PDF Amos Oz ¶ ¶ בין חברים PDF ¼

'On the kibbutz it's hard to know We're all supposed to be friends but very few really are'Amos Oz's compelling new fiction offers revelatory glimpses into the secrets and frustrations of the human heart played out by a community of misfits united by political disagreement intense dissatisfaction and lifetimes of words left unspokenAriella unhappy in love confides in the woman whose husband she stole; Nahum a devoted father can't find the words to challenge his daughter's promiscuous lover; the old idealists deplore the apathy of the young while the young are so used to kibbutz life that they can't work out if they're impassioned or indifferent Arguments about war government travel and children are feverishly taken up and uickly abandoned and amid this group of people unwilling and unable to say what they mean Martin attempts to teach EsperantoAt the heart of each drama is a desire to be better principled and worthy of the community's respect With his trademark compassion and sharp eyed wit Amos Oz leaves us with the feeling that what matters most between friends is the invisible tie of our shared humanity


10 thoughts on “בין חברים

  1. says:

    I watched Natalie Portman’s A Tale of Love and Darkness last year which is based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Israeli author Amos Oz But this collection of eight short stories was my first read by the author and now I'm intrigued to find of his worksAmos Oz's compelling new fiction offers revelatory glimpses into the secrets and frustrations of the human heart played out by a community of misfits united by political disagreement intense dissatisfaction and lifetimes of words left unspokenAriella unhappy in love confides in the woman whose husband she stole; Nahum a devoted father can't find the words to challenge his daughter's promiscuous lover; the old idealists deplore the apathy of the young while the young are so used to kibbutz life that they can't work out if they're impassioned or indifferent Arguments about war government travel and children are feverishly taken up and uickly abandoned and amid this group of people unwilling and unable to say what they mean Martin attempts to teach EsperantoWhile Between Friends was certainly a uick read only two tales out of the eight stood out in my eyes The first one being the introducing story “The King of Norway” which chronicles the life of Zvi Provizor a middle age bachelor who likes to carry the sorrows of the world on his shoulders “Closing your eyes to the cruelty of life is in my opinion both stupid and sinful There's very little we can do about it So we have to at least acknowledge it”This story resonated deeply with its discussions of Provizor's emotional issues in particular the fact that he doesn’t like being touched“Never in his adult life had he touched another person intentionally and he went rigid whenever he was touched He loved the feel of loose earth and the softness of young stems but the touch of others men or women caused his entire body to stiffen and contract as if he'd been burned He always tried to avoid handshakes pats on the back or the accidental rubbing of elbows at the table in the dining hall”And the following tale I liked was titled “Father” which follows sixteen year old Moshe Yashar with his uiet and gentle manner It delivered everything I didn't know I wanted from this collection And the one thing that stood out the most was this next paragraph on animal cruelty and veganism“Someday Moshe thought a future generation will call us murderers unable to comprehend how we could eat the flesh of creatures like ourselves rob them of the feel of the earth and the smell of the grass hatch them in automatic incubators raise them in crowded cages force feed them steal all their eggs before they hatch and finally slit their throats pluck their feathers tear them limb from limb gorge ourselves on them and drool and lick the fat from our lips”Such a powerful passage to secure my ongoing interest To paraphrase Moshe I kept finding myself deeply touched by the enigmas contained in these pages Discussing “big simple truths loneliness and longing desire and death”However one subtle thing I noticed the I read on was how similarly the inner ualities of the narrators were described The word 'uiet' was used an absurd amount of times to describe every single one of them We had “uietly persistent” “uiet” and “composed” “uiet persistence” etc So either the translator or the author went a little overboard And this then lead to each short story blending into the next one until it became difficult to distinguish the voicesOn a brighter note I did enjoy the fact that all the tales were connected in one way or another so that we got closure on certain storylines that weren't uite finished before Also I cherished the fact that these uietly moving stories were set on around the kibbutz movementAll in all This was a great introduction to Amos Oz's writing style and I'm eager to continue onNote I'm an Affiliate If you're interested in buying Between Friends just click on the image below to go through my link I'll make a small commission Support creators you love Buy a Coffee for nat bookspoils with Ko ficombookspoils


  2. says:

    Eight short stories situated in an Israeli kibbutz in the 1950s thus in the pioneering years of the Jewish state I must admit that I wasn’t really familiar with the kibbutz model; I knew that it was a form of collective working and living mostly inspired by marxism and focused on self sufficiency Amos Oz makes that image much concrete but in a way that is not very flattering for the big ideals Gradually the kibbutz community appears to be really suffocating erasing the individuality of the members and leaving little room for human feelings The portraits that Oz paints of the 'little people' of this community are endearing and degrading at the same time so that he exceeds the narrow frame of the kibbutz and portrays the ‘tristesse’ of the human condition in general This also seems to show a slight frustration of Oz himself about the illusion of the manufacturability of society and she said to herself that most people apparently needed warmth and affection than the others could give and that none of the kibbutz commissions could ever match the difference between supply and demand The kibbutz she thought had changed the social order a bit but you did not change the nature of the person and that nature was not easy to deal with You could not abolish jealousy and small mindedness and envy once and for all by voting on it in the kibbutz organs Oz’ mastery as a writer also shows stylistically the succession of short descriptive sentences and the subcooled tone make the little human dramas all the poignant


  3. says:

    This is a uick reading collection of interrelated stories that are deeply affecting despite their superficial simplicity The themes of loneliness and the lack of true friendship on a kibbutz where everyone is supposedly friends and of individuality versus the collective become complex and thought provoking as one reads on The stories of certain characters such as the five year old boy who is bullied mercilessly in the children's house become almost poetic in parts but only rarely The prose is not ornate at all and my only issue with it is that a few stories especially those in the beginning hold a bit too much repetition for such spareness But neither the plots nor the characters though they are rendered with much empathy are what is front and center instead it is the mood Oz evokes of a time and place of a community that could be confining in its idealism and especially to the younger generation must have felt at many times like prisonThe last line of the last story is perfect and is partly why I rounded up my original thought of 35 stars to 4


  4. says:

    This spare and elegant little book from Israeli author Amos Oz is composed of eight interlocking stories that begin with the heralding of deaths – and ends with a real one Yet its real theme is not the deaths of individuals as much as it is the death of a utopian dreamThat dream kibbutz life based on social and economic parity Or to put it another way the whole has to be greater than the sum of its parts In reality a life without self fulfillment and self actualization is a life of self sacrifice loneliness and an increasing rigidity in rolesThere’s David Dagan for example a kibbutz founder who has become immune to criticism living with his good friend’s 17 7ear old daughter There’s Zvi the gardener who can’t wait relay all the bad news to the community and who turns rigid whenever he’s touched There’s Roni the father of a bullied son who cannot protect him because all children are the “property” of the kibbutz not the parent And there’s Moshe a sensitive animal lover who is only permitted to leave the community overnight to visit his sick fatherGradually – and this is no accident – the lone characters that we meet begin to interact with other characters by appearing in other stories The individuals who are in conflict with themselves eventually are also in conflict with other individuals and ultimately with the ideal of communal livingMr Oz writes “The old timers are actually religious people who left their old religion for a new one that’s just as full of sins and transgressions prohibitions and strict rules They haven’t stopped being true believers; they’re simply exchanged one belief system for another Marx is their Talmud The general meeting is the synagogue and David Dagan is their rabbi”In the end no ideal can ever eradicate the very human traits of envy pettiness or greed Yet humankind can still dream and even plan for a community that’s denied it Amos Oz’s triumph is in recognizing both the good and the bad in kibbutz life and the conflict that is inherent within it Translated flawlessly by Sondra Silverston these stories are deceptively simple and beautifully rendered 45 stars


  5. says:

    Marx is their TalmudLife on a kibbutz an Israeli utopian agricultural community in the 1950s was an ideological powder keg Less than a decade after Israel's independence and the atrocities committed during the war leftist Israelis envisioned a life of socialist community where workers were allocated jobs and living uarters and children were raised communallyThe idea of the kibbutz is incredibly compelling for me communal dependence a dedication to work and learning the building of a new better society literally from the ground up But Amos Oz in this masterful collection describes what life was really like on the kibbutz behind the utopian image People schemed politics dominated every decision individual interests were sacrificed ostensibly for the greater good but often because of jealousy In Deir Ajloun a young man fresh out of the army wants to leave to study in Italy at his uncle's expense but the kibbutz members' jealousy of his uncle who left them to run a successful business halts the young man's dreams leaving him to wander in a burned out Arab village in a haze confused and conflicted He wants to take a break but is it worth leaving everything and everyone he knows?Marriages break up ideological purity is used as cover for philandering and isolation overcomes communal living Daily life was not glamorous even if the ideas of self sufficiency duty and communal responsibility are at least to meThis winter I was lucky enough to visit a kibbutz less than half a mile from Gaza The woman who led us around was remarkable Yael was raising a family through missile attacks and the oppressive presence of Israeli troops yet maintained hope for a future where she and her children could once again work in the fields with the Palestinians half a mile away just like she and her father did in her youth Her steadfast devotion to healing the wounds of conflict and addressing the atrocities that Israel has committed inspired me I don't know if Oz shares that sentiment but I hope he doesAmos Oz is a brilliant writer connecting eight stories together with one grand narrative The work have been less compelling if it had been in novel form because the different perspectives that Oz adopts are critical to understanding the complexities of kibbutz life Collections of interconnected short stories like The Martian Chronicles and The Tsar of Love and Techno always stick with me and I hope that Oz's words and warnings will resonate within me for years to come


  6. says:

    At first glance the book is an Israeli version of Dubliners with the same idea of a small community of people living a closed life Moreover the books share the themes of the constricting mundane routine and the obsession of escaping this closed circle What I particularly like about this book is Amos Oz's intelligent mature and ironic style and how behind the ordinary petty lives of his characters lies life in all its tragedy loneliness and inexorability


  7. says:

    On our kibbutz Kibbutz Yekhat there lived a man Zvi Provizor a short fifty five year old bachelor who had a habit of blinking He loved to transmit bad news earthuakes plane crashes buildings collapsing on their occupants fires and floodsWith these opening two sentences I am there I know exactly who Zvi Provizor is and I know who we're dealing with in the opening story of Amos Oz's latest collection of short stories These are a series of eight vignettes set in a fictional collective settlement of late '50s or early '60s Israel It's a place that the reader will come to know surprisingly well for so slim a volume The tales are above all about humanityI lived on a kibbutz once for several years and no one of those communities is uite like another That said there are though certain traits and themes and character types that do tend to crop up in every one I ever encountered or heard about Oz has captured with an amazing economy of words and a clarity that is so satisfying precisely who might live there and what preoccupies themIn The King of Norway our blinking bachelor Zvi and Luna Blank a widow fall into a new routine talking every evening Two Women exchange letters Osnat the launderess has recently become separated and Ariella who works in the chicken coop and heads the culture committee is the tall slim divorcée to whom Boaz has run The title story sees Nahum a widower of about fifty approaching the subject of his only remaining child Edna having moved in with David Dagan a teacher and one of the kibbutz founders and leaders a man his own age Father is a story which I think is the most autobiographical Sixteen year old Moshe is a 'boarder' newly arrived at Yekhat after his mother has died and father and now uncle have both fallen ill With the greatest poignancy we see Moshe finish work early one day and make the difficult trip to visit his ailing father To anyone who has read Oz's 'A Tale of Love and Darkness' this is a glimpse of what might have happened next I was extremely movedLittle Boy is another heartbreaker The emotional volatility of the shared children's housing hits dad Roni in a way that doesn't uite affect mum Leah the same way At Night sees Yoav the kibbutz general secretary turn night guard for the week Nina needs his help with a problem that won't wait until morning In Deir Ajloun Yotam the young adult son of another widow Henia receives an invitation from Uncle Arthur to study in Milan Whatever will the general assembly have to say? The final story Esperanto is about an older member of the kibbutz Martin a holocaust survivor who hid from the Nazis in Holland Martin is the community shoemaker and is a former Esperanto teacher; he has trouble breathing and is dying He is an anarchist to the very end And once when two brisk nurses came in to change his pyjamas he grinned suddenly and told them that death itself was an anarchist 'Death is not awed by status possessions power or titles; we are all eual in its eyes'All of the characters we've met are present in this final tale though they crop up here and there in the other stories maybe on the path or making a speech in a meeting just as they do on any kibbutz Amos Oz has written a first class and moving collection of interwoven stories The final mosaic is a piece of art to behold I had to pace myself to read this book as slowly as I could I wanted to savour its uality for as long as possible Perhaps I should have just torn through it and reread it immediately? Five stars and highly recommended


  8. says:

    I am only sorry that I only found out this Author after his death For he is indeed a great writer and a wonderful Humanist Reading his short stories all apptly intertwined so we meet the same characters in diferent stories and that give us an overall view of the Kibutz one gets the notion that Humanity however flawed deserves lo and will become better This is exactly the opposite of what I felt reading Clarice Lispector or Hillary Mankel they bring about what seems to be the worst of Humanity in a hopeless way I said reviewing them that their style felt raw well Amos Oz does not sweeten reality at all but he looks so attentively and with tenderness on all of his characters that one's heart is deeply nourished even by his harshest storiesI love him and his stories and I will try to get of his booksMay he rest in peaceMaria CarmoLisbon 4 January 2019


  9. says:

    It occurs to me when I read a book written by a non English speaking author that its success is highly dependent on the skills of the translator Generally I do not seek short stories for my reading pleasure but as I read these stories I find that I am lured into a sense of fascination by the rhythm of the narrative So I believe that the translation skillfully rendered by Sondra Silverston helped enhance the writingThese all take place in a kibbutz in the early 1950's when Israel as a state was in its infancy If the reader is euipped with the knowledge of transformations of these institutions from the early days it is interesting to view the struggles the ideals and the strict desire for conformity to communistic practices Life there has become in step with modern democracy and certainly comfortable practical living arrangementsEach member has a story often connected with the war with some interconnecting of tales Every individual seems to demonstrate a sense of resignation to failure or disappointment yet each character has continued on with hisher ordered existence Many seek improvement of their lot and a desire to help othersI did enjoy reading Oz's narrative and admit that sometimes short stories reveal many interesting details


  10. says:

    In ten or twenty years Nina saidthe kibbutz will be a much relaxed place Now all the springs are tightly coiled and the entire machine is still shaking from the strain The old timers are actually religious people who left their old religion for a new one that's all just as full of sins and transgressions prohibitions and strict rules They haven't stopped being true believers; they've simply changed one belief System for another Marx is their Talmud P 143