Hannah Szenes – My G-d, My G-d

Hannah Szenes (July 17, 1921 – November 7, 1944) was one of 37 Jews from Mandatory Palestine parachuted by the British Army into Yugoslavia during the Second World War to assist in the rescue of Hungarian Jews about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz.

Szenes was arrested at the Hungarian border, then imprisoned and tortured, but refused to reveal details of her mission. She was eventually tried and executed by firing squad. She is regarded as a national heroine in Israel, where her poetry is widely known and the headquarters of the Zionist youth movements Israel Hatzeira, a kibbutz and several streets are named after her.

Szenes was a poet and playwright, writing both in Hungarian and Hebrew. The best known of these is Halikha LeKesariya (“A Walk to Caesarea”), commonly known as Eli, Eli (“My God, My God”). The well-known melody was composed by David Zahavi.

Here is a recording of Eli Eli by our own Cantor Steven Leas.

My God, My God, I pray that these things never end,

The sand and the sea,

The rustle of the waters,

Lightning of the Heavens,

The prayer of Man.

אלי, אלי, שלא יגמר לעולם

החול והים

רשרוש של המים

ברק השמים

תפילת האדם

Comment on this article

Latest from the blog

Communal Succot Dinner – 23rd September

Communal Succot Dinner Sunday 23rd September (First Night Succot) Afternoon and Evening Services commence at 6:45 pm, followed by dinner. Cost: £25 Booking essential via Shul Office 020…

Photo of Rabbi Barry Marcus VideoRabbi Barry Marcus MBE – Shoftim

The name ‘Shoftim’ – meaning judges is taken from the opening word of this week’s Sidra. As our ancestors were about to enter the land of Israel, Moshe…

Photograph of Barry Marcus - Rabbi VideoRabbi Marcus MBE – Re’eh

Re’eh is a continuation of Moshe’s farewell address to the children of Israel. Parts of the Sidra will be familiar as they form the basis for the Torah…

Photo of Rabbi Barry Marcus VideoRabbi Marcus MBE- Ekev

At the beginning of today’s Sidra we are urged to view all the mitzvot – (commandments) as being of equal importance.

Photo of Rabbi Barry Marcus VideoRabbi Marcus MBE – Vaetchanan

Vaetchanan is a continuation of the first of Moshe’s three farewell talks to the people of Israel prior to his death.  The Sidra begins with Moshe recalling how…

Read more from the blog