(1941 - 2005)
Ehud Manor was an Israeli singer, songwriter and media personality.
Manor (born July 13, 1941; died April 12, 2005) was born to Russian immigrant parents in
Binyamina, halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv.
A graduate of Cambridge University, Manor became Israel’s
most prolific songwriter, composing an estimated 1,200 songs and translating
another 600 into Hebrew. He also translated many Broadway musicals into
Hebrew for local productions, including “Hair,” “Le
Miserables,” and “Chicago.” He also translated Shakespeare’s
“Romeo and Juliet” and “Twelfth Night,” hosted
television and radio programs and wrote children’s books.
Early in his career, Manor often wrote about peace
and tranquility and, in 1968, he penned “Next Year” to express
the joy of expectation following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day
War. Joy turned to sorrow, however, when he lost a brother in the War of Attrition, prompting
Manor to write“My Younger Brother Yehuda” in his memory.
One of Manor’s most famous songs was“I
Have No Other Country” (Ein Li Eretz Aheret), which expressed
the bitter divisions that emerged in Israel during the Lebanon War. “I
have no other country/ if even my land is ablaze,” he wrote. “Only
a Hebrew word penetrates my soul/ in an aching body/ in a hungry heart
- here is my home.” Manor wrote in liner notes to a greatest hits
anthology that the song “was adopted by everyone as a song of
Perhaps his most well-known song outside Israel is
“Bashana Haba'ah” ("In the Coming Year"). Another, “Aba-ni-bi,” won
an international following for Manor when it was chosen as the best
song in the 1978 Eurovision contest.
In 1998, Manor was awarded the Israel
Prize for his unique contribution to Israeli song writing. The selection
committee wrote, “Ehud Manor represents contemporary reality.
For the past 30 years, he has expressed our mood through the hundreds
of songs he has written, together with the finest composers.”
Manor died of a heart attack at age 64 on April 12,
2005. He was eulogized as “a composer
of dreams, a poet of hope.” A few months after his passing, Manor was voted the 3rd greatest Israeli of all time in an online poll conducted by Yediot Ahronoth.
Manor, who once said “my family is my muse,”
is survived by his wife of 40 years, singer Ofra Fuchs, and three adult
(April 15, 2005); Jerusalem
Post, (April 14, 2005); Haaretz,
(April 13, 2005); Wikipedia