Bialik’s farewell words…

(Translated from Hebrew by Nurit)

On Saturday, June 1934, 19th day Sivan 5694 Bialik spoke to Oneg Shabbat audience at Ohel-Shem school in Ramat-Gan. His words where painful:

“I am going outside because of my sickness. I feel that Tel Aviv and the population at large are sick this hour too. The symptoms of the sickness were diagnosed as of lately, first in relation to our brothers, refugees of the German catastrophe sword and other countries. Instead of caring for them, preparing for them a safe corner and some shade, a roof over their head, even if it is a shed, we exploited their misfortune for the lucre. “A war for God with the Amalek from generation to generation ‘that came in the way’ and entire nations were disqualified to be in the crowd because they ‘did not welcome you with bread and water when you left Egypt.’” How did we welcome our brothers, refuges of the sword? We raised the rent and robbed them of their last money.

The other sickness symptom is our contemptible profiteering that is eating us like a moth. The satanic shining gold is blinding our eyes. We brag with conceit and prosperity in a place full of confusion and profiteering emptiness. One dunam (In Israel, 20th century – present, a unit of land area, = 1000 square meters) passes many hands and each time its price goes up and we think it is growth and prosperity. There is no value to the land until it yields food for the humankind in time of danger or stress. We do with the land what profiteering would be doing with bread in time of war and revolutions. A bag of flour would pass many hands and eventually it will land at the same first hand but its price would have gone up to a frightening heights. But at the end, it was nothing but a bag of flour. The “millions” cheaters have evaporated like smoke.

Third symptom of our sickness is the escape from the village to the city. Our fate did us great favor that we were blessed with the Hebrew worker who arrived on the land to renew our existence foundations and connect us to the land. And now, with the falsity fuss the Hebrew worker has left the village, entrusted our national posts and moved to easy life in the city.

And here there is another hitch. The forth symptom of the sickness of the hour—the foreign labor, the tens of years of the great occupation of our big national fortress, the Hebrew labor, getting destroyed in front of our eyes. And we are not asking ourselves what will we do tomorrow, the day of edict and danger, when foreign laborers will fill our communities; who will stand for us, who will defend us in stormy day and catastrophe?

And here is the main symptom of the sickness of the hour—the menace inner disintegration, the many parties, and brothers’ animosity is eating us; the acts of destruction and ruination of the extremist parties as they are being exposed around the known sentence. The population at large is sick and Tel Aviv is sick too. I bless you all and myself and hope that upon my return I will begin to see the homeland’s symptoms of healing and recovery.”

August 28, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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  1. From Nurit

    The Poet Chayim Nachman Bialik: Then and Now—how true his words were! NOTHING HAS CHANGED and for the 70-years we are still waiting to see the healing and recovery symptoms, now more than ever!

    Do you remember what happened during the 90s’ aliya wave when the apartments’ rent went up…you know the supply and demand effect, so they said?

    However, Zionism is not a “supply and demand” case; Zionism is against human nature, it is the waking up of a nation that has not forgotten. Zionism must be accompanied not only by the redemption and liberation of the land ideology but also by our redemption from exile that destroyed us.

    Has the Diaspora left us? I very much doubt it because the public at large is surrendering Eretz Yisrael-the Land of Israel and they have forgotten the cradle of our home land, Judea and Samaria.

    The repetitious, almost to nauseousness, media use of words such as “territories,” “West Bank,” “Palestine” and “Palestinians” is wiping the identity of our homeland and represents hatred towards Hebron and all that it stands for.

    Chayim Nachman Bialik (name also transliterated-Hayyim Nahman Bialik) (1873-1934) is known to be one of Israel’s greatest Hebrew poets of all times. Read his 1934 farewell words spoken, before he left over seventy years ago, for an operation in Vienna from which he did not return. It is heartbreaking that nothing has changed since.

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