Hayyim Nahman Bialik

Radi, Volhynia
Hayyim Nahman Bialik
Radi, Volhynia
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Should You Wish To Know The Source

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Should you wish to know the Source,
From which your brothers drew…
Their strength of soul…
Their comfort, courage, patience, trust,
And iron might to bear their hardships
And suffer without end or measure?

And should you wish to see the Fort
Wherein your fathers refuge sought.
And all their sacred teasures hid,
The refuge that has still preserved
Your nation's soul intact and pure
And when despised, and scorned, and scoffed,
Their faith they did not shame?

And should you wish to see and know
Their Mother, faithful, loving, kind
Who…sheltered them and shielded them.
And lulled them on her lap to sleep?

If you, my brother, know not
Then enter now the House of God,
The House of study, old and gray,
Throughout the scorching summer days
Thoughout the gloomy winter nights,
At morning midday or at eve…
And there you may still behold,
A group of Jews from the exile who bore the yoke of its burden who forget their toil,
through a worn out page of the Talmud.

And then your heart shall guess the truth,
That you have touched the sacred ground
Of a great people's house of life.
And that your eys do gaze upon
The treasure of a nation's soul.
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