update deskArts & Entertainment

‘Soundtrack of our lives,’ KKL-JNF releases photos of poet Hayim Nahman Bialik

Released at the 90th anniversary of Bialik's death, the photos "reveal aspects of the national poet's private life and teach us more about the person he was," according to KKL-JNF's Efrat Sinai.

Hayim Nahman Bialik, Sholem Aleichem, Mendele Mocher Seforim and Mordechai Ben Ami. Credit: KKL-JNF Archive.
Hayim Nahman Bialik, Sholem Aleichem, Mendele Mocher Seforim and Mordechai Ben Ami. Credit: KKL-JNF Archive.

The Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik died on July 4, 1934—158 years after the adoption of the American Declaration of Independence. As the anniversary of his death approaches on this year’s U.S. Independence Day, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund released archival photos of the iconic writer.

Hayim Nahman Bialik
Hayim Nahman Bialik, photographed in 1920 by Ze’ev Radovan. Credit: KKL-JNF Archive.

“Marking 90 years since the death of the national poet, Hayim Nahman Bialik, is an event of value and significance for Hebrew history and culture,” stated Efrat Sinai, head of the KKL-JNF archives department.

“His poems became the soundtrack of our lives from childhood to adulthood, and his stories were the way we learned about history from a creative and educational perspective,” Sinai said. “We are unveiling archival photos that reveal aspects of the national poet’s private life and teach us more about the person he was.”

In one photo, Bialik, whom KKL-JNF calls “one of the greatest modern Hebrew poets and a reviver of the Hebrew language,” sits alongside three prominent Hebrew writers: Sholem Aleichem (who wrote Tevye the Dairyman), Mendele Mocher Sforim (who penned The Travels and Adventures of Benjamin the Third) and Mordechai Ben Ami (who wrote short stories and essays).

In another photo, Ze’ev Radovan captured the seated poet in 1920 “resting and sneaking a small smile towards the camera,” per KKL-JNF.

Hayim Nahman Bialik
Ahad Haam, Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Ravnitzky with residents of Kfar Hasidim. Credit: KKL-JNF Archive.

“A rare archival photo” documents “the final visit of Ahad Ha’am, the founder of spiritual Zionism, the poet Hayim Nahman Bialik and (Yehoshua) Ravnitzky, alongside residents of Kfar Hasidim, where their last visit took place,” per KKL-JNF.

Another photo shows mourners carrying Bialik’s coffin during his funeral in 1934 at Trumpeldor Cemetery in Tel Aviv, named after Joseph Trumpeldor, an early Zionist who helped bring immigrants to what was then British Mandatory Palestine and died in 1920 defending the Jewish settlement of Tel Hai in the north.

Hayim Nahman Bialik
Hayim Nahman Bialik’s coffin being carried for burial at the Trumpeldor Cemetery in Tel Aviv in 1934. Credit: KKL-JNF Archive.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates