web analytics
November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Fania Bergstein: Immortal Melodies


Fania Bergstein

Fania Bergstein

You planted melodies in me, my mother and my father,
Melodies, forgotten hymns.

Here I listen to my distant lullaby,
Chanted from mother to daughter.

Here will sparkle in tears and laughter
“Lamentations” and Sabbath tunes.

It’s within me that your faraway voices teem.
My eyes I’ll close and I am with you
Above the darkness of the abyss.

These lines, written in Hebrew by Fania Bergstein, were magnificently translated by Sarah Honig, herself a remarkable literary artist. In 1944 when Fania put her inner melodies to paper, the “darkness of the abyss,” the Jewish catastrophe called the Holocaust, was already known to most of the Jews of Eretz Yisrael, Fania Bergstein included. Her fears that she will never again see her loved ones left behind in the abyss were, tragically, proven prophetic. These premonitions and the reality that had existed before reverberate through her rhymes. These rhymes were aimed at the children of Eretz Yisrael: many of them learned them by heart.

Fania Bergstein and her poems became a bridge between the new world of Eretz Yisrael and the old world of Eastern Europe she left behind and that soon sank into the abyss. In the words of Sarah Honig, “she’s important to understanding our Israeli identity, why we are here, what moves and motivates us. She was a living connection between a destroyed world and the new one being created.”

Born in 1908 in Szczuczyn, Poland, Fania Bergstein was educated in Hebrew and Russian. An active member of the Zionist youth movement He-Halutz Hatzair, Fania and her husband, Aharon Israeli, made aliyah in 1930 and settled in Kibbutz Gvat. Four years later she became mother to Gershon – a tall, fair-haired boy who inherited the artistic talent from his mother.

Fania Israeli published her first poem for children in 1932. During the next decade, besides translating foreign children’s books into Hebrew, she mainly wrote poetry and stories for children. Her book of children’s poetry Bo Elai Parpar Nechmad (Come to Me, Lovely Butterfly!) was an immediate success and considered a best-seller in Israel up to this day. With this book, which is now considered a children’s classic, she made a major contribution to the development of modern Hebrew children’s poetry.

On September 18, 1950 Fania Bergstein Israeli died after a prolonged illness, leaving behind a strapping remarkably handsome 16-year-old son who played the mandolin and composed music to many of his mother’s verses.

On June 5, 1967, the Six Day War broke out and Gershon Israeli, then a 33 year old father of three, rushed to volunteer for reserves duty. He didn’t wait for call-up orders. On the second day an Iraqi plane that penetrated Israeli airspace and tried to bombard Netanya set off a fiery blaze and devastation at Camp Amos where Gershon Israeli and his unit were stationed. Gershon and his valiant buddies were killed.

Gershon Israeli’s mandolin was silenced but neither his music nor his mother’s immortal melodies have vanished. They live on in the hearts of the growing Israeli youth.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fania Bergstein: Immortal Melodies”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry .
NYT Ignores US Condemnation of PA Incitement, Prints Info on Ferguson Cop
Latest Sections Stories
West-Coast-logo

Lester Crown, a perennial member of the Forbes 400 list since 1982 and founder of the prestigious Covenant Foundation, took the stage in Washington, D.C. before a room of high-powered dignitaries, philanthropists, and innovators.

Collecting-History-logo

Not as well known, however, is Keller’s involvement with Jewish and Israeli communities.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

More Articles from Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson
LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Over the years there has been no shortage of reporting about Devorah Halberstam, Ari’s mother. Even in Israel, thousands of miles from the Halberstam home, there have been frequent references in the media to Ari’s mother. Do you know why?

When Hitler entered Prague in March 1939, many Czech Jews managed to escape to Palestine, including Alice’s twin Mariane and her families.

Hannah believed that one must learn about the evils of the past so that they aren’t repeated.

Who is Rachel Azaria? Would you have guessed that this dynamo is a religious, 35-year-old woman, mother of four children, ranging in ages from ten years to eight months?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/fania-bergstein-immortal-melodies/2013/06/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: