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[Pages 60-62]

The Excitement Among the Youth (cont.)

The community troupe in its performance during Purim

The community troupe in its performance during Purim

Seated from right to left: 1. Zaikovitz 2. R. Katz 3. [feh]. Chokla 4. A. Malovatsky 5. C. Katz 6. R. D. Frank 7. S. Rapoport
Standing: 1. Y. Dyukman 2. D. Shrayberman 3. S. Bronshteyn 4. L. Munder 5. S. Dyukman 6. H. Dyukman 7. N. Davidovitz 8. L. Kelmaner 9. S. Geynichovitz


With seven eyes the youths of the city looked at these strange boys and girls. The heart was attracted to them through hidden longings for change that could come also to their mundane, single-focussed lives.

The Pioneers 'Bnei Israel' in Orheyev chopping down trees

The Pioneers “Bnei Israel” in Orheyev chopping down trees

From right to left: 1. D. Sinai 2. Yisrael Ben-Shem 3. Arye Kuchuk 4. …
5. S. Sharf 6. B. Hentin 7. … 8. M. Zigberman 9. S. Bronshteyn


From this Bnei Yisrael group sprung out the Hechalutz and pioneering youth movements of the city – Gordonia and Hashomer Hatzair. Aliya to the Land began from them, not just of lone individuals, but of entire groups that increased with the passage of time, and that with time, influenced the movement in the Diaspora from the far reaches of the desired Land. Thanks to them, Hebrew became a living and spoken language in the mouths of the youth of the city. Love of the Land of Israel and the dream for aliya became concepts that were close to the hearts of everyone, as it had not been in any other era. These boys and girls of Hechalutz and of the youth movements were also the first to take part in any practical Zionist activity, and the forces behind all Hebrew cultural activities in the city. They worked on behalf of the Keren Kayemet, organized a choir which became known throughout the nearby region, established a theatrical troupe, took care of the communal library, etc. In one word – they did whatever the rest of the youth did in every city throughout Romania, Poland, Galicia and other places, where Zionism brought in its wake the spiritual and cultural revival of the nation in the Diaspora.

Then the black and dark year arrived. The impure beast overpowered the nations of Europe, and cut off this youthful activity. The song in the youth groups was silenced, the joy ceased, and the enthusiastic pioneering dancing stopped. The joyous activities stopped, and were replaced by oppression and terror. Those who were not saved by fleeing eastward perished, died and were murdered – and only their memory remains in the heart like a scorched stone – without comfort…

The youths and the rest of those pining in the Diaspora, a large group who stood on the threshold of aliya and actualization, who prepared and dreamed about joining themselves to the ranks of those who made aliya – and were cut off before their time by the hands of the beasts of prey – shall be remembered forever.

Their lips that spoke Hebrew and their eyes that dreamed the dreams of Zion and Jerusalem, their hearts that beat stormily on behalf of the nation and the homeland shall be remembered forever.

Their deeds that were performed and not completed, their desires that were beckoning over the horizon but not actualized, their dreams that withered and cut off in fire, in machine guns, in strangulation, in famine and disease, through torture by strangers and crushing of the honor of mankind shall be remembered forever.

Their dreams and desires are like fire in our bones. We, those that survive, have the duty to bring them to life, to continue with them, and to actualize them.

Let them be remembered forever…

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