Rachel Bluwstein’s 126th Birthday

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Rachel Bluwstein Sela (September 20 (Julian calendar), 1890 – April 16, 1931) was a Hebrew-language poet who immigrated to Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire, in 1909. She is known by her first name, Rachel, or as Rachel the Poetess.

Rachel was the first Jewish woman poet in Israel to receive recognition in a genre that was practiced solely by men. Anthologies of her poetry remain bestsellers to this day. Many of her poems were set to music, both during her lifetime and afterwards, and are widely sung by Israeli singers. Her poems are included in the mandatory curriculum in Israeli schools. A selection of her poetry was translated to English and published under the title Flowers of Perhaps: Selected Poems of Ra’hel, by the London publisher Menard. Poems by Rachel have been translated to English, German, Czech, Polish, Esperanto, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Basque (by Benito Lertxundi) and Slovak.

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