An appreciation of Amos Oz z”l by Yehuda Erdman Posted January 13, 2019 by Lawrence Joffe


Picture above of Amos Oz, taken by Mariusz Kubik, 2005

Tribute below by Yehuda Erdman, outgoing Chair of Meretz UK


I am writing an appreciation of Amos Oz from the perspective of Meretz UK,

recognising that there was never any formal link with him. He did not speak at

any of our events or joint events, as we never actually invited him (perhaps in

recognition that we simply were not in his league).


For me personally he was a mentor, and I have read most of his published work

more than once. To me he resembled an Old Testament prophet with the

religion taken out; he was consistently secular. What made his writing so

powerful, in my view, is that he captured the personality of various individuals

he portrayed in such detail and with so much sympathy that they became real

people. This in spite of the fact that he clearly wrote from his own life

experience, and again and again returned to themes from his boyhood and

adolescence in an autobiographical way.


The lesson for Meretz UK is to repeat for our benefit that his message of peace

and reconciliation not just with the Palestinians but between other groupings,

especially between men and women (he was a feminist writer), is still at the

forefront of Israeli society. There is so much still to do in many fields, but Amos

ploughed the lonely furrow, together with his contemporaries, AB Yehoshua

and David Grossman.


We have a huge debt of honour to him after a long life spent pursuing his ideals

that are close to ours. May his dear soul be bound to his friends and family that

preceded him to the hereafter.