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Menachem Ben

Born on 31st October ("All Saints Night" - he frequently notes), 1948 (the year of the birth of the State of Israel - he is proud to mention), Ben started publishing his poetry and literary critique at the age of 16. He was then described (by Gavriel Moked of "Yediot Acharonot") as "the child protoge' of the Hebrew poetry and criticism". His first poetry book, "The Vine's Coat" was published in 1967. Since then he published nine other books and more than a thousand essays, mainly in Israel's newspapers' literary supplements. Most of his work was printed in "Yediot Acharonot" (during the 1970' and 1980') and "Massa" (the literary supplement of the dailies "Davar" and "La-Merchav"). Since the late 1980' he published weekly articles in his personal columns at "Kol Ha-Ir" (the weekly section "Poetry" 1988-92), "Iton Tel-Aviv" (the weekly column "Literature" 1993-2000) and in "Zman Tel-Aviv" (the weekly section "Step Son", since September 2000).

In 1989, Ben won the Literature Prime Minister's Prize and in 1998 he received the Israel Publishers' Association's Bernstein's Prize for Literary Criticism. He has taught at various writing workshops and often leads literary meetings that are hosted by the "Art For The People" and "Culture Basket" projects. He also participates in many radio and television programs.

Ben's unique, unusual views cover many fields and are often controversial. Among them is his concept of "Spiritual Circumcision". His three sons (in addition to his three daughters, one of whom is from his first marriage) were circumcised with words, not with a knife, a ritual circumciser or a physical incision, in keeping with the Torah's commandment: "You shall circumcise your heart". He also criticizes many established policies and tendencies in the fields of education and medicine.

Ben and his wife live in the small town of Gan Yavneh.

Menachem Ben's Peace Proposal

Articles published in HopeWays' 'News & Views' section

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