Monday, September 13, 2010

Menachem Begin in the Reflections of Yossi Sarid

Yossi Sarid recalls Menachem Begin:-


"When I first entered the Knesset there were people around like Menachem Begin and [Yitzhak] Ben-Aharon. Suddenly [in my last term], I was surrounded by all sorts of types and didn't know what I was doing with them. Like my mother used to say: 'These are not friends for you.' Sitting there was the person who was the most terrible education minister ever, Limor Livnat; there had never been a catastrophe like that. And suddenly for the first time in my life, I was becoming bitter. I was a short-tempered and unpleasant person, even more than usual."


There is something of the nightmarish, of death and separation in the poems. In "Tip for the Loser," the politician-poet writes: "Who will eulogize Yossi Sarid" [in Hebrew, "eulogize" - yaspid - rhymes with "Sarid"]. However, there is also irony and humor in the book, as in the poem "Interest in Life." There, Sarid writes somewhat humorously about death, with whom he has been acquainted for many years: "He's the only one who hasn't criticized me for smoking." In the poem "In the Cellar," he writes: "My hand is cold / and I want to wrap myself in you / to escape the cellar that is like an attic / for a person with TB / Menachem Begin is waiting there for me / with a glazed look on his face."


On the subject of Menachem Begin, Sarid says: "My home is my castle. I sometimes go out for a day's work, but usually not. Sometimes this staying at home reminds me - of course, the difference is huge - of how Begin stayed at home. He did this because he was a broken man, and I am doing it because things are coming together. My need for the outside environment is minimal these days. Nevertheless, I am not completely exempt from thinking it is similar. Sometimes it seems to me that if I open the door, maybe I will find Begin waiting for me."

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