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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Israeli Culture Reflected in Chizbat
By Ron Houston, 1970

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Ron Houston

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF CHIZBAT?

Chizbat is a short, personalized prose narrative frequently based on a true event but with the appearance of originality. Chizbat reflect the sociocultural context of life among the Palmach of the yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, and seldom can be fully appreciated by outsiders without explanation because of the symbolism beneath the obvious, first level of meaning.


WHY DID DAHN BEN-AMOTZ AND HAIM HEFER GATHER THESE CHIZBAT? Dahn Ben-Amotz

After the war for independence, chizbat died out. Authors Dahn Ben-Amotz (see photo at right) and Haim Hefer felt "that if they were not written down they would disappear." This was perceived as a national loss because "the chizbat was the distillation of a message that was meaningful not only to the Palmach but to an entire generation." Their collection, with the Bible, "define the parameters of the Israeli identity."


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