University of Cincinnati Hillel Foundation Archive Documents 1948 – 1949 Academic year

Someone must write a tremendous -poem or novel - a new Iliad, a new Aeneid - depicting the saga of the Jewish nation. How for two thousand years ( 11 times the length of existence of the United States) a people has been denied access to homeland, how that people after terrible suffering has returned with burning faith and Indomitable courage to rebuild its nation and Its culture. Someone must write It soon, for the world has never known so awesome a spectacle. Heb-rew prophets of ancient days whose words for centuries have inspired men of all nations will seem but forerunners to the tremendous saga of Jewish history. Someone is soon to appear with a burning pen and a pounding heart and tear-filled eyes whose words will lift the Jews to a realization of what they are. And Jews of all nations who for so long had been used to only vicious criticism and violent propaganda and who have heard little else been to believe that they were all the things said about them, will sit up, listen fearfully, and then suddenly realize the magnificence of their past and promise of their future. Who among us has the heart and the ability for this? He is somewhere at hand, and perhaps does not know or care at the moment to undertake the task. But within him lurks the spirit; and when it is aroused, when at last it rakes contact with the waves of motion and truth and beauty that pour out across the ether, then will his heart pound, his head reel, and his pen begin to transmit the awesome, tremendous events of Jewish history. Then, from that time, will a complete change have been worked in the outlook of the Jews. Instead of desiring to ignore their past, instead of trying to forget what they are as some do, instead of being afraid that the Gentile world will know them as Jews, then will they stand up with a calm and glorious pride and say, “I am a Jew.” The words of Isaiah will then have been fulfilled: Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man passed through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Sid Silvian
Now The Temple
Now the Temple will be rebuilt And now the silent heart rekindled, and I who dream so long of this felt ashamed that my faith had dwindled. Not in my time, I would sadly say, will the dream of Zion come true, not for me the precious sight, of Israel’s white and blue. But things  change in this changing world, and my foolish hesitation, melts in the golden, gleaming sun, as I behold, at last, the nation. The nation, the dream, the heart, which for so long lay still, rises now with burning life, and with a cry I feel the thrill. The thrill of a dream come true, the thrill of a world reborn, so that if there be any doubts in me yet, I crush them under with scorn.
Birth of Israel
May 14th my dream burst loose, and cut the painful, choking noose. My world, my life, and all I know, now suddenly burn with a passionate glow. The ghetto is done, the dark and the night, the shadow of exile dissolves in the light. Days of pride and honor come, as once again our hearts do rise to the trumpet blasts of Zion flung ‘cross Israel’s skies.


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