A note on fanaticism

Amos Oz takes on zealots in his latest work, but expresses only generic, surface-level thoughts.

By ELAINE MARGOLIN
November 29, 2018 18:33
4 minute read.
AMOS OZ worries that secular sensibilities are on the decline in the State of Israel

AMOS OZ worries that secular sensibilities are on the decline in the State of Israel. (photo credit: MICHIEL HENDRYCKX)

 
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Amos Oz – born in Jerusalem in 1939 – has produced an astoundingly wondrous body of work that has seduced Israelis and others for decades. Oz was born before Israel was declared a sovereign state. He has fought proudly in two of its wars and has a slight limp from a war injury that neighbors notice on his daily walks, a ritual he partakes in daily before writing.

His parents were brilliant people who spoke many languages, but they spoke to Oz, who was born Amos Klausner, only in Hebrew, a language Oz cherishes. At age 14 – two years after his mother’s suicide – Oz left his father’s home for Kibbutz Hulda, changed his name, and began three decades on the kibbutz.

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