Eli, Eli – My G-d, My G-d – Hannah Senesh


Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart.
Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake.
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
—Hannah Senesh, written days before her capture by the Nazis

In honor of Holocaust Memorial Day we share her story and song.

Hannah Senesh was born in Hungary, July 17, 1921. When she graduated from school in 1939, Hannah immigrated to Israel and studied at the Agricultural school of Nahael. In 1941 Hannah joined  Kibbutz Sdot Yam and while there, together with her work in the fields, she wrote poetry.

At the age of 22 Hannah parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe to help in the rescue of Hungarian Jews about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz. She was arrested on the Hungarian border, imprisoned and tortured. Hannah refused to give up the transmitter codes, which would have lead to the arrest of the other parachutists. She was eventually executed by firing squad.

The words of Eli, Eli – my God, my God, also known as Tefilat Adam – The Prayer of Man, were penned by Hannah and the melody was composed by David Zahavi. You can download the lyrics for Eli, Eli here and listen to the song below.

There is a moving documentary about Hannah called Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh.  We highly recommend this outstanding documentary. You can rent this movie from amazon – Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh or, if interested and able to share with others, you can purchase here – Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh

5 Responses

  1. Just watched the biography last night…..amazing. Reminded me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and how much the world today needs Godly men and women to stand up to tyranny.

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