Zina was born in Russia in 1900 and moved to Israel in 1920. Early on, she wrote her poetry in Russian, her mother tongue; later, after she had mastered the Hebrew language, she wrote her poems in Hebrew, the language of her adopted land. Through this translation of Zina’s poetry into English, poems from both groups are now accessible to western readers.
Seventy-eight of the poems in this book represent three separate collections of poems which Zina had printed as small books between 1929 and 1944 for distribution to family and friends. The poems have been left in their sequence as organized by Zina herself within each of the collections. Also included in this book is a poem Zina wrote after losing her son in war in 1948.
In addition to Zina’s poetry, readers will find a large collection of family photographs assembled by the editor, Zina’s daughter, Judith Weinshall Liberman, and the editor’s comments about each photograph, both captivating and enlightening.
The editor’s preface to the book, as well as her essays about the life and writings of Zina Weinshall, round out the picture, and help the reader gain insight into a unique poet.
Illustrated with photographs that highlight some of the people depicted in the verses, this collection covers a wide array of topics arranged in categories from love and relationships to looking back and remembering. Some of the writings are humorous, while others are somber. From the poignancy of “First Love” to the heartbreak of “Losing a Sibling,” Liberman captures the essence of what we feel when these changes occur in our lives.
Like life itself, PASSION covers the whole gamut of human experience.
Somewhere along the line I learned
Love’s not a one-way street,
For if you take but do not give,
You’ll end up in defeat.
So don’t forget to give your love
To those of whom you’re fond.
For true love is a two-way street.
Your love will seal your bond.
RUTHIE AND HER ANCESTORS tells the story of a young girl who becomes curious about her ancestry. She is particularly eager to find out whether one of her ancestors was a king, which would make her a princess of sorts. Her father begins telling her the story of her ancestry going all the way back to Abraham the Patriarch, but the story is so long that she falls asleep before her father finishes the story. Yet when she falls asleep, she dreams about searching for her ancestors at various times and places in history. What she discovers in the course of her dream makes her realize that she may be a princess after all.
IF I HAD A LITTLE SISTER tells an amusing story about a lonely little boy who is an only child and who yearns for a little sister that he could play with. He fantasizes about how, being the older and wiser of the two, he would teach his little sister various skills. He finally realizes that perhaps the little sister he is yearning for would not be as amenable to his plans as he might wish, and he reaches a crucial decision. Can you guess what that decision is?
Both authors have spent most of their adult lives pursuing activities other than writing. For decades, Judith Weinshall Liberman created visual art. Dr. Laura Liberman has had a rewarding career in medicine. Yet both authors have long had a passion for writing and have written extensively within and outside their career fields. Judith Weinshall Liberman has published six books. Dr. Laura Liberman wrote I SIGNED AS THE DOCTOR (2009), a memoir recounting her experiences as a cancer doctor surviving cancer.
In REFLECTIONS, the authors reflect on their lives and the people they have known. The poems, lyrics, and stories in REFLECTIONS cover a wide range of topics, and are arranged in about a dozen categories. Some writings are humorous, while others are somber. All come from the authors’ heart. Like life itself, REFLECTIONS covers the whole gamut of human experience.