her life for the millenia-old dream to promote the independence of the Jewish people. Sarah Aaronsohn is remembered to this day as a national hero of Israel.