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Mefkure - Definition

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Mefkure-   A motor schooner of Jewish immigrants bound for Palestine, which sailed from Romania in August of 1944 with approximately 316 passengers. This ship was apparently one of several chartered by US agent Ira Hirshenson, empowered by the US government to save Romanian Jews. The ship sailed under Turkish registry and flew both neutral Turkish and Red Cross flags. It sailed in convoy with the Bulbul and the Morina, each with over 300 passengers. On the morning of August 5, between 1:20 and 1:57 Moscow time,  the Mefkure was torpedoed in the Black Sea by Soviet submarine SC-215. This is recorded by M. Morozov in his book "Podvodnye lodki tipa SC" (Rainer Kolbicz,  uboat.net ) . There were 11 survivors. Apparently, it was Soviet policy to sink such immigrant ships as part of their cooperation with their British allies.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

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Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel


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