** Webmaster Note: The following
is a translation from Hebrew by Laia Ben-Dov
as sponsored by George Zilbergeld.
Additional clarifications are provided in parenthesis ( ).
HaShomer HaTzair organization had prior rights in Vladimiretz.It was the first of the pioneering organizations and
youth movements in the town.One fine morning, boys and girls aged 13-14 stood
wondering and searching for an outlet for their exuberant
discussion, the girls and boys gathered separately.Their motto was:Come and we will get organized.Come, we will create something of value.Without a clear knowledge of precisely what they wanted,
this was a spontaneous awakening from either direction.They were teen-aged boys and girls, at the age of
searching and struggles, with a wish in their hearts for
something that was not completely defined.
HaShomer HaTzair Group
something about a scout movement called HaShomer HaTzair, and
one Sabbath a meeting was called for its establishment.The task of explaining about the character of the
movement was given to one of the older students, who learned in
that the matter certainly was clear to him.
who was given this task was Moshe Rosenberg.I remember that there was a proverb in our world:"A healthy soul in a healthy body." This was all he knew
about the movement.
From then onward, formal connections with the leadership of the
movement, the first circulars and initial organization, began.The movement's newspaper was received, and we were far
from understanding it.We gathered in groups to decipher together what was
written there, and to learn at a slow pace about the movement.And so, line by line, we built for ourselves, by
ourselves, our world outlook little by little, our horizons
And here is
a curiosity I remember to this day:the actual founder of the HaShomer HaTzair group in
Vladimirets, Meir Baril, actually intended it to be HaShomer
HaShachar the Beitar organization, but it switched over to
When one day he realized his mistake, he wanted to correct it.But the way to HaShomer HaTzair was already clear to many
of us, and he was not given the possibility of changing it.Over time, the adults of the group helped establish the
HaChalutz organization, which had a group for younger youths
called HaChalutz HaTzair.
HaShomer HaTzair had prior rights.The best of the youth began to be absorbed among us, and
life in the group was exciting scouting and cultural
activities, trips outside the town, life out in Nature, night
trips and various sites, hora [the Israeli folk dance]
circles and songs bursting through the walls of our meeting
place.Parties.And the holidays of
received a new meaning.Chanukah and Lag B'Omer these two holidays swept with
them not only the members of the group, not only the little
children parents and older brothers were also swept away with
us, and the celebrations of Lag B'Omer, which were held in the
forest on the hill, were a power drawing people of every age.Everyone was drawn, and streamed, toward the forest.
evenings, we organized Hebrew classes.There were young people among us who had not sufficed to
experience a Hebrew school, and the language of their
instruction was Polish.For these, we drafted Rudia Muchnik, and for an almost
token payment, she taught them Hebrew.It should be pointed out that the activity of the group
was conducted in Hebrew.The counselors among us spoke only Hebrew, in the group
and in the street.
We had a constant struggle for our existence from the standpoint
of legalization in the Polish regime of that time.
covered by the shadow of "TAZ," in whose name our activities
took place [TAZ was a Jewish health-care organization in Poland at the time].Monthly and annual reports were sent regarding summer and
winter operations, and the organizer of these reports, Yosef
Smolar, was an expert in doing so.All kinds of informers subverted us and the police made
trouble for us.
More than once, our members encountered a short imprisonment.But all this did not prevent us from developing an active
life in the movement.Most of our activities were conducted outside the town.We knew so little, and we had to guide those younger than
ourselves, and therefore our efforts were doubled.We learned and learned, and we slowly created a world
outlook, something that we did not achieve easily.
ridiculous side of our activities, which brings a smile to our
lips today, was not lacking how much youthful fervor there was
in the very deed!
For example, doesn't a gathering of a group of girls arouse the
curiosity of the other party?What subjects do girls deal with, and how?And so, someone from among our (male) members would sneak
under the bench to eavesdrop.And at the end of the discussion, when he was revealed to
us, our first question was:
"Hey you!How did you behave when the anthem was sung?You weren't able to stand at attention!"
has its problems and the reading material characterizing it,
arguments and clarifications, the question of women, and the
biological tragedy of women.The question of society and its activities, all kinds of
problems, these must be clarified, we must struggle with them,
because they are too numerous to count.And there are many experiences.
It is a
dark night.At the
corner of the street, a group gathers the anthem is sung with
trembling, almost without voices.How much faith and youthful enthusiasm!
layer of white covers the town.Everything is asleep, and only the echo of the steps of
the guards can be heard we are on the way to the Christian
cemetery, light exercise, order drills, singing, and again, the
uproar of the group's conversation.
Sabbath night: our gathering place is the attic of the Pinchuk
sleep, and at dawn, we start toward the woods, to spend a hot
day in Nature.
Games, instructive talks, and toward evening, when we return
home, the skies darken and a heavy rain pours down.We come back wet to the skin, but we are creating many
all, "the revolt of the sons."A revolt against every routine and life in the Diaspora.And a great part of the fact that today, there are
gathered here, in our Land, a significant number of people from
Vladimirets, has to do with this dream of our youth.