Rachel Bluwstein, known throughout Israel simply as Ra’hel, was one of the most prolific poets in the period of Hebrew revival. Born on September 20, 1890 to a wealthy Russian family, Ra’hel took courses on painting and literature in high school and planned to pursue an arts and philosophy in Italy upon matriculating. She changed paths at the age of nineteen, however, after visiting Palestine and meeting A.D. Gordon, an influential labor Zionist who founded the socialist-nationalist youth movement, Hapoel Hatzair. Under Gordon’s guidance, Ra’hel travelled to France to study agriculture and drawing, and joined a small kibbutz, Degania Aleph, in her late twenties. But, tragically, she contracted tuberculosis only a short while later and was ultimately forced to move to the city. It was at this time that she began to focus exclusively on poetry.
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