Page 82 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 31

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Hayyim Hazaz
1898— 1973
H a y y im H a z a z ,
one of the giants of modern Hebrew literature,
died at the age of seventy-four on March 24, 1973, in Jerusalem.
He was one of Israel’s most honored writers of fiction and one of
her most influential thinkers.
Born in 1898, Hazaz grew up in a small town in the Kiev dis-
trict of the Ukraine. His family were members of the Bratzlaver
Hasidic sect, known for its piety and mysticism, and his upbring-
ing and education were traditional. At sixteen, Hazaz left home
to wander through the large cities of Russia during World War I
and the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1921, he fled from the Crimean
pogroms to Turkey. From there he went to Paris, Berlin, back to
Paris and then, in 1932, he emigrated to Palestine.
Hazaz’s first stories appeared in well-known Hebrew periodicals
in the 1920’s, and his first novel was published in 1930. He re-
ceived the Bialik Prize in 1942 for his collection of short stories
R eh a y im Shevurim .
Thereafter, he received the Israel Prize in
literature for his novel
in four volumes, the Ussishkin
Prize and the Habimah Prize for the play
B eke tz H a yam im ,
Davar-Berl Katznelson Prize for the novel
D a l to t N eh o sh e t,
the Neuman Literary Prize of New York University for his out-
standing contributions to Hebrew literature. He was a member
of the Hebrew Language Academy of Israel and the president of
the Hebrew Writers Association.
In 1968, on his seventieth birthday, twelve volumes of his
C o l lec ted W orks
were issued; a thirteenth volume,
Even Sha’o t,
containing sixteen new stories, was published a few weeks before
his death. His novel
D a l to t N eh o sh e t
is scheduled to be pub-
lished in English translation by the Jewish Publication Society
of America.
Hazaz’s commitment to the Jewish people and their fate infuses
all his works with a sense of seriousness and importance. With
artistry and sensitivity, he conveyed his recognition of the com­