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The Month of Elul

Dov Elbaum
Ultra-Orthodox Jewry lives in a closed world whose rigid rules exclude not only non-Jews but most of Israel`s secular Jewish majority. In his first novel, Elbaum, born into this world which he left at 17, describes life in one of its boarding school yeshivas in Jerusalem. That is where 14-year-old Nahman, studies without any heretical thoughts. Yeshiva life is portrayed through his eyes with utter authenticity. But the novel does not only show us an exotic world: it also lets the reader into the soul of an adolescent. The first sparks of sexuality and physical change create a sense of sin and guilt in Nahman, and he struggles hard against the Evil Inclination. He wishes to be pure and find favor with God so as to save his sick mother. Around him, however, he sees a ferment of fanaticism and superstition, corruption, intrigue, power struggles and sensuality. 
In the month of Elul, two weeks before Yom Kippur, when according to Jewish tradition God judges man for his sins, Nahman undertakes a regime of penitence. He makes a vow of silence and later gives up eating and sleeping, devoting himself to study and thoughts of repentance. Physical and mental suffering are heightened by social isolation, for his friends avoid him.
However, instead of breaking down, Nahman emerges stronger from the confrontation with his natural urges. But purity is far, far away. The world around him is full of Ashkenazi racism against Sephardim, of misogyny and of homophobia, and of deep ignorance that compounds the contempt for the secular world. In this setting, Nahman is a deviant who arouses our sympathy. 

Title The Month of Elul
Author’s Last Name Elbaum
Author's First Name Dov
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1997
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2003
No. Pages 229 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Zman-Elul
Representation Represented by ITHL
"An original, extraordinary book" The Brenner prize committee
Congratulations to Noga Albalach, winner of the 2018 Brenner prize for her book "The Old Man (Farewell)".
Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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