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[Pages 167-284]


Zion my pure, Zion my love,
From far far away my soul weeps.
May my right hand forget its cunning
If I forget thee my beautiful Zion.

[Page 169]

The Bag Full of Cushions

By Yaacov Charit

Translated by Judy Grossman


A page from the “Memorial Book” of Sonia Orlin
Received on the eve of her departure for South Africa


36 hours before your departure, Midnight July 3, 1927
As a memento forever
The Night before your Departure (sketch)

You are going; you are leaving your shtetl behind!

I came to your house in the evening. I wanted to see you before your departure… and I truly saw the serious war between life and custom… When a person is used to a place, to its environment, it is hard for him to leave.

Why? Why does the heart feel a twinge? Because habit is very strong, and the heart aches and grieves in any case.

Night. The hour is midnight. Masha Slep, your sisters, your mother and I are all in the room. Everyone is engaged in one thing… Only isolated words pierce the space of the room: how to place the bag, the rope, how to tie it. “Move it to the left, to the right, to the side, to the side! … Suddenly there is an exhausted sigh… I turn and see eyes filled with tears, flowing. Yes, she is leaving…

Turn over the package …

Everyone is busy with packing the cushions. How to tie them; what is the most comfortable way of placing them…

Now we are talking about how to place bottles. What to leave and what to take.

Now the bag has been encircled with the rope. Pull the knot. Roll up the cushions and tie them. Undo the rope and tie it again. Everyone's face is covered in perspiration. The work of packing has come to an end.

The hands of the clock move slowly… time passes… there is less than an hour remaining to see each other.

In a short time you will be far, far away. You will pass by cities and fields. You will leave seas behind you. Your feet will tread on new ground.

“Give me a needle and thread!” The order was heard and obeyed.

And again sewing on the thick sack. The package disappears into the bag, and the blue side is still peeking out in the light of the lamp…

The suitcase is also already ready and waiting to be closed.

The key will shortly squeak in the keyhole.

And then the last thread will be cut, and you will be ready for the journey.

Go in peace!

Your relative,



[Pages 170-171]

Chapter 1

Chalutzim Go to Eretz Yisrael

Onward to Zion
Lift up standard and flag
The flag of the Camp of Judah
Some by vehicle and some on foot
We will go together
We will return to the Land of our Fathers
To our beloved country
The cradle of our childhood
- - -
Return from afar to Eretz Yisrael
The Land of our Forefathers.


Residents of Dusiat who made aliya to Eretz Yisrael at the end of the nineteenth century:

- Yeshaya-Chaim Zalkind, a student at the Kelme yeshiva; he made aliya in 1885.

- Eliezer Lewenberg, who made aliya in 1887. He resided in Rosh Pinah close to thirty years. He took part in the reclamation of lands in Kfar Saba, Rafiah and Sharona, near Yavniel. His son David was one of the founders of Kfar Saba.[3]


Membership Certificate of the Hechalutz Federation in Lita [Lithuania]
Moshe Yitzchak Orez, member since 1924
Confirmation to make aliya by the fifth session in 1926
Signed by the Central Committee, Kovno [Kaunas]


Pages from Various Immigration Certificates from Different Periods

The Jewish Agency in Eretz Yisrael, Aliya Department, Jerusalem
Stamped by the Central Bureau for Eretz Yisrael, Kovno, Lita



  1. [1] “If I forget thee”, lyrics M. Dolizki. Return

  2. [3] “Nes Ziona”, lyrics N. Rosenblatt. Return

  3. [2] Yahadut Lita, Vol. 2, pp. 382-383 Return

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