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Study and Theory/
Yom Hazikaron

Hertz Barsky

To Console You – Is My Wish

Moshe Barsky, a pioneer of the Second Aliya and a member of the Degania group, was murdered by robbers on November 22, 1913. His teammates sent a letter to his father in Russia:

"Among us, the twenty young men and women who had left their parental home to the land of our forefathers with the aspiration to create and build our future -  your son, our brother Moshe, may his memory be blessed, has lived and has worked.

He has lived with us for a short period of eight months only, yet this short duration sufficed to create a connection between us in form of a never-ending emotional bond. Your dear son, was dear to us, and his memory shall be cherished by the people for whose reestablishment in their land, he has sacrificed his fresh energies and moistened our land with his blood, the land of our forefathers for which we battle.

We feel your sorrow. Your sorrow is our sorrow and is deeply engraved in our hearts. Take comfort in the fact that the blood of your son has increased and deepened in our souls the awareness and the passion, that have given us the energy to fight his war and we shall not be deterred until our ideal is fulfilled - the ideal of the best of the people of Israel."

A few weeks later, the following reply by Moshe's father was received in Degania:

"Distinguished friends - Degania Group! I have received your precious letter written in tears and blood, in which I observed genuine words emerging from the hearts of comrades and friends who are bound by a soulful, everlasting connection. Dear brothers! That which we hadn't anticipated caught up with us. A calamity has befallen us. Yet I believe that your spirits will not fall and you shall not retreat. G-d forbid, on the contrary. I hope that the memory of my late son shall yet contribute to your strength and courage to be able to stand firmly in the holy war until we will have carried out our great plan, for which and in your midst, my son has sacrificed his soul and his blood. Brothers in goal! I do not only thank you for your participation in my sorrow, but I also seek to comfort you, for my sorrow is also your sorrow. So, let us hope together that the blood of our huge sacrifice, the blood of my son and your brother, Moshe, has risen to the Will, and that perhaps he shall be the last sacrifice on the altar of our holy mission.


Great and immeasurable is the pain. We do not cry nor eulogize.


Dear sons, work with vigor and with hope that our nation shall reinforce your beliefs. We are sending you our second son, to replace the son that has fallen. The death of Moshe is bringing us all to Israel.

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