Arriving in Israel
Habonim Zionist Youth Movement
Shaz was a committed Zionist who dreamed of building a nation built on the principles espoused by the biblical prophets and by social democratic philosophers.
He was a legendary leader in the Habonim Zionist Youth Movement, who believed that high ideals were not theoretical, but must be actively applied in one's life. Thus, Zionism was not something to be supported from afar, but a demand to actually live in Israel and contribute to its welfare and security.
His decision to make aliya was also an expression of his revulsion towards apartheid South Africa.
On Kibbutz Ginegar
Immediately after completing his university studies, Shaz left for Israel to live the life of a pioneer on kibbutz. He was trained for agricultural work on Kibbutz Ginegar; then he, together with his friends, moved to Yizrael, where he spent many happy days as a shepherd.
Like many other young people who left their families and promising careers to build the land, Shaz struggled with his parents' objections to the choices he had made. He expressed his feelings in a letter, written six months after making aliya.
Learning a new language
While the sheep grazed in the pasture, Shaz utilized the time to read the latest issue of The New Statesman, or to study new Hebrew vocabulary. He was fanatic about practicing Hebrew, even with his South African friends. His stubbornness paid off in later years, when he became a university lecturer and author in Hebrew.
Joining the army
After three years on kibbutz, Shaz decided to enlist in the Israel Defense Force. He was assigned to the Legal Department and served as a defense lawyer for soldiers accused of going AWOL or committing various misdemeanors.
It was during this period that he began to be aware of the social problems underlying criminal behavior. To better understand the connection, Shaz enrolled in a course in criminology--the turning point that opened the door to a career in academia.