Contributor Archives: Amnon Hadary

About Amnon Hadary

Amnon Hadary was born in Palestine in 1929, spent the years '38 to '48 in Chicago, and returned to Eretz Yisrael in time to serve in the Palmach during the War of Independence. So he has experienced life in the diaspora in one of the world's oldest democracies and homecoming to one of the newest. A founding member of a kibbutz Gesher Haziv, where he lived for 20 years, he has spent the past 35 years in Jerusalem, writing, editing and lecturing. His first book, "To Royal Estate: The American Jewish Novel", (in Hebrew) was a critique of American Jewish literature. Married, with children and grandchildren, his commitment to Zionism remains vital: its realization attainable only through the imperative of peace. The affirmations of an unrepentant Zionist are written in that spirit. Amnon was a shaliach to Habonim in Philadelphia and Vancouver in the late 50's and served as Workshop Madrich at Gesher Haziv for 6 consecutive years.

Two New Years III

On too many Rosh Hashanah visits to the synagogue of my choice I had chafed at having to go through it on two days as though the first was a dress rehearsal. Who besides God needs so much adulation? I finally figured out that the reason for the annual encore is to goad worshippers to consider what and why they are doing something twice. To paraphrase Socrates: the unexamined ceremony is not worth celebrating. And this in turn has led me to ask myself: how many New Year celebrations do a people …

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Ehud Manor Z’L A Remarkable Israeli

By the time of his death at age 64, Ehud Manor and the thousand songs he wrote were clearly the embodiment of a beautiful Israel. His songs were the concrete representation of an otherwise nebulous concept: Ein li eretz acheret, I have no other country – all the buoyant pride, lacerating pain, disappointments and no holds barred criticism. Like Naomi Shemer, the songster laureate of our homeland, nothing Israeli was foreign to him or to his lyrics. Like her, Manor was awarded the Israel …

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Are Democracy and Ideology Incompatible?

Once when Zionism was still just a movement with the goal of establishing a Jewish State in Palestine, democracy, ideology and politics were not mutually exclusive. Although this philosophy called for Jewish self-emancipation, Herzl was also personally entranced with diplomacy and diplomatic negotiations. Still, he was committed to achieving the goal by empowering the will of the people through western enlightened means. Democracy was to be the name of the game. Little did he realize that the …

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       By Amnon Hadary My eldest son, Oren, and my father, Gershon, died a mere six years apart and are buried not far from one another on a pastoral knoll overlooking the Mediterranean in the cemetery of Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv. Oren fell in the Yom Kippur War, his first war in defense of Israel?s sovereignty. He had just turned 21, four years younger than the state itself. Gershon died a 79 year old inveterate, peaceful advocate of Zionist sovereignty, a half year before the Six Day War, …

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Kibbutz and Kotel Paradigms

By Amnon Hadary Even on the shortest sightseeing tour to Israel, visits to the kotel and to a kibbutz are de rigueur. They are required because for all the cosmic differences between the two places, taken together they are paradigmatic of Israel. Have they now become anachronisms? Lyrics of nostalgia? For nostalgia, consider a still popular song in Israel today. Pictures on Classroom Walls Once in our school There was a picture on the wall With a farmer plowing His field Against a setting of fir …

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