Portraits of a Hebrew editor

My great aunt, Dorit, is one of the kindest and most generous souls on this earth. She's also a hilarious and quirky goofball. And a genius. She would never accept such compliments, but I give them anyway. She's an editor for both Yad Vashem and Yedi'ot Sfarim. She has studied many languages and of all my relatives and friends in Israel, she speaks English better than anyone. She mostly edits books in Hebrew but is currently working on translating a book from Italian into Hebrew. She has edited more books in her life than I'll probably ever read in my lifetime. 

Dorit works from home in her small Tel Aviv apartment. I wanted to capture her and her workspace. I wish I had her focus and commitment to editing and writing. And the amount she edits! You know how authors are always thanking their editors? It's for good reason! Their writing would be lost without the skills of a good editor. Since a lot of Dorit's work comes from Yad Vashem most of the books she edits are about the Holocaust. It's a tough subject to be completely engrossed in for days on end. It really takes a strong soul to do it. But she believes in the importance of telling these stories despite the difficult subject matter. It might be hard to swallow, but that's why they need to be told. 

One of the authors she has edited many books for is her good friend, Igal Vardi. A man of many incredible talents and an artist that is out of this world. But what I was most interested in about him, is his career in graphology. According to wikipedia, graphology is "the analysis of the physical characteristics and patterns of handwriting purporting to be able to identify the writer, indicating psychological state at the time of writing, or evaluating personality characteristics". One of the books pictured below includes samples of Hitler's writings and Igal's analyses. I was incredibly curious about this work. I asked Dorit if he would be willing to analyze my writing and she put in a request! Folks, the man has a sixth sense. Something like magic. Everything he wrote about me in his analysis was true and telling. I've never even met him before, and yet from my writing and the pieces of info he knows about me he was able to tell things that even my closest friends can't quite grasp about me. So I called him to say thanks for taking the time. 

Unfortunately, I haven't read any of the books she has edited. My ability to read and write in Hebrew is pretty limited. It's a huge and tiring struggle, plus the vocabulary used in writing is usually completely foreign to me as opposed to in colloquial language. Even then, I often have to ask for the meanings of a word here or there. So I cannot sit through an entire chapter let alone a whole book in which every other word is unintelligible to me. Instead, I leaf through the pages, inhale the amazing aroma that only the pages of a book can possess and photograph them. Them being Dorit and the stack of books that would not exist without her tireless hardwork and dedication. 

Shani Leead1 Comment