An Israeli Poet with a Cherished Dream

Stand for Israel  |  July 20, 2021

Yocheved Ben-Miriam, Israeli poet (far right)
(Photo: יעל ויילר ישראל)

Born to an orthodox family in turn-of-the-century Belorussia, Yocheved Ben-Miriam fondly wrote of this land of her birth. After studying there and publishing her first book of poetry, Erez (Land), however, Yocheved made aliyah (immigrated) to her true historic and biblical homeland, the Holy Land, in 1926.

In Israel, Yocheved still looked back lovingly on Europe, but also wrote of Israel. She joined other early Israeli poets and writers in creating a literature of the burgeoning nation. And she paid the ultimate sacrifice as Israel fought for her independence, losing her son in the 1948 war. After his death, Yocheved never again wrote a poem. But the poems she had written proved inspiring to the Israeli people and through the years she was awarded the Brenner, Bialik, and Israel prizes for her poems.

Here is an excerpt from a beautiful piece about the land she left behind in order to make aliyah, “Cranes from the Threshold”:

As they pound toward the shore and toward you
(Who are held in its far gold gleam)
My days are poured out for me, pounding
The beat of your cherished dream.

Splendors and meaningless silence!
Splendors and nameless sky!
Unique in the blue is the hour
That is shuttered away from my eye.