Sunday, August 30, 2009

Letter in Haaretz on Dr. Meir Havatzelet

Hebrew instruction

Regarding "Paradise lost," Haaretz Magazine, August 14

I can't judge the childhood and adolescent impressions of Prof. Ehud Havatzelet or the complexity of his relationship with his family, and particularly with his father, nor can I testify to it. But as a student back in the mid-1960s of Dr. meir havatzelet at the Teachers' Institute of Yeshiva University in New York - an institution in which the studies were conducted in the "Hebrew into Hebrew" method - I would nevertheless like to point out that the father of the successful Jewish writer impressed me and my peers with his knowledge of Hebrew literature, on the one hand, and - for those who belonged to Zionist youth groups - with his devotion to the idea of Jewish nationalism, on the other.

Members of Betar in particular learned from him about [right-wing poet] Uri Zvi Greenberg, and about other writers. And even if he did not identify himself as being affiliated with the nationalist camp, the conversations outside class enriched and excited us, not to mention the possibility of hearing genuine "sabra" Hebrew. He was pleasant man, who demanded attention and interest in the subjects, but the hard work that was required also led to enjoyment of his lessons.

Yisrael Medad


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