This piece was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished by The Tel Aviv Review of Books.

This piece is part of an ongo­ing series that we are shar­ing from Israeli authors and authors in Israel.

It is crit­i­cal to under­stand his­to­ry not just through the books that will be writ­ten lat­er, but also through the first-hand tes­ti­monies and real-time account­ing of events as they occur. At Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, we under­stand the val­ue of these writ­ten tes­ti­mo­ni­als and of shar­ing these indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ences. It’s more impor­tant now than ever to give space to these voic­es and narratives.

A. Where is the song

Song of Love

That buds in hol­lows of the heart

Why does it wan­der streets alone

and creep into pages as sadness. 

Through the stormy streets 

and the gar­dens bloom in wind

It walks with sorrow 

seek­ing a bosom to rest


B. An island of song

Song of Love

Hid­den in the grey of Autumn

Why does the green pale on boughs 

shed­ding falling leaves.

Through the stormy streets 

and the trees stand bowed.

It walks with sorrow 

seek­ing Spring to blossom


The Kid­napped Poet

Amongst the 240 plus kid­napped cit­i­zens on Octo­ber 7 is the eighty-five-year-old poet and com­pos­er, Ami­ram Coop­er – tak­en hostage with his wife Nurit from their Kib­butz, Nir Oz. Nurit has since been released by her Hamas cap­tors. Born in Haifa in 1938, Ami­ram was one of the founders of Kib­butz Nir Oz, arriv­ing in 1957, and liv­ing peace­ful­ly, rais­ing a fam­i­ly and build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty there until dark­ness descend­ed on Octo­ber 7. An econ­o­mist by pro­fes­sion, Ami­ram has com­posed songs and poet­ry for over six­ty years. He has often col­lab­o­rat­ed on the melodies with fel­low kib­butz mem­bers or mem­bers from oth­er kib­butz­im. He has authored two com­pi­la­tions of poet­ry. His work is doc­u­ment­ed on the Hebrew web­site Shi­ra Ovedet–Work­ing song.’’ This site doc­u­ments a whole gamut of Kib­butznikim who com­bined song and labor from the ear­li­est days of the Hebrew Yishuv, and then after Inde­pen­dence. These are artists who nev­er became main­stream, but whose rich Hebrew texts breathed life into the mod­ern, revived Hebrew language. 

Love Song,” was com­posed espe­cial­ly for the twen­ty-fifth anniver­sary of the found­ing of Nir Oz, in 1980

While Ami­ram remains hid­den in some Gazan dun­geon tun­nel, his poet­ry should not be. Rather, it should be read and enjoyed by as many cit­i­zens of the world, who should demand his imme­di­ate and uncon­di­tion­al release. Find the Shi­ra Ovedet page ded­i­cat­ed to Ami­ram Coop­er here. Lis­ten to a record­ing of the song here.

The views and opin­ions expressed above are those of the author, based on their obser­va­tions and experiences.

Sup­port the work of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and become a mem­ber today.

Amongst the 240 plus kid­napped cit­i­zens on Octo­ber 7 is the eighty-five-year-old poet and com­pos­er, Ami­ram Coop­er – tak­en hostage with his wife Nurit from their Kib­butz, Nir Oz. Nurit has since been released by her Hamas cap­tors. Born in Haifa in 1938, Ami­ram was one of the founders of Kib­butz Nir Oz, arriv­ing in 1957, and liv­ing peace­ful­ly, rais­ing a fam­i­ly and build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty there until dark­ness descend­ed on Octo­ber 7. An econ­o­mist by pro­fes­sion, Ami­ram has com­posed songs and poet­ry for over six­ty years. He has often col­lab­o­rat­ed on the melodies with fel­low kib­butz mem­bers or mem­bers from oth­er kib­butz­im. He has authored two com­pi­la­tions of poet­ry. His work is doc­u­ment­ed on the Hebrew web­site Shi­ra Ovedet–Work­ing song.’’ Find the Shi­ra Ovedet page ded­i­cat­ed to Ami­ram Coop­er here. Lis­ten to a record­ing of the song here.