DescriptionDavid Ben-Gurion Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 4.25" x 8.5", in Hebrew, Sde Boker, April 17, 1963. Writing to an unknown recipient, Ben-Gurion gives advice regarding a yeshiva, a school where the primary study is religious texts, such as the Torah and the Talmud. He writes, in full: "I received your letter and also the letters from Rabbi Chaputa, and Mr. Haim...and Joseph Haim...The blending of the Sephardic method and the Lithuanian method, which have come together in this yeshiva, is encouraging. I wrote them that they should also educate their students to make the desolate bloom, and that settling the Negev is also a Biblical commandment." Small spots of foxing. Small tears at the right edge have been archivally repaired. Toned.
David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) was the first Prime Minister of Israel whose passion for Zionism began early in life, culminating in his instrumental role in the founding of the state of Israel. After leading Israel to victory in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, he helped build state institutions and oversaw the absorption of vast numbers of Jews from all over the world. He stepped down as prime minister for what he described as personal reasons in 1963, and retired from political life in 1970, when he moved to Sde Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev desert.
One of Ben-Gurion's goals was the revitalization of the Negev, believing that doing so would entice Jews from all over the world to immigrate to Israel. Of the desert, he once wrote: "The desert provides us with the best opportunity to begin again. This is a vital element of our renaissance in Israel. For it is in mastering nature that man learns to control himself. It is in this sense, more practical than mystic, that I define our Redemption on this land. Israel must continue to cultivate its nationality and to represent the Jewish people without renouncing its glorious past. It must earn this...a right that can only be acquired in the desert."
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