Author and Israel Prize laureate Dvora Omer
was laid to rest Sunday afternoon in the central Israeli moshav of Kfar Ma'as, where she had lived until her death at the age of 80 last Thursday. The funeral was attended by dozens of family members and friends.
"People used to ask me what it's like to grow up with a mother like you," said her son, Gil Omer. "I would say that you are first of all a mother, loving and supporting, very noble, with a bare skin and soul, and mostly real.
"Actually, come to think about it, you were and you remained a child, smart and naïve, lacking any evil or manipulations. But you also knew how to show us the way. You and father were our compass for what is good and what is right, and always quietly."
Dvora Omer's sons bid her farewell (Photos: Benny Doutsh)
Omer's husband and son. 'First of all a mother, forever a child'
Omer's old friend, actor Shlomo Bar-Shavit, said in his eulogy: "At this moment, in many homes in the State of Israel,
veteran readers are shedding a tear in your memory. But they have no reason to cry. They can always turn their heads and see the books."
Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat said she planned to name a children's literature award after Dvora Omer. "I am bidding farewell to Dvora, who made the greatest characters familiar," she added. "My favorite is 'Sarah, the Heroin of Nili.' Each person has their own Dvora Omer. She will remain in all her books for generations."
Dvora Omer left a deep mark on the Israeli culture. Only several months ago, she received the ACUM literary award for lifetime achievement.
Children and teenagers who grew up on her books were exposed to the values of Zionism and love of Israel, which she managed to magically blend into the stories of the heroes she created, based on the history of the State of Israel.
Omer's books became assets of permanent value over the years and were popular among the older generation as well. President Shimon Peres
sent a special letter of condolence to her family, praising her life's work, which he said connected between many generations of parents and children in Israel.
"She is considered a great writer of children's books, and she educated the parents on how to educate their children," the president wrote.
Dvora Omer. Left a deep mark on Israeli culture (Photo: Avigail Uzi)
Dvora Omer was born in 1932 in Kibbutz Ma'oz Haim to the Mosenzon family, a Zionist family which was very active among Jewish residents in Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel.
After her parents divorced, she remained in the kibbutz with her mother. Her father, writer Moshe Mosenzon, moved to Kibbutz Na'an, where he started a new family. At the age of 11, she lost her mother who was killed in a Hagana fighters' training accident.
Her literary career began with poems and stories she published in a youth magazine edited by her father. She later wrote "Dapei Tamar," a diary of a girl living in a kibbutz, in weekly children's newspaper Davar LeYeladim. Her first book, "Habechor LeBeit Avi," about the son of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the driving spirit behind the revival of the Hebrew language in the modern era, was published in 1967.
Omer's work includes books for toddlers, children and youth, and a number of books for adults. Her books were translated into foreign languages and are still being sold to this very day.
Dvora Omer, who died following an illness, was survived by her husband Shmuel Omer, three children and six grandchildren.