Hayim Nahman Bialik חיים נחמן ביאליק (Hebrew:) of the greatest Hebrew poets of all times.
Bialik was one of the pioneers of the Modern Hebrew poets and came to be recognized as Israel’s national poet.
Hayim Nahman Bialik was born in Radi, in Volhynia, Russia.
After his father’s death in 1880, he was raised in Zhytomyr by his learned, sternly Orthodox grandfather Reb Yaakov Moishe Bialik. The loss of his father at an early age and life in new surroundings shaped Bialik’s thought and later his poems about exile also echoed in his personal feelings of rootlessness.
Bialik received a traditional Hebrew education but was also influenced by his mother’s interest in Russian and European literature.
At the age of eleven, he read the Kabbalistic literature of the Middle Ages. Some years later he began to study the Talmud and spent much time in the Beith HaMikdash, the traditional house of learning.
In 1890 he moved to Volozhin in Lithuania to study at its famous Talmudic Academy.
Next year he went to Odessa and devoted himself to the study of Russian and German. During this period he composed poems that reflected the themes and styles of the Jewish enlightenment.
Bialik’s poems have been translated into some 30 languages.
Bialik’s former home at 22 Bialik Street in Tel Aviv, has been converted into a museum and functions as a center for literary events.
If you are traveling in Israel, don’t forget to visit Bialik House.