2. EXPLANATORY NOTES,
|INTRODUCTION - RAMAH AND YEHOSHUA ZAMIR
"I so badly want to be free, and not only because of the army. Its also when I'm at home doing what is expected of me... I want to be Yaron and not the Kibbutz's good little boy.
Yaron was born to us, Ramah and Yehoshua, when we were getting on in age - a young brother for Tamar, Gilad and Naomi. Yaron was born on October 7th 1960 and was killed in the battle for the Beaufort fortress in the Lebanese war on June 6th 1982. He died at the age of twenty-one. In a drawer in his room we found every letter he had received in his life, all parcelled up, and an old office diary in which he had recently been keeping poems and compositions, selected from his notebooks over a period of years.
We spent days and nights with Yaron while he was busy writing. We were also privileged to receive his letters, written to friends. Once we had started arranging this treasury in chronological order, a lively, creative and communicative youngster was reborn before our eyes.
He always kept in contact with Naomi, Gilad and Tamar when they were not in the kibbutz, or living far away. He remained in touch with Gilad when the latter was travelling for six years in the wide world, his letters saturated with love and longing for the elder brother whom he scarcely knew.
He wrote to his good friend Yaniv who was in Argentina where his parents were on a Zionist mission. He wrote to Hannaleh, who was in a parallel group from a distant kibbutz, attempting to create contact with a girl from afar.
He wrote to Idith, who joined the army a few months before him, about his experiences in the first period of his army service. With Yonah and Dalit he was searching for a more mature love, which never reached fruition.
The correspondence with Yael was very intensive, the image of their late friend Yaniv binding them together. Yael was Yaniv's girlfriend until the day of his untimely death on manoeuvres with his unit, in February, 1981.
We are privileged to reveal a little of the inner world of his friends, both boys and girls. The phases in their lives revealed in their letters make up the human landscape in which Yaron grew up, which influenced him and which he in turn influenced. How much longing finds expression in these letters; how deep an involvement in the life of the group, the kibbutz highschool and the army. There was such serious concern, yet always mixed with a Yaron-like humor. And in recent years, how much yearning accompanied by attempts and searches for a deeper love.
Yaron also wrote poems and compositions which are a reflection of how hard it was to be born in the state of Israel in the year 1960; of how replete with wars his life was.
In 1967, when he was seven, the Six-Day war broke out. Among the first things he wrote and kept were the lines: 'If I had a magician's hat, I'd ask for peace'. 'We want peace', and later 'To the memory of soldiers who fell in the line of duty'. The war did indeed reach us too: Bendah, my niece's husband, was seriously wounded and in our kibbutz home, Zvi Nathan was killed. Avner fell in the War of Attrition between the Six-Day and Yom Kippur Wars.
In 1973, when he was Bar Mitzvah, the Yom Kippur War broke out. That year, on Holocaust Day, he wrote 'Waiting for peace' and 'Blessing for a soldier'.
In 1974, at the age of 14, he wrote 'Lines': 'I saw lines, red lines of blood'.
He was 18 in 1978. During the Litani operation he wrote: 'The skies collapsing and a world of hatred', finishing with the words: 'Enough of killing'.
Yaron wanted what he wrote to be read. In 1979, he wrote: ' Perchance a will?' ...'I know there is still time, I'm going to the army, who knows what will happen...yet I would want them to know that I liked writing'. And he wrote to Idith: 'In your last letter you asked me if I like poetry. I've written poems, mostly in rhyme, as well as all sorts of essays. But they remained a sort of muse which emerged from time to time onto the pages of some diary, if it deserves such a name - a sort of notebook of poems and essays. Maybe you'll be able to read it and you'll know what I mean'.
And so.. find a day when you are in the right mood, put on a favorite record and join us in tracing the course of Yaron's life.
In pain and love,
Ramah and Yehoshua.