Yitzchak Lamdan. Masada.

AUCTION 76 | Thursday, June 14th, 2018 at 3:00 PM
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Ceremonial & Graphic Art

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Lot 268

Yitzchak Lamdan. Masada.

<<First edition. >> pp. 79. Brittle, signature on title-page. Original pictorial wrappers, edges chipped. 4to.

Tel Aviv: Hedim 1925

Est: $1,000 - $1,500
<<First appearance of the epic Hebrew poem that had a profound influence on generations of Israelis.>> This historical poem glorified the heroism and self-reliance of the early Zionist movement. It helped transform Masada, the remote hilltop desert fortress, largely forgotten since the writings of the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, into an enduring symbol of the young State of Israel. Lamdan’s most famous line: “Never again shall Masada fall,” became a rallying cry for generations of Israeli soldiers who repeat these words in countless military inauguration ceremonies. The poem concerns the Jewish struggle for survival in a world full of enemies, in which Masada, as a symbol for the Land of Israel and the Zionist enterprise, is seen as a refuge - but also as a potential trap. The poem was hugely influential, but the latter aspect was left out in its mainstream Zionist reception and interpretation. The pathos of the poem is also said to have been of deep inspiration to the desperate fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Ukrainian born Yitzhak Lamdan (1899-1954) immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1920, during the Third Aliyah.