Study and Theory/
Chanukah

Yitzhak Sadeh

Blood of the Maccabees

In the Diaspora our blood was shed like water for many generations, hundreds of years - in all the countries, in all the climates, but no plant grew out of our blood, no flower flowered, only puddles remained, puddles of blood from lead.  And over the years they also dried out. Only in this country, the homeland, does a tiny flower grow amongst the rest of the flowers, the small flower, the red flower, and its name the Blood of the Maccabees...


Here we wandered on the paths of Israel, we breath the air of Modiin, we have seen the landscape of the exposed hills, we climbed the cliffs, we ascended and descended on the paths and the trails on which the Maccabees walked. The spirit filled with liveliness, dressed with skin, bones and tendons. The spirit of the Maccabees became the Maccabean tactic, and we knew how the few can fight against the many, how they knew when to prevail over the camps. Their spirit became our tactic, their faith became our weapons. Because justice must be realized here and for us. And not a dream of justice, of an abstract perception about the concept of justice. The justice  needs to be here and true. It will grow in the fields of wheat, barley and cereal. In the fields which are sown with a tear and are harvested with song and if necessary they are also watered with blood...


And that same blood, we will say with all simplicity and security - runs through our arteries. In this matter, they are alike us, and a drop of our blood that falls on the land of the homeland, will grow into a tiny flower, a small and red flower called after them, because of them this land is our home and all types of plants and flowers grow in it.


You are not heroes, my friends, and not giants, you are simple people, getting on with life, dealing with a thousand issues, but you have received the Maccabean inheritance. Seeds of gold.
And I am happy to see this in the depths of the bloc, the dust of daily living.

Yitzhak Sadeh, the Commander of the Palmach, describes how from life in Israel and his acquaintance with it the generation drew inspiration from the Maccabees, and his friends, the Palmach people, are the Maccabees’ heirs.

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