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Released: 2015-11-24

Duration: 5 minutes

A Man In His Life

Story by Yehuda Amichai
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Ecclesiastes was wrong about that.

A man doesn't have time in his life/to have time for everything.

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Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) has been called "the most widely translated Hebrew poet since King David." His family left Germany in 1936 for Palestine, where he served in the Israeli defense forces and witnessed horror in the Arab-Israeli War and WWII. While this experience shaped his work, his viewpoint not ideological. A poet, novelist, and short story author, Amichai was known for his accessible, everyman style. His books, often bestsellers, earned him the Israel Prize for Poetry and several nominations for the Nobel.


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A Man in His Life A man doesn't have time in his life to have time for everything. He doesn't have seasons enough to have a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes Was wrong about that. A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment, to laugh and cry with the same eyes, with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them, to make love in war and war in love. And to hate and forgive and remember and forget, to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest what history takes years and years to do. A man doesn't have time. When he loses he seeks, when he finds he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves he begins to forget. And his soul is seasoned, his soul is very professional. Only his body remains forever an amateur. It tries and it misses, gets muddled, doesn't learn a thing, drunk and blind in its pleasures and its pains. He will die as figs die in autumn, Shriveled and full of himself and sweet, the leaves growing dry on the ground, the bare branches pointing to the place where there's time for everything.


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