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Ḥakak, Balfour

(293 words)

Author(s): Ori Kritz
Balfour Medad Ḥakak, writer, poet, and editor, was born in Baghdad in 1948. Israel became his home in 1950. Fifteen years later he won the International Bible Contest. After receiving an M.A. in Bible Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1977), he began working in the Curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education and Culture. He edited numerous books and the teachers’ magazine Ḥinnukh ʿal ha-Pereq (Education in Action, 1986–99). Since 2005 he has been chair of the Hebrew Writers Association. Ḥakak published his first poem, Be-Qarov (Soon), at age fifteen in Maʿariv la-No…

Ḥakak, Lev

(351 words)

Author(s): Ori Kritz
Lev Ḥakak, critic, editor, poet, and prose writer, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1944. He lived in Israel from 1951 to 1971, during which time he obtained a B.A. in Hebrew literature and political science (1967) and an LL.B. (1971) from the Hebrew University. He subsequently earned a Ph.D. in modern Hebrew literature at UCLA (1974) , where he is teaching Hebrew language and literature. Although admitted to the state bar of California (1980), he does not practice law. Ḥakak’s most significant contributions in creative and critical writing were about Iraqi Jewry. He was one o…

Someck, Ronny

(413 words)

Author(s): Ori Kritz
Ronny Someck (Somekh), the celebrated Israeli poet, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1951. Israel became his home in 1953. He studied Hebrew literature and Jewish philosophy at Tel Aviv University and drawing at the Avni Academy of Art. He teaches literature in high school and Hakibbutzim College, and in 2004 joined the editorial staff of Helicon, a quarterly journal of poetry. Since the publication of his first poetry collection, Goleh (Exile), in 1976, Someck has stood in the forefront of Hebrew poetry. He often combines his poetry with music and art. He has, for ex…

Shamosh, Amnon

(585 words)

Author(s): Ori Kritz
Amnon Shamosh, celebrated Israeli author and poet, was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1929. He was brought to prestate Israel at age eight and in 1947 was a founding member of Kibbutz Maʿayan Baruch, where he still lives. Shamosh graduated from Beit Berl Teachers College and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he studied linguistics and Hebrew and English literature. He taught at a regional high school and served as its principal from 1965 to 1967. He traveled to Europe and North Africa for the kibbutz movement to recruit ʿ olim (immigrants) and worked with UNESCO as a special envoy…

Ḥakak, Herzl

(305 words)

Author(s): Ori Kritz
Herzl Eldad Ḥakak, poet and writer, was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1948. His family immigrated to Israel in 1950. In 1965, at seventeen, Ḥakak won first prize in the National Bible Contest and second prize in the International Bible Contest. He earned an M.A. in Bible Studies in 1977 from the Hebrew University. After teaching high school for fifteen years, he went to work for the Israel Postal Authority and became the editor of its journal, Ḥadashot ha-Do’ar (Postal News). Among his other social, cultural and political activities, he was president of the Hebrew Writers Asso…

Tabib, Mordechai

(750 words)

Author(s): Ori Kritz
Mordechai Tabib, an author, poet, and reviewer, was born in Shivat Zion, a Yemenite neighborhood of Rishon LeZion, Israel, on December 14, 1910. He attended ma‘lama, the traditional Yemenite school, until age thirteen. His father wanted him to become a shoḥeṭ (ritual slaughterer), but Mordechai went to public school for several months before he was forced to leave to help support his underprivileged family. Although he was unable to return to school to obtain a formal education, he read widely on his own. In 1938 he began publishing poetry in the literary section of the daily Davar, and in…