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October 4, 2012 9:41 am

Shir Betar: The Song of Betar & Ze’ev Jabotinsky

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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The Betar logo.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted in his recent UN Speech, in the past year both his father and father in-law passed away. At the funerals of both of these men who did so much for the Jewish people, Shir Betar (The Song of Betar) the movement of Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, was played.  It was written in 1932 by Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the ideas presented in the poem are relevant today for Jews and Israelis.
Many of the greatest leaders of the Jewish state, both past and present – including Prime Ministers Menachem Begin, Ehud Olmert, and Benjamin Netanyahu to Knesset Members and Ministers including, Danny Danon, Uzi Landau, Avigdor Lieberman and others – were members of the Betar movement.

A translation of Shir Betar:

From the pit of decay and dust with blood and sweat will arise a generation
Proud, generous and fierce – Captured Betar, Yodefet, and Masada
shall arise again in all their strength and glory

Even in poverty a Jew is a prince, whether slave or tramp
You have been created the son of kings, crowned with the diadem of David
Whether in light or in darkness, Always remember the crown
The crown of pride and challenge

In the face of every obstacle, in times of ascent, and of setbacks
a fire may still be lit with the flame of revolt
for silence is despicable – Sacrifice blood and spirit
for the hidden glory
To die or to conquer the mountain
Yodfat, Masada, Betar

Jabotinsky believed that the essence of Betar was hadar – a blend of pride, dignity, excellence, etiquette, and more. Ze’ev Jabotinsky lives on today in the spirit of the people of Israel.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist who formerly served as North American President of the Betar movement.

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  • Ami Hoffman

    Migov Rikavon vafar – vdam uveyaza. Which memories I have of Betar. Shtei Gadot Layarden – Wow the thoughts that return from my Betar and days of Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Thanks for Shir Betar. Tel Chai.

  • Lena Alta

    This article made me think of my father, a Warsaw Betari and later an Etzel fighter. His membership in Betar saved his life, as he heeded Jabotinsky’s call to flee Europe and go to Palestine to escape the impending Holocaust. I learned Shir Betar as a child and still recall the Hebrew words.

    Betarim, Tel Chai!

  • Richard Aha

    What beatiful words in Shir Betar – Enjoyed reading.

  • Amos Leitner

    Thanks you for publishing!