miércoles, 27 de enero de 2016

ALMOG BEHAR [18.029]



Almog Behar 

Nació en Netanya, Israel en 1978 y vive en Jerusalén. Estudió filosofía en la Universidad Hebrea de Jerusalén, donde está completando su segundo grado. Behar enseña filosofía en la escuela secundaria, escribe reseñas literarias, y enseña la liturgia judía en la Universidad de Tel Aviv. Ha publicado dos libros de poesía y una colección de historias cortas. En 2005, ganó el Concurso de Relatos Haaretz corto por su cuento "Ana Min Al-Yahoud" ("Yo soy uno de los Judios"), que fue publicado en la revista conocida Al-Hilal en El Cairo, y ha generado un considerable interés en Egipto y el mundo árabe. Behar ha recibido el Premio de Poesía Bernstein (2010) y el Premio del Primer Ministro (2010).

Libros publicados en hebreo

Wells' Sed (poesía), Am-Oved, 2008 [Tzimaon Be'erot: Shirim 2000-2.006]
Yo soy uno de los Judios, Babel, 2008 [Ana min al-Yahoud]
El Tema A partir de la Lengua (poesía), Am Oved, 2009 [Chut Moshej Min Ha-Lashon: Shirim 1996-2008]
Rachel y Ezequiel, Keter, 2010 [Tshachla Ve-Chezkel]

Libros en Traducción

Rachel y Ezequiel
Árabe: El Cairo, Al Kotob Khan, 2016



Poema para los presos en las cárceles

Escribí un poema para los presos en las cárceles
y se lo mostré a mi padre. Dijo:
¿De qué les servirán poemas a los presos
y quiénes somos para menospreciar la justicia
de oficiales, jueces y legisladores?
Le dije: es sobre nuestra propia prisión que escribo, padre.
Con el final de cada día regreso a mi celda
para aguardar indicaciones de remotos carceleros:
ya me dirán si debo encadenar mis manos
o reclamar la libertad golpeando
contra los barrotes de la ventana.

Me dice: los sueños del poema por tu boca hablan
y tú te encuentras fuera de los muros carcelarios,
no te he criado para que vivas prisionero; hijo,
te enviaré si quieres a estudiar derecho,
quizá te vuelvas juez y en lugar de poemas escribirás sentencias
para aliviar de penas a este mundo. Le dije: padre,
hijo soy tuyo y no me has criado para que te tema,
la prisión mayor es que tú y yo y nos incluye,
ahora mismo el guardián te ordena desconocer tu encierro,
te indica pedir permanecer dentro del límite de tu calabozo.
Me dice: cautivos entonces somos todos en la prisión de Dios,
hijo, y esclavos suyos, mas, ¿cuáles son sus leyes, sus juzgados?
y hombre no hay que nunca haya pecado, ¿lo recuerdas?

Le dije: esta prisión es obra de los hombres, padre,
y día a día ayudamos nosotros en su construcción, 
sumamos pabellones y disponemos cámaras de vigilancia,
en breve ya no necesitarán más carceleros, los echarán
y nos vigilaremos entre nosotros mismos.
No estudiaré derecho aunque he resuelto
no escribir tampoco más poemas. ¿Cómo es eso? Yo ya avisé
a todo lo largo del pasillo en nuestro pabellón penitenciario
que mi hijo escribe poemas para el día de la liberación,
nuestros vecinos aprenden y recitan tus poemas.

Los escucho, padre. No son, sin embargo, mis poemas lo que cantan
sino canciones del penal. A partir de hoy escribiré
veredictos que compitan con las resoluciones judiciales,
redactaré sentencias que compitan contra sus fallos,
les escribiré a mamá y a ti desde mi celda
cartas en las que anunciaré que la liberación
no llegará siquiera en los lejanos días de tus nietos,
que este combate es más largo
que cuanto pudieron figurarse los poetas.

Todos los poemas han fracasado.


Traducción: Gerardo Lewin






Soy un judío de barba, de vasos de té, de un Mesías
que ya no vendrá, de infinidad de preceptos que desde hace generaciones prometo
cumplir sin lograrlo, de recuerdos de sacras palabras árabes
en letras hebreas.

del poema Sheikh Jarrah



Espada en mano

El espacio entre la mano y el revólver
es como la distancia de la mejilla al beso
como la frontera entre mi vida y el presente
y como la separación de mis labios y el grito.
El hombre recoge otoños e inviernos
y tiene voz el silencio.
Un espacio que era digno entonces
suprimido por una centellante presión en el gatillo.
La bala habilidosa en el viento de la noche
penetra hasta el alma;
en mi memoria hay una espada en la mano
y comienza el viaje del hombre a la tierra.
La sangre ni siquiera grita, 
si la derraman cuando está aún caliente
y no pocos han aprendido
cómo no decir nada acerca de eso.
El espacio entre el dedo y el gatillo
como la distancia entre el muerto y el disparo,
como la separación de la pared y la grieta,
como el nacimiento del cadáver.

Traducción: Adam Gai



Repetidamente ha lamentado Behar el no haber aprendido de niño la lengua árabe de la familia materna (el poco árabe que sé lo sé por el ejército), ni el spa-niolit (la lengua judeoespañola) de su familia paterna, idiomas que ha empezadoa estudiar ya de adulto. Y es que el sionismo impuso una sola lengua a costa de todas las demás: el hebreo. Es enmarcado en este contexto en el que debemos leer el siguiente poema de su poemario Tsimon be’erot (Sed de pozos)


Mi lengua árabe es muda

Mi lengua árabe es muda
estrangulada en la garganta
se maldice a sí misma
sin pronunciar palabra
duerme en el sofocante aire de los refugios de mi alma
ocultándose
de los parientes
tras la celosía de la lengua hebrea.

Mientras, mi lengua hebrea irrumpe con ímpetu
correteando por las estancias y las terrazas de los vecinos
se deja oír en público
profetizando la venida de Dios
y la de las excavadoras
hasta recogerse en el salón
orgullosa de sí misma
abiertamente a la orilla de su piel
encubiertamente entre los folios de su carne
tan pronto desnuda como vestida
y acurrucada en el sillón
implora el perdón a su corazón.

Mi lengua árabe tiene miedo
y se disfraza con cautela de lengua hebrea
susurrando a los amigos
cuando llaman a su puerta:
«Ahlan ahlan», hola, bienvenidos.

Y al policía que pasa por la calle
le enseña el carnet de identidad
apuntando con el dedo hacia el apartado que la ampara:
«Ana min al-yahud, ana min al-yahud», soy judío, soy judío.

Mientras, mi lengua hebrea es sorda a todo,
a veces hasta muy sorda. 


My Arabic is Mute        / Almog Behar

My Arabic is Mute
Strangled in the throat
Cursing itself
Without uttering a word
Sleeping in the suffocating air
Of the shelters of my soul
Hiding
From family members
Behind the shutters of the Hebrew.
And my Hebrew erupts
Running around between rooms
And the neighbors' porches
Sounding her voice in public
Prophesizing the coming of God
And bulldozers
and then she settles in the living room
Thinking herself
Openly on the edge of her skin
Hidden between the pages of her flesh
one moment naked and the next dressed
She almost makes herself disappear
In the armchair
Asking for her heart’s forgiveness.
My Arabic is scared
quitely impersonates Hebrew
Whispering to friends
With every knock on her gates:
“Ahalan, ahalan, welcome”.
And in front of every passing policeman
And she pulls out her ID card
for every cop on the street
pointing out the protective clause:
"Ana min al-yahud, ana min al-yahud,
I'm a Jew, I’m a Jew".
And my Hebrew is deaf
Sometimes so very deaf.



הערבית שלי אילמת              / אלמוג בהר

הערבית שלי אילמת
חנוקה מן הגרון
מקללת את עצמה
בלי להוציא מילה
יֵשֵנָה באוויר המחניק של מקלטֵי נפשִי
מסתתרת
מבני-המשפחה
מאחורי תריסי העברית.
והעברית שלי גועשת
מתרוצצת בין החדרים ומרפסות השכנים
משמיעה קולה בַרבים
מנבאת בואם של אלוהים
ודחפורים
ואז מתכנסת בסלון
חושבת את עצמה
גְלוּיוֹת גלוּיוֹת על שפת עורה
כסוּיוֹת כסויות בין דפי בשרה
רגע עירומה ורגע לבושה
היא מצטמצמת בכורסא
מבקשת את סליחת לבה.
הערבית שלי פוחדת
מתחזה בשקט לעברית
ולוחשת לְחברים
עם כל דפיקה בשעריה:
"אהלן אהלן".
ומול כל שוטר עובר בַרחוב
שולפת תעודת זהות
מצביעה על הסעיף המגונן:
"אנא מִן אל-יַהוּד, אנא מִן אל-יַהוּד".
והעברית שלי חירשת
לפעמים חירשת מאוד.



A Jerusalem courtyard          / Almog Behar

The night-sweetness of her love pinches
In my flesh, in a Jerusalem courtyard,
Between vine and stone, between
The notes of the 'Ud and Ladino,
Between the walls of my body.
at the edge of the courtyard fixed against an old metal fence,
is an old woman with her head covered,
drawn out from the alleyway
On her way home from the prayer house,
Tasting the notes, imagining for a moment
that she is again the daughter of a king, passing
Between the courtyards. And the ‘Ud,
That was a forbidden language to my ears,
was let loose in the courtyard from its bounds,
And I, who taught myself to suckle honey from a stone,
learn now to drink nectar from a girl's mouth.
The old woman's eyes laugh behind the musicians' backs
and the beautiful fat woman-singer,
And to my eyes she looks now just like my grandmother,
Who before she died went back to speaking,
not a word of Hebrew.



חצר ירוּשלמִית                       / אלמוג בהר

מתִיקוּתן הַלֵילִית שֶל צבִיטוֹת אהבתָה
בִבשרִי, בְחצר ירוּשלמִית, בֵין אבנִים וְגפן,
בֵין צלִילֵי עוּד וְלַאדִינוֹ, בֵין קִירוֹת גוּפִי.
בִקצֶה הַחצר גדר מתכת ישנָה, אצלָה נִדבקָה
זקנָה בְשבִיסָה, נִשאבת מִן הַסִימטָה
בְדרכָה הַביתָה מִבֵית-הַתפִילָה, טוֹעמת מן הַצלִילִים,
מֵדמָה לְעצמָה שֶלְרגַע הִיא שוּב בַת-מלךְ,
עוברת בין החצרות. והַעוּד שהיָה שפָה אסוּרָה
לְאוֹזנַיי, הוּתר בַחצר מִכבלֵי אִיסוּריו, וְאנ
שֶלִימדתִי עצמִי לִהיות יוֹנק דבש מִסלַע,
לוֹמד לִשתוֹת צוּף מִפִי נערָה. עֵינֵיי הַזקנָה צוֹחקוֹת
מֵאחוֹרֵי גבם שֶל הַנגנִים וְהַזמרת הַשמנָה הַיפָה,
וְהִיא מִידמָה בְעֵינַיי לְסבתִי, שֶלִפנֵי מוֹתָה
חזרָה לְדבר רַק ערבִית, בלי עברית.



Dead poets                     / Almog Behar

Dead poets
Write better
Than me
Better than the living poets
Better than those who have not been born yet.
When I become a poet
A dead poet
Maybe I will write better
Than me
Better than the living
Better than the poets who have not been born yet.



משוררים מתים         / אלמוג בהר

משוררים מתים
כותבים טוב
ממני
טוב מן המשוררים החיים
טוב מאלו שעוד לא נולדו.
כשאהיה משורר
משורר מת
אולי אכתוב טוב
ממני
טוב מן החיים
טוב מן המשוררים אשר עדיין לא נולדו.



The Hand Holds A Sword     / Almog Behar

The gap between the hand and the gun is
like the distance between the cheek and the kiss,
like the borderline between my life and the present,
like the parting of the shout from my lips.
A man gathers autumns and winters,
silence also has a voice;
A gap that was bigger then
was cut by the squeeze of a shining trigger.
The skill of a bullet in the evening wind
penetrates to the soul;
In my memory the hand holds a sword
the journey of man to the earth begins.
Blood never screams
even if spilled when it is still warm,
and many people have learned
not to give it any thought.
The gap between the finger and the trigger is
like the distance of the dead from the shot,
like the separating of the wall from the crack
like the birth of a corpse.



ליד יש חרב    / אלמוג בהר

רווח הַיד מִן הַרוֹבה
כּמרחק הַלחִי מִן הנשִיקָה
כּגבוּל חיי מִן הַהווה
וכהִיפרד שפתיי מִן הַצעקָה.
סתווִים וְחוֹרפִים אדם גוֹבֶה
וְיֵש קוֹל גם בַּשתיקָה,
רווח שֶאז היָה שווה
נִקטע בּלחִיצת הדק מבהִיקָה.
מיוּמנוּת כדוּר ברוּח ערב
חוֹדרת עד אֶל הנשמָה
בּזיכרוֹני לַיד יֵש חרב
וּמתחִיל מסע אדם לאדמָה.
דָם לא צוֹעק אפילוּ
אִם שוֹפכים אוֹתוֹ כשהוּא עוֹד חם,
וְאנשִים רבִים השכִילוּ
לא לַתת עַל כךְ אֶת דעתם.
רווח הַאצבע מִן הַהדק
כּמרחק הַמת מִן הַיריָה
כּהִיפרד הקִיר מִן הַסדק
כּהִיוולד גוויָה.



LINES TO PRIMO LEVI / almog behar

In the place where no prayer can save
all words are prayers, and drinking
soup from a dish also becomes a melody of prayer.
And the blows, and the cold, and the hunger and the number tattooed on your arm
are taken from the prayer book too.
When the heavy gates of Auschwitz opened and the shadows of the people emerged
God sat near the opening and wept and begged forgiveness
and prayed to his people to absolve him. It is inevitable
that men forgive one another,
there is nothing worse than forgiving God

(translated from hebrew by Vivian Eden,
the poem was published at Haaretz English Edition, April 2008)



שורות לפרימו לוי / אלמוג בֶּהַר

בַמקום ממנו אף תפילה לא תציל
כל המילים הן תפילות, וגם שתיית
מרק מפינכה נעשית ניגון של תפילה.
והמכות, והקור, והרעב, והמספר המוטבע ביד,
לקוחים גם הם ממחזור התפילות.
כשנפתחו שעריי אושוויץ הכבדים ויצאו צללי האנשים
ישב אלוהים סמוך לַפתח וּבכה וּביקש מחילה
והתפלל לעמו שיסלח לו. סליחות אדם
לאדם אין מהן מנוס,
אין נורא מסליחה לאלוהים



Midrash[1] for the new Temple    / Almog Behar

Prayers replaced sacrifices
when God destroyed the Temple
and scattered Israel among the nations.
And than the Germans gathered
The distant children of Israel
And abolished the prayers
And restored the sacrifices
To the new temples they built in Europe.



 מִדרש לְבֵית הַמִקְדש הַחדש            / אלמוג בהר

הַתפִילוֹת החלִיפוּ אֶת עבוֹדת הַקוֹרבנוֹת
כְשֶאלוהים החרִיב את בֵית הַמקדש וּפיזר את יִשראל בַעמִים
וְאז קִיבצוּ הַגרמנִים אֶת נִדחֵי יִשראל
וּבִיטלוּ אֶת הַתפִילוֹת וְהשִיבוּ אֶת עבוֹדת הַקוֹרבנוֹת לְבתֵי הַמִקדש
הַחדשִים שֶהם בנוּ עַל אדמת אֵירוֹפָה



A poem for Rachel                 / Almog Behar

Rachel on the evening of Ya’acov’s wedding to Lea
Was crying shepherds’ songs
And in the morning she lingered on sleeping
So she would not have to think
and all at once a few days
Were in her eyes like long years in her love for him.



שיר לרחל       / אלמוג בהר

רחל בְערב חתוּנתוֹ שֶל יעקב לְלאָה
הייתָה בוכָה שִירֵי רועִים
וּבַבוקר הִיא הארִיכָה לִישון כדֵי שֶלא לַחשוב
וּלפתע ימִים אחדִים
היוּ בְעיניה כְשנִים ארוּכוֹת בְאהבתָה אוֹתוֹ



Not to be afraid to say the word nostalgia                   / Almog Behar

Not to be afraid
To say the word nostalgia
Not to be afraid
To whisper longings
Not to be afraid
To say I have a past
Placed inside a box
Of a locked memory.
Not to be afraid
To buy me keys
To press my eyes
To the keyholes
Until everything will be opened
Until I will be able to steal a look
At my Inside.
Not to be afraid
To say I am a forgetting man
But I have a memory
That is not willing to forget me.



לא לפחד לומר את המילה נוסטלגיה           / אלמוג בהר

לא לפחד לומר
את המילה נוסטלגיה
לא לפחד
ללחוש געגועים
לא לפחד לומר
יש לי עבר
מונח בתוך קופסא
של זיכרון נעול
לא לפחד
לקנות לי מפתחות
להצמיד עיניים לחורי המנעולים
עד שהכל יפתח
עד שאוכל להגניב מבט
אל פנימי
לא לפחד לומר
אני אדם שוכח
אבל יש לי זיכרון
שלא מוכן לשכוח אותי


Sheikh Jarrah, 2010       / Almog Behar

“There is no sanctity in an occupied city!”
Protest slogan.  Sheikh Jarrah.

1.

With drums we ascended Derekh Shekhem road.  Yet all the way
I worried that the noise was disturbing the neighbors’ rest,
I was reminded that I’m not happy when drums pass on my own street.
And I worried that the beat was too cheerful to express the sadness
of those who were thrown to the streets, the anger of those from the streets.

2.

I am a Jew of beards, of glasses of tea, of a messiah
who will no longer come, of many commandments that for generations I have been promising
my heart I’ll fulfill but I don’t succeed, of the remembrance of the sanctity of Arabic words
in the Hebrew tongue.  And for a moment, from opposite sides of the barbed-wired fence
that has sprung from the doorstep of the Ghawi family who were thrown to the streets, we met,
members of two faiths—different, but sisters.
He has a beard too and memories and his face is cut by the fence into scores of
pieces, and he hurls heavy accusations at me like a brother,
that I have become exilic, he rages, riddled with self-hatred, a lover
of Arabs, a traitor, an informer on his own people in poems, more dangerous
than the anti-Semites, a Capo, and he reminds me with fierce descriptions
of the incinerators of Auschwitz and of the outstretched hand of God who promises
to return his people to his land or his land to his people.
For a moment I thought we might return to being members of the same faith,
two Jews tired of accusations.  And I took his hand
and suggested that we go to the grave of Shimon
the Righteous One, and cry greatly over the righteous man and the wounds we have inflicted
on his old heart, until perhaps the righteous man will cry over us and the depth of the fracture
that is threatening to break us and the land of Israel, between Germany and Palestine.

3.

I just got to Sheikh Jarrah and already I’m looking for Jews.  As if
I arrived in a faraway country and am looking for nine friends for a quorum,
or a corner with kosher food and Sabbath and holiday meals.  I’m the distance of
a ten-minute walk from my house, my synagogue, the time of Sabbath’s entrance
nears and I whisper to my God that it should be right in his eyes, the cry
of our slogans, as if I am fixing the Sabbath before him
repairing her in all her aspects, and as if I am praying the evening prayers
of Shabbat before him with all of the right intentions.

4.

And I sought to pass the police barricade,
to go down and pray at the grave of the righteous man with the rest of the worshippers
who arrived bathed and festive.  We will sing before the righteous man
with great joy and greet the Sabbath queen.  And I’ll ask him to permit me
to pray among the criminals, and to justify the actions of the protesters
who desecrate the Sabbath in order to sanctify the name of the heavens in Jerusalem.

5.

And one night I dreamt: We’ll come to Sheikh Jarrah for a protest,
regiment by regiment of the expelled, and with us will march the Yemenites expelled
from the Kineret village, the Jewish Hebron refugees of 1929,
the Arabs of Ba’ka, Talbieh, Katamon, Meah Sha’arim, Lifta
and Ein Karem expelled during the Nakba, the Jewish quarter refugees
expelled in '48 by Jordan, and in '67 their homes were nationalized
by the government of Israel to be sold for great profit leaving them refugees,
the Palestinians expelled from the villages surrounding Latrun in '67,
the Mizrahim expelled from the Yemin Moshe neighborhood after years in
the eye of the target, to make room for painters and artists, the residents
of unknown Bedouin villages in the Negev, the mortgage defaulters
expelled from their homes by eviction crews, the Jaffa and Musrara residents
forced to vacate their homes to make way for the rich, and the people of Silwan,
a demolition order threatening their homes.

5.

And one night the Jerusalem mayor dreamt:  Sheikh Jarrah
will be concrete, a giant parking lot, and whoever saw a date here,
and whoever saw an olive, and whoever saw a grove will see a massive lot of cars,
till the ends of the horizon, like a shopping center in a peaceful American town.
All the parking problems of Jerusalem will be solved in Sheikh Jarrah, maybe
the world’s parking problems will be solved in Israel, all of Palestine
covered in concrete, because the solution is in concrete that will finally subdue
the fight over the holiness of the land, which will disappear.

6.

And we stand, hundreds of protestors, facing the barricades at the neighborhood’s entrance.
We are advancing and retreating, dodging the police, returning
to their arms, moving in circles, nearly reaching the officers
and turning to run.  They strike us like angry fathers
yearning to discipline, like school children craving revenge.
We don’t know whether to ask them to spare the old,
the pregnant women, and the children, or to stand and receive their blows with love,
whether to turn and run again, in order to return.

7.

And we stand, hundreds of protestors, facing the barricades at the neighborhood’s entrance.
The policemen, who have just returned from a course, watch us with eyes
weary of the extra shift we’ve forced on them, of their meager salaries,
of the cries of protestors and commanders.  They worry
the protest will run into the Sabbath again this week.
And their commander orders them to clear us off the road, if they don’t clear the road
he’ll cancel their day off, and with every blow we hate them
and forget their commander, the mayor, the courthouse.
In my heart I wanted to cross to their side, take their commander’s
megaphone and achingly ask the protesters to disperse, to cry out:
This week we won’t declare the protest illegal, no,
We’re just asking that you disband in exchange for our salaries
this-or-that amount of shekels for every hour of protest, because we promised our wives
we would be at Shabbat dinner, this week go protest at the mayor’s house, the prime minister’s house, the house of the millionaire who buys them houses, protest
in your parents’, your neighbors’ living rooms, just leave us be, this week, please.

8.

On the way to the protest the muezzin sings from the mosque tower in Maqam Saba.
And I sing quietly to my God in the same note: May our eyes behold
your return to Zion, mercifully, mercifully.   

9.

Shimon the Righteous was one of the last survivors of the Great Assembly,
student of Ezra the Scribe, teacher of Antigonus of Socho,
and he used to say: On three things the world stands,
on the Torah, on divine service, and on acts of loving-kindness.
And we are not his students nor his student’s students,
And the fear of the heavens is no longer upon us as it was upon them,
And we do not seek to act with loving-kindness save
toward ourselves, and the world does not stand.
We forget that we were strangers in the land of Egypt, forget
that there is but one law for us and for the stranger
who lives with us, forget that the Hanoun family are not strangers
to this land, that the Al-Kurd family are not strangers
to this land, that the Ghawi family are not strangers
to this land, and we continue to forget.

10.

By the courtyard of the expelled Hanoun and Al-Kurd families a border patrol soldier
calls my name.  What are you doing here? He asks me the same question
I would ask him.  Only a year ago we were reading Aristotle, Maimonides,
Al-Ghazali, Zhuangzi together, and now he’s guarding
the houses of the evicted from the protestors.  This guy was my teacher, he says, embarrassed,
to a soldier who joins the conversation, and complains: they all hate us,
they’re angrier at us than at pilots who drop bombs,
they curse us out, and in the end we have to separate between
fighting children here like babysitters, what do you have to say about that?
And I said nothing, in my mind I was still trying to connect
Maimonides and Al-Ghazali to the Sheikh Jarrah expulsion.

"Shrinking"

by Almog Behar
Translated by Sondra Silverston




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