Shmuel Yosef Agnon was a Nobel Prize laureate writer who was born on this day, July 17 in the year 1888 in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, now part of Ukraine.
S.Y. Agnon, as he is known in his writings, wrote extensively about Jewish fading traditions. He received the Nobel Prize in 1966, sharing it with poet Nelly Sachs. Although he did not attend formal school, his parents taught him how to read and write. At age 15, he published his first poem. He got married to Esther Marx when he was 20 years old and begot two children. He died in 1970 at the age of 81.
Here are some of his words to ponder today, July 17.
“Our sages of blessed memory have said that we must not enjoy any pleasure in this world without reciting a blessing.”
“For myself, I am very small indeed in my own eyes.”
“Our days on earth are like a shadow, and the time of our affliction is the length of our days.”
“I returned to Jerusalem, and it is by virtue of Jerusalem that I have written all that God has put into my heart and into my pen.”
“The wise men do not partake in leading the world because they know there are even wiser men and wish the world to be led by them.”
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