Love letter from Avshalom Feinberg to Sarah Aaronsohn, 1911
A love letter from Avshalom Feinberg to Sarah Aaronsohn written in 1911 before they became leading figures of NILI, an organisation that operated in Israel during World War I and attempted to aid the British in conquering the Turkish regime.
Yesterday a little light entered the poor furnace that is my heart. No! A lot of light, as if you brought sunrays in your hair from the spring lane…
I was so certain that you would come, that I picked roses this morning in Dorshei Tzion [street], and my sad table bloomed today. My heart has been empowered to suffer a little more…
You are young, perfumed, healthy with laughter on your good lips, with your eyes, especially your eyes that yesterday were so deep, so wet, so beautiful, like a cold spring during the heat wave, and slowly, slowly, peace and comfort rose in my heart.”
Avshalom Feinberg was one of the founders of NILI but was killed in the Sinai desert while trying to renew intelligence connections with the British who were situated in Egypt. He died at the age of 28.
Sarah Aaronsohn was one of the leaders of NILI and worked closely with Avshalom Feinberg. A short time after his death, at the age of 27, she was caught by the Turks and tortured until she committed suicide.
This was the tragic end of their love story.
For more information, watch this video. (Don’t forget to click on the icon for subtitles)
This letter could be used in Jewish Studies and Jewish History lessons when teaching about NILI and the Yishuv at the beginning of the twentieth century. It could also serve as an example of a love letter in English or Hebrew lessons (advanced levels). Students could be given an assignment to write an imaginary letter between two historical figures.
Who wrote this letter? Who was he writing to?
What was their relationship?
What happened to them in the end?
Write a newspaper article or a story about Avshalom and Sarah including the details you have learnt.
Do people write love letters today?
How have communication methods changed?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of such love letters in comparison to modern ways of communicating?