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 Perl, Avraham 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.
The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part Two
Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik was called upon by his contemporaries to play the role of a prophet. By consenting, he believed he had betrayed both his talent and his true calling.