But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Jerusalem.
Not every man remembers the name of the cow which supplied him with each drop of milk he has drunk.
If we eat any food, or drink any beverage, we must recite a blessing over them before and after.
Our sages of blessed memory have said that we must not enjoy any pleasure in this world without reciting a blessing.
At the age of nineteen and a half, I went to the Land of Israel to till its soil and live by the labour of my hands. As I did not find work, I sought my livelihood elsewhere.
As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile.
The fate of the singers who, like my songs, went up in flame was also the fate of the books which I later wrote. All of them went up in flame to Heaven in a fire which broke out one night at my home in Bad Homburg as I lay ill in a hospital.
I was five years old when I wrote my first song. It was out of longing for my father that I wrote it.
I returned to Jerusalem, and it is by virtue of Jerusalem that I have written all that God has put into my heart and into my pen.
Through these offices it was my privilege to get to know almost every Jewish person, and those whom I did not come to know through these offices I came to know through love and a desire to know my brethren, the members of my people.
After all my possessions had been burned, God gave me the wisdom to return to Jerusalem.
For myself, I am very small indeed in my own eyes.
The beginnings of my studies also came to me from my father, as well as from the Rabbinical Judge of our town. But they were preceded by three tutors under whom I studied, one after the other, from the time I was three and a half till I turned eight and a half.
When I first began to combine letters other than Hebrew, I read every book in German that came my way, and from these I certainly received according to the nature of my soul.
I have also written a book about the Giving of the Torah, and a book on the Days of Awe, and a book on the books of Israel that have been written since the day the Torah was given to Israel.
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