Moses Fishbein is a distinguished Ukrainian poet and translator, winner of the Vasyl Stus Prize, and a member of the Ukrainian Center of the International PEN Club and the National Union of Writers of Ukraine. Academician Ivan Dziuba calls him a “Poet by the Grace of God.” Moses Fishbein is listed in various world encyclopedias. In Ukraine he has been awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav Mudry, V Degree, and the Order of Holy Prince Volodymyr the Great, Equal to the Apostles, III Degree.
Speech delivered at the ceremony
Potocki Palace, Lviv, Ukraine
15 December 2010
Distinguished Members of the Capitula!
It was said: “For Intellectual Courage.” I don’t know what this is.
Is it courage not to betray and not to sell oneself? Is it courage to say what you think and act as you say? Is it courage to act according to God’s commandments and one’s own conscience? Is it courage to create as the Almighty has given you? Is it courage not to push aside the Lord’s Hand, on which reposes His gift – the godly, God-given, and God-granted Ukrainian Language? Is it courage to hear in the Ukrainian Language God’s symphony and to convey this symphony to others?
The Almighty gave me a soul—a tiny part of Himself. Is it courage not to profane one’s soul—a tiny part of the Lord?
I thank the Almighty and my parents.
I thank my teachers: Mykola Bazhan, Mykola Lukash, Hryhorii Kochur, and Leonid Pervomaisky.
I thank my wife, who inspires me.
I thank my children and my little granddaughter, in whom I shall remain.
I thank those friends of mine who managed not to betray.
If the distinguished Members of the Capitula truly believe that I deserve this award, I accept it with gratitude.
Translated from the Ukrainian.