Bialik, Ḥayyim Naḥman
BIALIK, ḤAYYIM NAḤMAN
BIALIK, ḤAYYIM NAḤMAN (1873–1934), the greatest Hebrew poet of modern times, essayist, storywriter, translator, and editor, who exercised a profound influence on modern Jewish culture. Born in the village of Radi, near Zhitomir (Volhynia), Bialik's development as a poet was influenced by his environment – the simplicity and fervor of a folk spirituality – which characterized Volhynian Jewry, and the ḥasidic ambience, alive with mystic lore, in which it was steeped. His father, Isaac Joseph, came of scholarly stock and had been engaged in the family timber trade and in flour milling before coming down in life through his impracticality. For his father as well as his mother, Dinah Priva, this was a second marriage, both having been widowed previously. Despite his family's dire economic circumstances, Bialik retained many happy memories of the first six years of his childhood in Radi. In some of his best poems, "Zohar" ("Radiance," 1901) and "Ha-Berekhah" ("The Pool," 1905), attempting to recapture the lost paradise of childhood, he idealizes the enchanted hours which he spent romping in the dazzling light of the fields and in the secret shade of the forest. Others have fewer happy references and are marked by loneliness, parental neglect, and the almost narcissistic withdrawal of a sensitive, artistic child, e.g., the prose poem "Safi'aḥ" ("Aftergrowth," 1908).
Childhood Period (1880–1890)
When Bialik was six, his parents moved to Zhitomir in search of a livelihood and his father was reduced to keeping a saloon on the outskirts of town. Shortly thereafter, in 1880, his father died and the destitute widow entrusted her son to the care of his well-to-do paternal grandfather, Jacob Moses. For ten years, until he went to yeshivah in 1890, the gifted, mischievous Ḥayyim Naḥman was raised by the stern old pietist. At first he was instructed by teachers in the traditional ḥeder and later, from the age of 13, pursued his studies alone. He was a lonely figure in the almost deserted house of study on the edge of town, for the expanding modernization of Jewish life had restricted the traditional study of Torah to a secluded nook. Passionate and solitary dedication to study shaped traits of character that Bialik was to exalt: "A fertile mind, lively logic, a trusting heart when the knee falters." From this experience of his adolescence stems the sense of vocation of the chosen individual who dedicates his life to an ideal, sacrificing youth and the delights of the world in order to remain faithful to the last. This theme of vocation was to become central to Bialik's thinking and his poetry is a spiritual record of the paradoxical struggle to free himself from his calling and at the same time to remain faithful to it. During this period too his reading of medieval theology and Haskalah works stimulated ambitions for secular knowledge, moving him to seek a more comprehensive education. He dreamed of the rabbinical seminary in Berlin, and of acquiring the cultural tools that would give him entrance to modern European civilization.
Convinced by a journalistic report that the yeshivah of *Volozhin in Lithuania would offer him an introduction to the humanities, as well as a continuation of his talmudic studies, Bialik persuaded his grandfather to permit him to study there. In Volozhin, a center of Mitnaggedim, his hopes for a secular academic training were not fulfilled since the yeshivah concentrated only on the scholarly virtues of talmudic dialectic and erudition. For a short time Bialik immersed himself in the traditional disciplines. In some of his poems the image of his stern grandfather merges with the image of the uncompromising rosh yeshivah, becoming a symbol of the burning imperatives of traditional Judaism. In the end, however, modernist doubts triumphed over traditionalist certainties. Bialik began to withdraw from the life of the school and lived in the world of poetry. At this time, he read Russian poetry and started his acquaintance with European literature. During the following year in Volozhin and later in Odessa, he was deeply moved by Shimon Shemuel Frug's Jewish poems, written in Russian, and many of Bialik's early motifs echo him. His first published poem, "El ha-Ẓippor" ("To the Bird"), was written in Volozhin. In the yeshivah Bialik joined a secret Orthodox Zionist student society, Neẓaḥ Israel, which attempted to synthesize Jewish nationalism and enlightenment with a firm adherence to tradition. Bialik's first published work (in Ha-Meliẓ, 1891) is an exposition of the principles of the society and reflects the teachings of Aḥad Ha-Am's spiritual Zionism.
Aḥad Ha-Am's Influence
*Aḥad Ha-Am, whose thinking had a profound impact on Bialik and his generation, first began publishing his essays in 1889. They provided a framework of ideas that helped his contemporaries translate their Jewish loyalties from a religious context into a modern, philosophically oriented humanist rationale for Jewish existence. Bialik recognized Aḥad Ha-Am as his great teacher. He wrote of this period, "… the day a new essay of Aḥad Ha-Am's appeared was a holiday for me. "Bialik later wrote a poem in tribute to his mentor: "Receive our blessing for each seed of… idea/That you have sown… in our desolate hearts." But Aḥad Ha-Am also had an inhibiting influence on Bialik's poetic imagination. Preferring a classical and lucid style, Aḥad Ha-Am discouraged many of Bialik's ventures into more modernist or more experimental poetry.
First Stay in Odessa
The break with tradition occurred in the summer of 1891 when amid disruptions in the yeshivah, Bialik left for Odessa, the center of modern Jewish culture in southern Russia. He was attracted by the literary circle that formed around Aḥad Ha-Am and harbored the dream that in Odessa he would be able to prepare himself for the entrance to the modern Orthodox rabbinical seminary in Berlin. Penniless, alone, unemployed, and hungry, he earned a livelihood for a while by giving Hebrew lessons. He continued to study Russian literature, reading and admiring the poetry of Pushkin and Frug, as well as the stories and novels of Dostoevski and Gogol. He was tutored in German grammar and read works of Schiller and Lessing. At first the shy youth did not become involved in the literary life of the city but when he showed his poetry to Moses Leib *Lilienblum the latter commended the poem "El ha-Ẓippor" to Aḥad Ha-Am who passed it on to Yehoshua Ḥana *Rawnitzki to be published in the first volume of Ha-Pardes (1892, p. 219f.). The poem, a song longing for Zion written in the style of the poets of the Ḥibbat Zion era, was favorably received by the critics. During the six months he spent in Odessa, Bialik wrote several poems and made the acquaintance of prominent literary figures with whom he was to establish lasting relationships. He was especially close to Rawnitzki and their friendship was to develop into a unique collaboration in literary and publishing endeavors.
Return to Zhitomir
When Bialik learned, early in 1892, that the yeshivah of Volozhin had been closed, he cut short his stay in Odessa and hurried home in order to spare his dying grandfather the knowledge that he had forsaken his religious studies. On returning home he found that his older brother too was dying. Dejected by the whole atmosphere, which for him embodied the chronic despair and spiritual squalor of Jewish life, he wrote "You have not changed from what you were/Old oldness, nothing new/Let me join your company, my brothers,/Together we will rot till we stink" ("Bi-Teshuvati" ("On My Return"), 1892). Another poem of this period which is reminiscent of Frug "Mi-Shut ba-Merḥakim" ("From Wandering Afar") also develops the theme of unfulfilled return. The alienated son, full of youthful vitality, is repelled by the melancholy of a moribund traditionalist society. The death of Judah Leib *Gordon, the last significant poet of the Haskalah period, in the summer of 1892, closed an era. Rawnitzki asked Bialik to compose an elegy for the second volume of Ha-Pardes (1893, p. 248f.), and he complied with "El ha-Aryeh ha-Met" ("To the Dead Lion"). Like other early poems, it still showed the influence of the Haskalah poets and was omitted from the collected poems. The elegiac mood characterizes a considerable part of Bialik's early work and tears are a recurring motif in the first volume of poems (1901). Before leaving Odessa he wrote "Hirhurei Laylah" ("Night Thoughts," 1892; "My song is a bottle of tears, a bottle of tears"), and in a later poem "Shirati" ("My Song," 1901) he describes his mother's tear falling into the dough she is kneading and it is this tear that enters his bones and is transformed into poetry.
In the spring of 1893, after the death of his brother and grandfather, Bialik married Manya Averbuch (d. 1972) and for the next three years joined her father in the timber trade in Korostyshev, near Kiev. Since business kept him in the forest for long stretches, he read widely and broadened his education considerably during this lonely period. At that time he wrote "Al Saf Beit ha-Midrash" ("On the Threshold of the House of Study," 1894) which predicts the ultimate triumph of Israel's spirit. While the themes of the poem, which poignantly speaks of the abandoned house of study, are vocation and return, the underlying priestly symbolism, relating to the Ninth of Av, the date on which the poem was written, endows the house of study with the universal metaphor of ancient ritual. In the hymn "Birkat Am" ("The Blessing of the People," 1894), written several months earlier, which is permeated by intricate allusions to Temple ritual, the poet metamorphoses the builders of Ereẓ Israel into priests and Temple builders. Temple imagery seems to be a predominant symbol both of Bialik's thought and of his poetry and is a basic point of reference of his brilliant cultural interpretation of the two Jerusalems – the earthly and the celestial – in his address at the opening of the Hebrew University (1925).
In the spring of 1897, failing in business, Bialik found a position as a teacher in Sosnowiec, near the Prussian border. The pettiness of provincial life depressed him and he wrote several satires that were published under pseudonyms. During this period he started to write stories (e.g., "Aryeh Ba'al Guf," 1899) and to experiment with Yiddish writing. Some of his poems appear to reflect the life-affirming themes of the "new way" embraced by the writers of the 1890s, although Bialik remained wary of what he felt was the literary pretensions of its members. The poet's ire against Jewish apathy toward the rising national movement found expression in "Akhen Ḥaẓir ha-Am" ("Surely the People is Grass," 1897) in which he called out to the people, "Even when the horn be sounded and the banner raised/Can the dead awaken, can the dead stir?" Widely acclaimed, it was the first of his poems of wrath and reproof in which he speaks to the people in the tones of prophetic visions. While biblical themes were not uncommon in the period, Bialik's unequaled mastery of the prophetic diatribe added a dimension of authenticity to his utterances, and he began to be considered the national poet. Other poems indicate his preoccupation with the implications of the First Zionist Congress. Welcoming the high tide of national enthusiasm, as in "Mikra'ei Ẓiyyon" ("Convocation of Zion," 1898), he was at the same time faithful to Aḥad Ha-Am's spiritual ideology and wrote a satire against Herzl's political Zionism, "Rabbi Zeraḥ" (1912), which, because of its tone of levity, Aḥad Ha-Am refused to print in Ha-Shilo'aḥ. "Al Levavkhem she-Shamem" ("On Your Desolate Hearts," 1897), his most profound response to the Zionist Congress, gives vent to Bialik's despair with contemporary Jewish life. In it he develops his own set of symbols which were to recur throughout his poetry; the cat, which first appears in "Levadi" (1902), as a symbol of boredom and despair; the sanctuary as the symbol of tradition; and the spark of fire, appearing in many poems in various forms (a burning coal or candle, a twinkling star, or flaming torch), representing the true ideal. "Ha-Matmid" ("The Talmud Student," 1894–95), his first long poem, apparently begun in Volozhin, was an immediate triumph. In the poem Bialik traces the inner struggles of the dedicated student who represses his natural inclinations and sacrifices life, movement, change, nature, and family for the ascetic study of Torah. This was an ideal figure who captured the imagination of the reader. He embodied the moral qualities that build societies and preserve cultures. The ability to sublimate for the sake of higher values was a basic idea in Bialik's conception of vocation. The key metaphor of the poem is, characteristically, the twinkling light.
Settling in Odessa
In 1900 Bialik finally succeeded in finding a teaching position in Odessa where he lived until 1921, except for a year's stay in Warsaw (1904), where he served as literary editor of Ha-Shilo'aḥ. He was drawn into the circle of writers and Zionist leaders that gathered around Aḥad Ha-Am, *Sholem Yankev*Abramovitsh, and Simon *Dubnow. Other members of the group were Mordecai (Ben-Ami) Rabinowicz, Ḥayyim *Tchernowitz, and Alter Druyanov. As Bialik gained a reputation, young poets such as Zalman Shneour, Jacob *Fichmann, and Jacob *Steinberg went to Odessa to meet him. Working with Mendele, he translated the latter's "Fishke the Lame" into Hebrew from the original Yiddish. He had tried his hand at Yiddish poetry before leaving Sosnowiec and now his work with Mendele, a master in Hebrew and Yiddish literatures, turned him to Yiddish again. His realistic stories in Hebrew, "Aryeh Ba'al Guf" and "Me-Aḥorei ha-Gader" ("Behind the Fence," 1909), were influenced by Mendele's realism of style – indeed they came into being because Mendele had forged a new and pliant Hebrew idiom. Bialik's poetry, however, including the prose poem "Safi'aḥ," was relatively free of his mentor's influences. Together with Rawnitzki, Simḥah *Ben-Zion, and Elḥanan Leib Lewinsky he founded the Moriah Publishing House which produced suitable textbooks for the modern Jewish school written in the spirit of Aḥad Ha-Am's educational ideals. In his dark rooms in Odessa Bialik created nature poems that evoke a childhood intoxicated with light (e.g., "Zohar," 1901). During this period also a self-imposed challenge to cast folk expression into Hebrew, only a literary language then, led the poet to write the first of a series of folk songs. In his first decade in Odessa he wrote poems of wrath in Yiddish ("Fun Tsa'ar un Tsorn" ("Of Sorrow and Anger"), 1906) and in Hebrew ("Ḥazon u-Massa" ("Vision and Utterance"), 1911). Both were products of that critical period in Jewish life when the initial impetus of Zionism was retarded and other movements and ideologies, such as Yiddishism and territorialism, offered different solutions to national problems. When Bialik's first volume of poems appeared in 1901, Joseph Klausner hailed him as "the poet of the national renaissance." In 1902 he wrote "Metei Midbar" ("The Dead of the Desert"), a long descriptive poem whose motifs are taken from the legend that the generation of the Exodus did not die but slumbers in the desert. Gigantic in stature, they awaken from time to time to utter defiance against the divine decree which consigned them to their state of living death, and to fight for their own redemption. It may also reflect the universal predicament of modern man whose struggle for the right to determine his own destiny involves the desperate rejection of the divine imperative.
The Kishinev pogroms in 1903 deeply shocked the whole civilized world. Bialik, on behalf of the Jewish Historical Commission in Odessa, went to Kishinev to interview survivors and to prepare a report on the atrocity. Before leaving he wrote "Al ha-Sheḥitah" ("On the Slaughter," 1903) in which he calls on heaven either to exercise immediate justice and, if not, to destroy the world, spurning mere vengeance with the famous lines "Cursed is he who says 'Revenge'/Vengeance for the blood of a small child/Satan has not yet created." Later he wrote "Be-Ir ha-Haregah" ("In the City of Slaughter," 1904), a searing denunciation of the people's meek submission to the massacre, in which he is incensed at the cowardliness of the people, bitter at the absence of justice, and struck by the indifference of nature – "The sun shone, the acacia blossomed, and the slaughterer slaughtered."
Influence of Warsaw
In 1904 Bialik became the literary editor of Ha-Shilo'aḥ and moved to Warsaw, where, among the members of the circle of Isaac Leib *Peretz, he found a lighter mood. They were less cautious and less involved with higher principles than the Odessa group. In Warsaw he wrote several memorable love poems. The symbolist emphasis of Peretz may have influenced the poem "Ha-Berekhah" ("The Pool," 1905), most of which was written during the Warsaw stay. The pool, guarded by the forest, reflects the changing moods of nature and the observer, meditating on the "riddle of the two worlds," objective reality and reality as it is reflected in the pool, ponders which is primary – the external manifestation, or the inner conception of the soul (of art). This was Bialik's most prolific period and "Ha-Berekhah" was followed by his most enigmatic and experimental work, "Megillat ha-Esh" ("The Scroll of Fire," 1905). The work is a prose poem which fuses elements drawn from Jewish legend (aggadah) and Jewish mysticism. Its overt theme is the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem, and the exile which followed. The destruction of the Temple appears to represent the destruction of the poet's soul on one level and that of the religious faith of an entire generation on the other. The youths, marooned on the island, as they are transported into exile may symbolize spiritual isolation; at the same time the two youths represent the struggle between faith and despair which is the poem's central theme. The chosen youth himself is caught between the call to preserve the last spark of redemption and the lure of eros, the girl. Torch in hand, he moves toward the girl and plunges into the abyss.
After "Megillat ha-Esh" Bialik fell into a period of silence, writing few poems and becoming occupied with manifold cultural activities: public lectures, essays, criticism, translating, and editing. The growing tension and the stark dichotomies in his poetry point to an inner crisis; the lonely poet can no longer find solace either in his individual talent or in his God. The radical split of personality in the autobiographical prose poem "Safi'aḥ" (1908), in which the child's inner self is abandoned by its double, who accompanies the crowd, marks the farthest development of Bialik's ambivalent attitude to tradition and religion. Baruch Kurzweil has shown that the change in the motif of return in "Lifnei Aron ha-Sefarim" ("Before the Book Case," 1910) marks a turning point in Bialik's poetry. The poet desperately realizes that his attempt to return and to repent fails because there is no one to return to, and no condition of dialogue with God or the world. The flame of the study candle has died, the people's past is a graveyard that offers nothing, and the returning son, despairing, welcomes death and departs. Bialik's poetry now becomes acutely personal. The poet, sensing his strangeness in the world, retreats and longs for death. Having lost the purity of childhood and the grace of the chosen, he is preoccupied with death – a broken, useless twig, dangling from its branch ("Ẓanaḥ lo Zalzal" ("A Twig Fell"), 1911). Before his death Bialik wrote the cycle "Yatmut" ("Orphanhood" poems, c. 1933) in which the existential predicament is fused with the poignancy of his own orphaned childhood.
Berlin and Palestine
Bialik lived in Odessa until 1921 when Maxim Gorki interceded with the Soviet government to permit a group of Hebrew writers to leave the country. Bialik went to Berlin, which had become a center of Jewish émigré writers, engaging in publishing and editing, until he settled in Tel Aviv in Palestine in 1924 where he spent the rest of his life. He died in Vienna where he had gone for medical treatment.
A series of essays written between the years 1907 and 1917 secures Bialik's place as a distinguished essayist. In it he charts the course of modern Jewish culture: the state of Hebrew literature, the condition of Hebrew journalism, the development of language and style, the existential function of language, and the role of authority in culture. "Ha-Sefer ha-Ivri" ("On the Hebrew Book," 1913) propounds his basic idea of selecting and collecting the best of classic Jewish literature.
After 1905, he became more active in public affairs, devoting his abundant vigor, vision, and charm to the preservation and advancement of Jewish culture. He participated in Zionist Congresses (1907, 1913, 1921, and 1931) and the Congress for Hebrew Language and Culture (1913). His cultural missions took him to the United States (1926) and to London (1931). From 1928 on, ill health forced him to spend his summers in Europe and these trips became occasions for the promotion of Jewish culture. He was active in the work of the Hebrew University, served as president of the Hebrew Writers Union and of the Hebrew Language Council, and initiated the popular Oneg Shabbat, a Sabbath study project.
Editor and Translator
Bialik was the literary editor of several periodicals, Ha-Shilo'aḥ (1904–09), Keneset (1917), and Reshumot (1918–22), and he founded Moznayim in Palestine (1929). Together with Rawnitzki he compiled a selection of rabbinic lore, Sefer ha-Aggadah (1908–11) and the collected works of the medieval poets Solomon ibn *Gabirol (1924) and Moses *Ibn Ezra (1928). In 1932 he published a commentary to the first order of the Mishnah. His masterful translations of Don Quixote (1912) and Wilhelm Tell (1923) are an integral part of his work. After his death some of Bialik's lectures and addresses were collected in Devarim she-be-Al Peh (2 vols., 1935) and part of his huge correspondence was published in Iggerot (5 vols. 1938–39).
For English translations of his work see Goell, Bibliography, index.
Bialik's literary career is a watershed in modern Hebrew literature; when he arrived on the scene, Hebrew poetry was provincial and by and large imitative. It could not free itself of the overwhelming biblical influence which had dominated it for centuries and, except for the poetry of a few, the stylized florid biblical meliẓah (ornate phrase) had a stifling effect on the creativity of the Haskalah poets. At the same time most of these poets slavishly imitated in subject and in genre the European models – mainly German romantic poetry. Bialik, who more than any other Hebrew poet since *Judah Halevi had a thorough command of Hebrew and the ability to use the many resources of the language, forged a new poetic idiom which enabled Hebrew poetry to free itself from the overwhelming biblical influence and yet, at the same time, retain its link with "the language of the race." While his Hebrew remained learned and "literary," he anticipated the conversational verse which was to become the hallmark of the Palestinian poets (e.g., in his folk poems and children's verse). Not an experimenter, Bialik nevertheless opened new vistas when on rare occasions he abandoned the accepted accented syllabic meter for purely biblical cadences, or when he developed the Hebrew prose poem. While he wrote his serious verse in the Ashkenazi accent, he was among the first to try out the Sephardi accent in his children's verse. He freed Hebrew poetry from its didactic and propagandistic tendency. Although his works are often filled with fervent Jewish hopes, memories, and ideals, content is always subordinate to aesthetic criteria. Early Bialik criticism invariably reads all his poems as expressions of national ideas, but many of his poems are purely lyrical and have been misinterpreted by critics whose love of ideals exceeded their literary taste. Lyric poems like "Ẓanaḥ lo Zalzal" or "Im Dimdumei ha-Ḥamah" are among the finest in Hebrew literature. Bialik's dominant theme is the crisis of faith which confronted his generation as it broke with the sheltered and confined medieval Jewish religious culture of its childhood and desperately sought to hold on to a Jewish way of life and thought in the new secularized world in which it found itself. He adopted the ethico-humanist reading of Judaism which was proffered by Aḥad Ha-Am, but as Kurzweil has pointed out, he often had grave misgivings as to its efficacy in bridging the traditional and the modern. His doubts find conscious and unconscious expression in his writings. Despite his moments of despair, Bialik did not completely abandon the Aḥad Ha-Amian hope of reconciling modernism with tradition within the context of a new national Jewish culture (Kurzweil's view on this is to the contrary).
Bialik's poetry, growing out of the cultural milieu of Eastern European Jewry in a particular area, is in a sense regional, but because of its great artistic merit has become the concrete expression of the general crisis of faith which faced an entire generation of Europeans. His poetry can be read on three levels: the individual, the Jewish, and the universal. As an individual, the poet emerges as a sensitive artist who seeks to preserve the purity of his "calling" in the face of the materialism and the erotic drive of modern man. He loses his purity as he leaves the security of his childhood Eden and vainly attempts to recapture it. At times he is not sure whether his preoccupation with society, with his people and its ideals, may not actually hinder his self-fulfillment as an artist. On the Jewish level, the poet becomes the spokesman of his generation. Born in the pious world of the East European Jewish town, he is cast into a secular materialist world which questions the old values. He strives to reconstruct a way of life in which he can survive as a Jew and thus fulfill Judaism's historical mission. On the universal level, the poet, a product of a preindustrial rural world, is driven into the secular city, driven out of the Eden of good order and faith. He is left to agonize about his loneliness, his barrenness, and his ultimate death.
Searching out new and further vistas yet rooted in the rich Jewish heritage, Bialik is both the product and the dominant motivator of the cultural revolution of his age, embodying its very essence – to carve out of the past the foundation on which the people might build with dignity in the future. In answering the silent cry of a people needing articulation in a new era, he has gained its permanent recognition. As a poet his genius and spirit have left an indelible imprint on modern Hebrew literature.
I. Efros, Ḥayyim Nahman Bialik (Eng., 1940), incl. bibl.; F. Lachower, Bialik, Ḥayyav vi-Yẓirotav (19502); J. Fichmann, Shirat Bialik (1946); Z. Shapiro, Bialik bi-Yẓirotav (1951); idem, Derakhim be-Shirat Bialik (1962); J. Klausner, Bialik ve-Shirat Ḥayyav (1951); D. Sadan, Avnei Boḥan (1951), 60–77; E. Kagan, Marot Shetiyyah be-Shirat Bialik (1959); R. Zur, Devarim ke-Ḥavayatam (1964); A. Zemach, Ha-Lavi ha-Mistatter (1966); B. Kurzweil, Bialik re-Tchernichowsky (1967); E. Schweid, Ha-Ergah li-Mele'ut ha-Ḥavayah (1968); J. Haephrati, in: Ha-Sifrut, 1 (1968/69), 101–29; M. Perry, ibid., 607–31; I. Avinery, Millon Ḥiddushei Ḥ.N. Bialik (1935); A. Avrunin, Meḥkarim bi-Leshon Bialik ve-Yalag (1953); B. Benshalom (Katz), Mishkalav shel Bialik (1945); A. Avital, Shirat Bialik ve-ha-Tanakh (1952); A. Even Shoshan and Y. Segal, Konkordanẓyah le-Shirat Bialik (1960); Z. Fisman, in: En Hakore, 2–3 (1923), 97–134, incl. bibl.; M. Ungerfeld, Ḥ.N. Bialik vi-Yẓirotav: Bibliografyah le-Vattei ha-Sefer (1960); E.H. Jeshurin, in: Ḥ.N. Bialik, Oysgeklibene Shriftn (1964), Bialik's bibliography; Shunami, Bibl, nos. 3261–72. add. bibliography: B. Kurzweil, Bialik ve-Tschernichowsky (1967); I. Biletzky, H.N. Bialik ve-Yiddish (1970); S. Zemah, Al Bialik: Asarah Ma'amarim (1977); M. Genn, The Influence of Rabbinic Literature on the Poetry of H.N. Bialik (1978); Z. Luz, Tashtiyot Shirah: Ikkarim ba-Po'etikah shel Bialik (1984); S. Werses, Ben Gilu'i le-Kisu'i: Bialik be-Sippur u-ve-Masah (1984); Z. Shamir, Ha-Ẓarẓar Meshorer ha-Galut: Al ha-Yesod ha-Amami bi-Yeẓirat Bialik (1986); U. Shavit, Ḥevlei Niggun (1988); D. Aberbach, Bialik (1988); D. Sadan, H.N. Bialik ve-Darko bi-Leshono u-Leshonotenu (1989); S. Shva, Ḥozeh Beraḥ: Sippur Ḥayyav shel Bialik (1990); D.S. Breslauer, The Hebrew Poetry of H.N. Bialik and a Modern Jewish Theology (1991); E. Nathan, Ha-Derekh le-"Metei Midbar": Al Poemah shel Bialik ve-ha-Shirah ha-Russit (1993); U. Shamir and Z. Shamir (eds.), Al Sefat ha-Brekhah: Ha-Poemah shel Bialik bi-Re'i ha-Bikkoret (1995); D. Miron, H.N. Bialik and the Prophetic Mode in Modern Hebrew Poetry (2000); A.M. Rubin, From Torah to Tarbut: H.N. Bialik and the Nationalization of Judaism (2000); Z. Luz and Z. Shamir (eds.), Al Gilu'i ve-Kisu'i ba-Lashon: Iyyunim be-Masato shel Bialik (2001); R. Shoham, Poetry and Prophecy: The Image of the Poet as a "Prophet," a Hero and an Artist in Modern Hebrew Literature (2003); Y. Bakon, Ẓofeh Hayyiti be-Eyno shel Olam (2004). website: www.ithl.org.il.