Sened, Alexander

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SENED, ALEXANDER (1921–2004), Israeli writer. Born in Poland, Sened studied in a Hebrew secondary school and immigrated to Palestine together with his parents in 1934. A trainee of No'ar Oved ("Labor Youth"), he later became an instructor of pioneer training in Ginnosar and Tel Yosef. In Europe between 1945 and 1948, he helped organize "illegal immigration." In Poland, he met his wife, yonat (1926– ), and returned with her to kibbutz Revivim in the Negev at the outbreak of the War of Independence. His literary work, with his wife as coauthor, began with the publication of a diary (1946). The couple wrote Adamah le-Lo Ẓel ("Land Without Shade," 1951), about the conquest of the Negev, and Bein ha-Metim u-vein ha-Ḥayyim ("Between the Dead and the Living," 1964), the saga of young Polish Jews before the War who were committed to Zionism and Communism. The novel depicts the spirited youngsters who would later initiate the Jewish uprising in Poland or manage to come as pioneers to Israel. The uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto is also the theme of the novella Nikra Lo Leon ("Let's Call Him Leon," 1985). Kibbutz society and the gap between ideal and realization is depicted in Kevar Ereẓ Noshevet ("The Land is Already Inhabited," 1981). In other prose works the couple follows experimental narrative venues. Thus, Tandu (1974) tells about a couple undertaking a trip to the United States, yet the linear plot is layered with memories of past experiences and recollections of diverse places. The couple's last book, Armonim, Tavasim u-Petakim mi-Shamayim ("On Chestnuts, Peacocks and Tokens from Heaven") appeared just a week before Alexander Sened's death. A comic-philisophic picaresque novel, it unfolds the fate of Abrasha and his beloved sister-in-law, Bluma-Rosa, who in a way represents the Diaspora Jew, wandering from one place to another and failing to integrate into the kibbutz society. The couple received many literary awards, including the Brenner and Agnon Prizes. For translations see the ithl website at

add. bibliography:

I. Perlis, in: Al ha-Mishmar (March 27, 1981); Y. Golan, in: Davar (March 13, 1981); Y. Kaniuk, "Kevar Ereẓ Noshevet," in: Maariv (March 6, 1981); G. Shaked, Ha-Sipporet ha-'Ivrit, 4 (1993); M. Shaked, "Yoman shel Zug Meohav," in: Alei Siaḥ, 33 (1993), 93–8; S. Keshet, "Tracing Social Change," in: Kibbutz Trends, 22–3 (1996), 49–54; idem, "Ha-Kelafim ha-Kozvim shel ha-Dor ha-Shelishi," in: Shorashim, 10 (1997), 73–87.

[Getzel Kressel /

Anat Feinberg (2nd ed.)]