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Study and Theory/

Zeev Waxkratz

The Festival of Spring

Sections from a letter, Degania C (the group who founded Kibbutz Ginegar)

“The festival of spring, the festival of birth, the motherland is giving birth, fields of glowing crops, they will soon yellow. Here and there the anemones are still laughing their red and last laugh. Here is a pile of hay arranged in a line like an army camp in tents, the beans mimic a harvester. We will start with the harvest with joy. Yesterday I pulled out the large beans. Here is the next big festival. I got ready for this festival. It has been a long time since I was in a celebratory mood. I wanted just once to celebrate this festival, our festival, not the one of our forefathers who left Egypt.


And in Degania B the fields across the train lines by the Horan Mountains. There it is possible to feel the flavour of the festival that is not related to historical dead memories... however in Degania B in the courtyard we celebrated Passover this year exactly as our forefathers celebrated in Berdichev and Tarnow. What a lot of traffic and noise in the busy courtyard: pillows, blankets, beds, boxes, shoes and everything in preparation for Passover (not my festival).


If you had only known how much this annoyed me. However, I didn’t get annoyed at all. It hurt me a bit that they had desecrated my festival....on the eve of Passover everything was like in my mother’s home. I tried to work in the field and in the units and to think about being a spokesman for my own festival. There were matzas and of course there was no lack of wine. I drank a lot on Seder Night, however it was not my festival. Just for a short time we sat by the table, and immediately the dancing started. It was impossible to celebrate a Berdichev Passover, because we were totally secular, and therefore we started dancing....however they also quickly tired of this. The next day I was on kitchen duty. I was busy all day and it saved me from my sadness. However it is forbidden to force the issue. Slowly but surely people will understand. The festivals of our forefathers are empty for us. We must create our own festival and not specifically on the day they departed from Egypt”.

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