Elon, Emuna 1955–
Elon, Emuna 1955–
(Emunah Alon, Emunah Elon)
Born 1955, in Jerusalem, Israel; married M.K. Benny Elon (a journalist); children: six.
Home— Beit-El, Israel.
Keshe-ani Mevakesh Me-Elohim, Zemorah Bitan (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1985.
Ekh Mevakshim Selihah? 4 Sipurim Mehorazim Li-tekufat Ha-hagim, Sifriyat Bet-El (Bet-El, Israel), 1986.
Likrat Kalah: Sihot, Sifriyat Bet-El (Bet-El, Israel), 1986.
Od Meat Pesah? 3 Sipurim Meh?orazim Le-hag Ha-Pesah?, Sifriyat Bet-El (Bet-El, Israel), 1986.
Sefer Li-khevod Shabat, Sifriyat Bet-El (Bet-El, Israel), 1989.
Afilu Keshe-ani Mithabe, Sifre ha-merkaz (Jerusalem, Israel), 1994.
Hazmanah Le-hatunah: Sihot Likrat Ha-nisiin, Dor (Bet-El, Israel), 1997.
Simhah Gedolah Ba-shamayim, Keter (Jerusalem, Israel), 2004.
If You Awaken Love(novel), Toby Press (New Milford, CT), 2007.
Israeli author Emuna Elon is the author primarily of children's books and short stories. Her adult novel,If You Awaken Love, translated from the original Hebrew, introduces the author to an English-speaking audience. Herself a resident of the West Bank, Elon, according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "limns a vivid and dignified portrait of the Israeli religious minority" with this debut adult work. A resident of the settlement Beit-El, Elon, her journalist husband, and her six children, must deal with the threat of violence on a daily basis. Thus, taking her daughter for weekly riding lessons in Jerusalem, for example, is considered a dangerous journey. However, Elon noted in an article for the 1worldcommunication Web site: "This is our life.… We can't disrupt our normal lives and give up all enjoyment. This would be to let the enemy kill us even before he actually kills us."
Elon's protagonist in If You Awaken Love must also confront such harsh realities about the West Bank settlements. A forty-something designer, Shlomtzion Drore, is notified by her daughter, Maya, that she is engaged to Ariel Berman, who is the son of a noted orthodox rabbi, Yair Berman. This announcement opens wounds from the past, for Shlomtzion and Yair were once engaged, only to have their wedding cancelled when a rabbi refused to sanctify their union. Since that time, Shlomtzion has had her child, Maya, and been divorced from her husband, whom she married still reeling from the split with Yair. She has, in the Israel of 1995, become a leftist in politics, a supporter of the Oslo Accords for peace with Palestine, and also favors getting rid of the West Bank settlements. Yair, it turns out, is one of the orthodox settlers, and so is his son. Now, when Shlomtzion goes to the West Bank to visit her future in-law and former lover, she must deal with the demons from her past so that she does not stand in the way of her daughter's happiness. A Kirkus Reviews critic had praise for this novel, calling it "beautifully lyrical, with philosophical reflections on love and fate, family and politics, culture and history." Malvina D. Engelberg, writing for the Jewish Book Council Web site, felt that If You Awaken Love afforded alternate interpretations. One the one hand, "it may well be a simple story of unrequited love," Engelberg wrote. Or, the book could also be interpreted as a "a metaphor of national conflict between those who struggle for peace in Israel and those who struggle to retain their land."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2007, review of If You Awaken Love.
Publishers Weekly, March 19, 2007, review of If You Awaken Love, p. 40.
1worldcommunication,http://www.1worldcommunication.org/ (November 6, 2007), "Child Sacrifice Debate."
Jewish Book Council,http://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/ (November 6, 2007), Malvina D. Engelberg, review of If You Awaken Love.
Toby Press Web site,http://www.tobypress.com/ (November 6, 2007), "Emuna Elon."