Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shivers Up My Spine

There's a competition over at Schott's blog at the New York Times:

co-vocabularists are invited to share the words, phrases, prose and poetry which send goose bumps up their arms or shivers down their spines.

Here's mine. Not quite Christmasly:

The Hebrew poet, Uri Tzvi Greenberg, penned these lines that were published in 1937:

(my translation)

"...We will love ourselves: Jews who are swordless, hated!
Together we'll pray the prayer of great fraternity,
for it is holy as the living blood running at the feet of the murderer;
for it is pure as the tear in the orphaned infant's eye.
The non-Jews open before us the fire and the sea
and we have chosen: life and the reestablishment of our kingdom.
Shoulder to shoulder! So that there should be no space between a Jew's body and his comrade, crowded together!!
A congregation of Jews awaiting the Messiah."

The original can be found in his Collected Works, Vol. III, p. 60.

It should be recalled that the poem was composed in the fall of 1929 and is not a Holocaust-themed piece of literature, in response to Arab riots that summer which killed 133 in Mandate Palestine.

It surely has sent shivers up my spine since I first read it over 40 years ago, thinking about the history of the Jews in the 20th century in the lands of Exile and in the renewed Homeland.

1 comment:

escort marbella said...

There's no doubt, the guy is completely right.