Roots

in the school
where fred and lelush go to
from sixth grade there is a subject
called
shorashim

roots

on shorashim classes
kids learn about their roots

about
where they come from
to the land of wandering arameans

all of them are israelis
but סבא וסבתא
grandpa and grandma
or אמא ואבא
mom and dad
arrived from somewhere
from another country
from another continent
from another world
and from there they brought with them

their roots

songs
meals
belongings
stories

kids collect them
and process them
during the year
and at the end of the year
they prepare a presentation
for their grandparents
for their parents
for each other

for themselves

in the kibbutz theater
on yotvata

so that they wouldn’t forget
who they are
and where they come from
even if
technically
it’s not
them
who came

this is
the perfect antithesis of the
„don’t look back
look forward”
type of thinking

all the teachers and subjects
of the desert school on yotvata
fight a passionate life-and-death war
against the enemy of
simple answers
and one-dimension view of life
popular also in israel

they make an effort to educate
israelis
open
to the problems of the earth
to the problems of the region
to the problems of the country
to the problems of their close surroundings
and last but not least
to their own problems

not always successfully
but they always make an effort

to the performance of shorashim musikaim
for example
all children bring from home
a song
non-israeli
non-hebrew song
from the old world
these songs are
collected by the teacher
who makes hebrew phonetic transcripts
and all kids in the class
receive all songs
transcribed
and all kids in the class
sing in a choir
during the performance
together
each of the songs of
each other
in original languages

in french
in romanian
in german
in spanish
in english
in portuguese
in arabic
in yiddish
in hungarian

it’s difficult
not to overestimate
the significance of
the shorashim subject

and the experience
on the stage of the kibbutz theater
in the middle of the arava desert
of seeing and hearing
thirty israeli kids sing
loudly
in hungarian

to new immigrant children
like fred and lelush
the extra attraction of shorashim classes is
that they can feel in practice
not only on the level of slogans
that they won’t be outsiders
just because they have
a non-hebrew past

non-hebrew roots

lelush
still
refuses preparing for
the shorashim performance

most tasks
he refuses to do
by simply forgetting to do them

but sometimes
he presents a rational argument
reasons to demonstrate
why he doesn’t want
to perform
a certain task

once
he started to cry
in his desperation
over shorashim

barukh
didn’t take
lelush’s refusal
seriously for a long time

you know
kids
school

of course
he refuses

they refuse everything
even good things

barukh understood only recently
the desperate struggle
of his little boy
to avoid taking part in the performance

he understood only recently
his little boy

lelush’s roots
are not yet
under the ground

there is nothing to excavate
and put on a display

most of them are
not even
in the ground

nothing hides them

nothing protects them

if he digs again
and pulls again
to show those few tendrils of roots
that inched forward under ground
in the past two and half years
this new ground
this new hard ground
nothing will remain to keep lelush here

then the first wind
will carry him
and blow him away

alone

with no roots

who-knows-where

that’s what made him desperate
that’s why he resists

and because
it hurts him

hurts
when
he touches
he shows
he examines
the vulnerable
unprotected
groundless
naked
roots
tendrils
lying on the surface of the ground

hurts horribly

hurts dreadfully

earth protects roots
from pain

and a large part of lelush’s roots
hasn’t been protected
for two and a half years

they are at the mercy of
the sun
the wind
the rain
stones
animals

people

audience

so lelush strives
to hide them
to protect them

so tonight
the shorashim presentation
on yotvata
will be performed
without lelush’s roots

About the Author
Barukh is a Hungarian-Israeli poet. He and his family have started a new life in the desert. He writes therapeutic free poems about soul, home and world peace. Barukh is me.
Related Topics
Related Posts
Comments