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[Pages 157-158]

In the Ken[1] (A Letter)

Translated by Judy Grossman

Our dear friend Henne Beile, Hazak Ve'ematz![2]

We'll start our letter by telling you that we are well. How are you?

On Passover we had a third “seder”. The members passed the step, and it was a very joyous event. From Dusiat almost all the “shomrim” (oldest group) have gone to hachshara. Immediately after Purim Rachel Shub went to Kovno [Kaunas], to “kibbutz ironi”[3] and after Passover our Rivka also went to Kovno to an “urban kibbutz”. A week later Miryam Baron went to Alita [Alytus]. She writes that things aren't so good, because she was sick. Now she will most likely return home quickly, because she can't be there. Afterwards Zelda Charit and Rivka Melamed went to Ponevez [Panevezys], and Rachel Slovo is in Yanishok [Joniskis], working on a hachshara. David Zak is in Vilkaviskis and Chaim Slovo is in Shavli [Siauliai]. He has already received his certificate[4], and will immigrate soon. Greinem Pores is in Pilvishok [Pilviskiai].

Rivka and Rachel write good things. Rivka works in a warehouse there, and Rachel is a nurse in the kibbutz. They hope to receive certificates soon and to immigrate in January.

Sunday was a Lithuanian holiday, so the Lithuanian teachers sent an invitation to the scouts to take part in the holiday, so all the scouts went in our scouts' uniforms and the Lithuanians welcomed us in a friendly manner. We walked through the streets and sang beautiful songs. Our camp made a big impression on both the Jews and the Christians, and the Christians said that they didn't even know that there were Jewish scouts.

We have expanded our ken, because we accepted many new young members. The entire ken was divided into groups: “shomrim” and “bogrim”, younger members and older “habirim” and younger “habirim”. The younger “habirim” were divided into a girls' group and a boys' group.

The head of the ken is Yoel Zeif. The leader of the “Trumpeldoria group”, which has now become older Scouts, is Lana Visakolsky, and her deputy is Mordechai Slep. Then there are younger scouts, that is the older “habirim”, among them Hene Shub, Shuna (Sonya Slovo) and myself. At first we didn't want to be in this group, but when Yoelke made it clear to us that the group couldn't exist without us, we let ourselves be convinced.

Our group is called “Arlozorov”, after Arlozorov who was killed. You probably know about him. Our leader is Ida (Ita) Charit and her deputy is Golda Melamed. Now Ida Charit has gone to study, so Golda-Zehava Melamed is leading our groups. Our group is made up of ten people. Only six remain now, five girls and one boy, because four boys went to Utian [Utena] to study, including Gershon Baron. Afterwards there are the older “habirim”, and their leader is Nechama Yudelowitz, and her deputy is Tzila Shub. The leader of the girls' group is Golda-Rivka Shub, and her deputy is Esther Yosman, and the leader of the boys' group is Yechezkel-Chatzke Steinman[5].

We, the Dusiat members, had a camp. It was a success. We thought of having it in Venasovas, and set forth on August 13, a Sunday. On Saturday night we already couldn't sleep, and brought all the products to the dormitory.

On Friday a delegate of the Hashomer Hatzair chief directorate, Shneor Blumberg, visited us. He taught us many songs and on the Sabbath we had an excellent “kibbutz”. He is still quite young.

When we got up on Sunday to go to the camp, it was raining. All the scouts and the delegate spent the day in the dormitory and it didn't stop raining. We had a meeting and it was suggested that we go to a village, rent a granary there and live “kibbutz life” for a few days. That is what we did.

On Sunday, towards nightfall, we left for a village beyond the shtetl, in Skinaikiai. On the Monday morning the scouts from Antaliepte came, and then from Zarasai and from Salok [Salakas]. We returned home on Wednesday, and the delegate left on Thursday. You can't imagine how hard we cried. You can't imagine how used to him we had become. We had never had such a delegate. Now we receive letters from him. He promises to come to Dusiat frequently. He likes the shtetl and all the people, because everyone speaks Hebrew.

So, we wrote you a lot about the Scouts commandment.

I passed my exams, which means that I am going into the sixth class. Shuna also passed, and we don't yet know about Ida.

The friends who remain are Shuna, Tzila and myself. We miss you, Henne Beile. When we go to the movement, someone says: “We should go to Henne Beile's,” but when we recall where Henne Beile is now, then we start missing you a lot. You know about our life here, but nevertheless we will answer every letter.

What is your Rachel doing? Is she working?

What do you say about the great tragedy that occurred to such a young member [David Bun]? You can imagine that it was more than enough for us. You probably know why he died and what happened…

Give our regards to our relatives, to Blacher and his wife. Ask them why they don't write us and tell them to write. What is Rivka Scop doing now? Is she working? Write and let us know whether you asked her for the half a pound for the “assistance project”, and if you haven't, please ask her for it, as in our ken we have no one who can pay such a sum for her. So I ask you to remind her frequently, so that she doesn't forget to send it.

Give our warm regards to Chaya Milun if you see her, and ask her why she doesn't write. Tell Rivka Scop that her Rivka went to hachshara and will shortly immigrate to Eretz Yisrael, and tell her everything I wrote you about the ken and who went to hachshara. Write us about everything and about everyone from Dusiat, because we are very interested in knowing.

There was just a wedding between Malka Levitt and Leibtzik Zak, who lives in the home of Itzik Zeif. You probably know him. Hanna Zak married a groom from Ponedel [Pandelys].

Dusiat has now become a very pretty shtetl, with cement balconies and pavements. Henne, we wrote you this letter several weeks ago, so I will write you the news that Rivka and Rachel Shub have received their certificates and will shortly make aliya.

We await a prompt reply.

From your friends Hanna [Pores] and Shuna [Sonia Slovo]. Regards to all - shalom, shalom…

 

 
A parade of scouts in the marketplace in the direction of ” Milner Gass” [Miller's Street]

“We walked in scouts' uniforms and the Lithuanians welcomed us in a friendly manner…”

In the background (from right to left): Ziv's inn (on “Unter dem Brik”); houses belonging to Avraham-Isaac Yoffe; Hanna Aires (Chatzkel), brothers Asher and Zalmen Kagan and Hillel Schwartz (on “Maskevitcher Gass”)

 

Footnotes

  1. Cell or branch Return

  2. The slogan of Hashomer Hatzair “Be strong and brave!” Return

  3. Kibbutz Ironi” (“urban kibbutz”) held training in the cities; but most of the training centers were on farms, for agricultural training. Return

  4. British permits for immigration to Eretz Yisrael (Palestine). Return

  5. Shayke Glick: Chatzke [Yechezkel] Steiman was an excellent speaker, and when we received the news about Arlozorov's assassination, he gave a heartrending speech. Return

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