Inspiration from Zion..
07 March '17..
This poem is the documentation of a modern miracle, brought forth out of the sheer stubbornness of a people and their relationship with a land that is just as stubborn.
In 1946, under the British Mandate, it was discovered that the Jewish community of Biriya, next to Tzfat, had stockpiled weapons. The British felt that Jews could not be allowed this freedom (self-determination) and decided to demolish the community. An order was given that declared the area “military territory” in which Jews were not allowed to live. The Jewish leadership saw this as an unprecedented infringement on the right to settle Jewish land and decided they would not relinquish their rights or the land.
Thousands of Jews flooded in to Biryia. The British army fought them off. With unwavering determination, another wave of Jews came, their numbers so great that the British were overwhelmed. The mighty army simply gave up.
Natan Alterman witnessed the victory over the British and the re-establishment of Biryia. The poem he wrote describing the event, so powerfully captured the relationship between the Jews and the Land that the British censorship would not allow it to be published in the newspaper (so it was published a few months later in a book!).
It was clear that the Jews would not give up on their land. Or was it the land who would not relinquish her Jews?
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