The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part Three

Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik’s faith in a Zionist-led Hebrew renaissance never faltered; nor did his labors on its behalf. Yet he also became, so he felt, Zionism’s prisoner.



Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik. Culture Club/Getty Images.
Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik. Culture Club/Getty Images.
Observation
Aug. 31 2017
About the author

Hillel Halkin’s books include Yehuda HaleviAcross the Sabbath RiverMelisande: What are Dreams? (a novel), Jabotinsky: A Life (2014), and, most recently, After One-Hundred-and-Twenty (Princeton). 


This essay is the seventh in a series by Hillel Halkin on seminal Hebrew writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The first six dealt with the novelists Joseph PerlAvraham Mapu, and Peretz Smolenskin, the poet Yehudah Leib Gordon, the essayist and Zionist thinker Ahad Ha’am, and the writer, journalist, and intellectual Micha Yosef Berdichevsky.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Hebrew literature, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Literature