Dan Ben-Amotz; Cultural Symbol for Israelis

Dan Ben-Amotz, 66, an author who became a cultural symbol for a generation of modern Israelis. To many Israelis, the husky, bearded Ben-Amotz was a cultural icon who set the style for sabras, as native-born Israelis are called. "He helped create the sabra personality," said Zeev Chafetz, a fellow author. "He was brash, direct, unpretentious, idealistic in some ways, and naive in other ways." Ben-Amotz published "To Remember and to Forget," his first full-scale novel, in 1968. In the book, he tried to confront such questions as his European past and German guilt over the Holocaust. He also made an impact on Israeli society through his radio talk show in the 1950s called "Three Men in a Boat." Ben-Amotz was widely considered one of the pioneers in the revival of modern Hebrew from a dormant language of prayer and study. He authored a dictionary of Hebrew slang and wrote articles and novels that shocked many Israelis with their frankness. In Jerusalem on Oct. 20 of liver cancer.

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