Friday, September 25, 2015

Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu, Mar 13 1946 to Jul 4 1976 זיכרו לברכה ,יוֹנָתָן "יוֹנִי" נְתַנְיָהוּ

"As for me, a few days ago I completed jump school. I was surprised that Mother wrote that she could not understand how anyone could enjoy such horrors. What's the matter with you? That's precisely what I volunteered for! Didn't I think about the jumps before I joined the paratroops? No horrors are involved here. Quite the contrary. There is much in parachuting that is grand and splendid."

Yom Kippur War - Mt Hermon 1973

It seems I can stand anything except this state of ignorance, this dependence  on the decisions and utterances of someone else.

Yonatan Netanyahu, August 19, 1964 in a letter to his parents during the second week of service in the Israel Defense Force and impatient because he hasn't yet been assigned. He had brought along a copy of Plato, a book by Ayn Rand, and a volume of poems by Nathan Alterman.

The Silver Platter
by Nathan Alterman
Aug 14 1910 – Mar 28 1970

...And the land will grow still
Crimson skies dimming, misting
Slowly paling again
Over smoking frontiers

As the nation stands up
Torn at heart but existing
To receive its first wonder
In two thousand years

As the moment draws near
It will rise, darkness facing
Stand straight in the moonlight
In terror and joy

...When across from it step out
Towards it slowly pacing
In plain sight of all
A young girl and a boy

Dressed in battle gear, dirty
Shoes heavy with grime
On the path they will climb up
While their lips remain sealed

To change garb, to wipe brow
They have not yet found time
Still bone weary from days
And from nights in the field

Full of endless fatigue
And all drained of emotion
Yet the dew of their youth
Is still seen on their head

Thus like statues they stand
Stiff and still with no motion
And no sign that will show
If they live or are dead

Then a nation in tears
And amazed at this matter
Will ask: who are you?
And the two will then say

With soft voice: We--
Are the silver platter
On which the Jews' state
Was presented today

Then they fall back in darkness
As the dazed nation looks
And the rest can be found
In the history books.

URL for the poem:
Both quotes are from The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu, Copyright Benzion Netanyahu, Jerusalem 5773

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