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In Yehudit Hendel’s story “The Dancer”, the narrator talks about life, death, and God with a barefoot man dancing in a park.
Hendel was born in Warsaw in 1926 to a Hasidic family. In 1930, her family immigrated to Israel, and her first stories were published in 1942. She emerged as one of the first female voices in Hebrew literature after Israel’s independence in 1948.
Here is an excerpt from “The Dancer”:
He stood under a tree as though confronting a storm. It seemed to me that the treetop bent over, as though bowing down to him and trying to protect him, and he jumped and hid behind the tree, standing there for a long time, hugging the trunk with his two hands and pressing himself against it hard. It seemed to me that it was a lone tree in the park, and he hugged it hard, waiting.
“The Dancer” by Yehudit Hendel, translated by Miriam Schlusselberg