The Book Week in Israel.
(photo credit: AMNON BEN SHMUEL)
Lawmakers kicked off Hebrew Book Week by making recommendations on Wednesday.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein recommended a book of Haim Nachman Bialik’s poems.
“I knew Bialik’s works before I knew how to read Hebrew and before I knew he was considered the ‘national poet.’ When I was behind the Iron Curtain, I thirstily drank any material connected to Hebrew culture,” Edelstein recalled.
MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union), former secretary-general of the Kibbutz Movement, recommended Meir Shalev’s The Blue Mountain (originally published in Hebrew as Roman Rusi, or “Russian Novel”), because it “tells the story of working settlements in the Jezreel Valley with its nicer and less-nice sides.
“This is also my story. With clear Hebrew and precise descriptions, Meir Shalev brings me back to the happy days of my childhood. The little anecdotes remind me of the stories I heard in the cowshed and the [kibbutz] dining room.”
MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) is a bestselling author of A Jewish Women’s Prayerbook, a book about Jewish traditions for women throughout the ages, and recommended a translation from Ladino of a women’s prayer book from Salonica, Seder Nashim by Prof. Ora Rodrig-Swarzold.
Zionist Union MK Yossi Yonah recommended Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, a book of short stories, which he said give an interesting perspective on cultural alienation and the immigrant experience.
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MK Rachel Azaria recommended Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, a graphic novel about a girl coming of age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.
“In my eyes, this is an exemplary book that teaches every young woman to form a worldview and live by it... I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a book that is easy to read, but powerful,” she said.
MK Tamar Zandberg of Meretz proved that her political positions influence her cultural interests, recommending Geder Haya (Live Fence) by Dorit Rabinian, a love story between an Israeli Jewish women and a Palestinian man.
“While reading, the question arises as to whether this love is so impossible, along with the hope that maybe love can fix our reality and the characters will find a way to act on it,” she said. “Great art – it doesn’t matter what the topic is or who the characters are – always tells us something about ourselves.”
Lawmakers didn’t shy away from genre reads, either.
MK Sharon Gal (Yisrael Beytenu) recommended a thriller, Chiuch shel Dolfin (A Dolphin’s Smile) by Nehushtan Okon, which he said is about “courage, determination and heroism.”
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