“Back to the Land”, Letters from Israel

By: A.D Gordon

Dear Friends:
I do not write here as a reporter who covers the events of the day, nor do I write poetry. I am not a publicist or a scientist; neither am I a poet. I am merely a simple-hearted Jew, who wishes to write to you, my brothers and friends, just as a simple Jew would write a letter to his family, regarding family issues.

That being the case, my greetings from Palestine will be simple; simple will also be my words regarding Eretz Israel. No miracles! No wonders! A country like any other is this land of ours; unpretentious, wrapped in the trivialities of ordinary life, neither more nor less than what occurs in the rest of the world. All the trifles and baseness, common in other regions, are to be found here
also; the turmoil, the hustle, the glow of the artificial lights are not lacking here, thank God in Palestine. This only grants the sincere soul with nothing but pain and affliction.

However, if you visit Eretz Israel with your heart entirely open, without prejudices, and with a soul sensitive to the pains of creation, even when they are expressed by ugly grimaces and hoarse voices, then you can be certain that your trust will not be disillusioned, hence this is precisely the advantage that Eretz Israel offers us: that here we are autonomous, with all the vital manifestations of our being, whether or not we are aware of them. All that is ours is for us! Ours are the evils and ours are the remedies; ours is the joyfulness and ours is the misery. Agonies of various kinds can also be found in the countries you live in, no less than those we experience here. Yet, your agonies do not have a meaning or a purpose: they are merely useless inconveniences.

Here in Eretz Israel, the agony, however bitter and depressing it may be, has a purpose and a meaning. No misfortune haunts us to lose itself in a vacuum vainly; no pain strikes without leaving a mark (…).

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