Study and Theory/
May 1st

Ignazio Silone

The attempt to live together and not in fear

Bread and Wine

They are courageous men, and I know them well. Poor men, who only had a few years of schooling. They came to me after the death of Don Bendito in order to ask me what to do. We considered it and came to the conclusion that we needed to make the truth public. In truth Don Bendito was very pleasant. The only way to commemorate him was to publish the truth in the public eye. The men were ready for anything as long as it would honor Bendito’s spirit. And therefore we founded a group of writers of truth. In the nights they would get ready and depart, equipped with charcoal and chalk, to the neighbourhood communities, and write on the walls this truth: “Don Bendito was poisoned”. We argued as to whether we needed to add anything, and came to the conclusion that nothing should ever be added to the truth even if it was something inconsequential, whereby in this way it ceases being the truth, and after discussions we came to one understanding, that nothing should be added to the truth even if it strengthens it as there is nothing stronger than the pure and simple truth, therefore we decided to write everything, unceasingly, until it was transmitted to everyone:

 

“Don Bendito was poisoned”, we wrote this simply and accurately without adding even an exclamation mark. And those who refused to understand, will understand by force, because it would seem that there are people for whom this truth is starting to be forgotten in their hearts. We will continue writing on the walls “Don Bendito was poisoned” and those who yearn for forgetfulness – by force will remember. Like Og this was the role of these writers.

 

[…] You cannot imagine – says Don Paulo – what it was for a country such as ours, if there had been one hundred young people, who were prepared to renounce their comfort, non-corrupt people,  redeemed from the insanity of private property, of sex, of career, unified based on absolute candour, on absolute comradeship. One hundred young men responding to every question with the truth, who state the truth everywhere, only the truth, and live according to the truth; young men who are known not by the symbol on their lapel and not by their uniform, but rather by their lifestyle.

 

[…] With the people whose name I mentioned, like with the people of whom you will soon become aware, make a covenant of friendship! Just so that you can gain their friendship, you are permitted to try to explain to them, that there is no intention to determine new equations, new methods of blessing or shirts in a new colour, but rather a new lifestyle. If we use ancient speech, the intention is to find religion; the intention is – to be a new man, perhaps it is enough to say: the intention is to be a man, in the true meaning of that word. You have moved so far away from man, so much so that one who compares his pettiness with what could have been, his heart is terrified within him, and suddenly he discovers that he has a defect, he is desecrated, corrupt, humiliated. Any revolution, at the root of everything, returns and responds to this question master: What is a man? There are neurotics for whom the revolution is intoxication, the parade lyrical: “It is better to live one day as a lion than one hundred days as a lamb!”. And there are the poor for whom the revolution is something else: it is redemption, the need for simplicity and comradeship, the deferral of the fate of the lion and of the lamb together, the aspiration for fate, that it be appropriate, at long last, the integrity of man, the revolution – says Morika – we were, not to be alone any more, one against others. This is an attempt to be together and not to fear any more. This is the need for comradeship. 

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