About six months into the 'Season', the Irgun began to recover from the setbacks. Young commanders were appointed to replace the veterans who had been arrested and the ranks were filled anew. The arms' suppliers managed to bring in new weapons to replace those seized by the Haganah, and plans were made for the renewal of activity. One of the first activities, which marked the recovery of the Irgun was the manufacture of primitive home-made mortars, which were used against British targets. The idea was conceived by Gidi (Amihai Paglin), one of the Irgun's best officers. Working in his parents' workshop, Gidi succeeded in constructing a mortar out of a 12-inch pipe, with shells made of metal containers filled with explosives. The mortar was not accurate and could be used only for short ranges, but it made a terrific noise and symbolized the continued struggle against the British Mandate. Several such mortars were made, and plans were made to place them near various British sites in the country. One of these was the police camp at Sarona - now the government compound in Tel Aviv. Explosives were brought from all over the country to fire the mortars. My task was to convey them to a spot in the Nahlat Yitzhak cemetery. The cemetery guard, a member of the Irgun, had dug a false grave to be used as an arms' cache. Since we did not know the exact location of this grave, it was agreed that he would wait for us in the cemetery and receive the 'goods' from us. It was a Friday night, and four of us set out, each with a sack of explosives over his shoulder.
On the way there we joked about encountering ghosts wandering about the cemetery. But as soon as we arrived, we fell silent. The atmosphere was charged and the watchman was nowhere in sight, presumably having left because we were very late. We had no idea where the cache was located and did not want to take the 'parcels' back, since the explosives had to reach their destination. I had little choice but to leave the sacks there, consoling myself with the knowledge that Jews do not usually visit cemeteries on a Saturday. Each sack was placed beside a grave, and in order to be able to describe their location, each of us memorized the name engraved on the tombstone. Thus we tiptoed at midnight through the cemetery, each of us repeating the name of 'his' dead person. It was a grotesque scene. The following morning I hastened to meet Yehoyada to give him the names on the tombstones. When the Sabbath ended, the watchman removed the sacks and placed them in the hiding place.
The mortars did not prove very successful; those which were aimed at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which housed the Mandate government offices and British Army HQ, were discovered by the Haganah and reported to the police. The mortars installed opposite Sarona were fired, but caused no damage. Despite the failure, the very positioning of the mortars was an achievement, demonstrating that the Irgun was a force to be reckoned with.
Shortly after the mortar operation, I was informed that the police had arrested my good friend, Yosef. Police officers arrived at his home in the middle of the night and after conducting a meticulous but fruitless search, they asked him to accompany them. He was taken to the Jaffa goal and after being interrogated, was transferred to the Latrun detention camp. The news of his arrest stunned me. I had been aware of the numerous arrests carried out all over the country during the 'Season', but they had never touched me so closely. I felt that the rope was tightening around my own neck and decided to leave Ramat Gan for a while. Since I had no desire to become a 'refugee' (i.e. to move to another town and be supported by the Irgun), I had to find another way of absenting myself from home. At that time it was customary for groups of senior high-school students to go off for a month or two to work in kibbutz fields. This profited the kibbutz and was educational for the students. I proposed to Yehoyada that I join such a work group and he approved. He, too, feared that after Yosef's arrest, my turn would come and that the kibbutz offered a safe haven. After receiving the Irgun's approval, I joined my classmates for Kibbutz Mishmar ha-Emek in the Jezreel Valley.
The kibbutz welcomed us warmly. We were housed in a tent camp on the hill, not far from the local Palmach camp. The tranquility of agricultural work was a welcome change after the tensions of the past few months. The hard work in the arms' caches and the need to exercise constant caution had left their mark on me. I was happy to go out to the plantations to pick plums and to learn about the different species. In the evenings we attended lectures on socialism and communism, on the beauty of communal labor, the slogan being 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.' The HaShomer HaZair (Socialist-Zionist movement) considered the Soviet Union to be the fulfilment of their dreams and dreamed of implementing socialist theories in Palestine.
On evenings when we were not attending lectures, we met up with the Palmachniks, who came to strike up acquaintance with our girls. I would listen attentively to their conversations, taking care not to enter into arguments, ideological or otherwise, so as not to arouse their suspicions. At one of these meetings the talk turned to the struggle against the 'dissidents'; I sensed that there was unrest among these Palmachniks and growing resistance to the struggle against the Irgun. They objected in particular to handing over underground fighters to the British Police. Arguments also raged about statements made at a special Palmach gathering held at Kibbutz Yagur, where Sneh and Golomb had announced the suspension of activities against the Irgun. The reason given was that the 'dissidents' had suffered a severe blow and their activities had been paralyzed. The truth was, however, that note had been taken of the growing resistance of Haganah members to collaboration with the British. Moreover, some members of the Palmach claimed that operations against the 'dissidents' were deflecting them from their main purpose, namely the struggle against the British. I recalled Begin's insistence that we should exercise restraint in the face of persecution, because one day the Haganah would join us in the struggle against foreign rule. The time was approaching, I felt, when the entire young generation would rise up against the British Mandate in Palestine.
Before completing our work in the kibbutz, a Haganah member gave us intensive training in handling a rifle. I was delighted at the opportunity, since the Irgun did not offer this training, considering rifles unsuitable for guerrilla warfare in built-up areas. In fact, I was later given the opportunity to use a rifle in an Irgun action, when we were sent to blow up the railway bridges near the Arab village of Yibne (present-day Yavne).