Ayin Hillel

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Ayin Hillel (Hebrew: ע. הלל‎) was the pen name of Hillel Omer (4 August 1926 - 30 June 1990, Hebrew: הלל עומר‎), an Israeli poet and children's author.[1]


Hillel Omer was born in Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek in the Jezreel Valley. His father changed his surname, Kotovitz, to Ogni (עוגני). He fought in the Palmach during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. From 1954 to 1969 he was a chief landscape designer of Jerusalem.

His poem, Hanesher (The Vulture), is written in Biblical Hebrew, but expresses the doubts and disillusions of the twentieth century.


Ayin Hillel won the Fichman Prize and the 1976 Andersen Honor Citation.[2]

Published works[edit]

Omer's work has been translated into English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Spanish, and Russian. Among his most famous compositions are "Why Does the Zebra Wear Pajamas" (1959) and "Uncle Simcha" (1964).[3]


  • The Noon Country, Sifriat Poalim, 1950 [Eretz Ha-Tzohorayim]
  • Nisra, The Author, 1962 [Nisra]
  • Hunting Madness, Am Oved, 1964 [Teruf Toref]
  • Eulogy, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1973 [Hodayah]
  • Speak, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1980 [Dabri]
  • Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1982 [Yossef Ve-Eshet Potifar]
  • Until Now, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1983 [Ad Co]
  • Blue and Thorns, Sifriat Poalim, 1987 [Tchelet Ve-Kotzim]
  • Holon's Fables, Sifriat Poalim, 1991 [Mishlei Holon]

Children's books[edit]

  • Why Does the Zebra Wear Pajamas?, Sifriat Poalim, 1959 [Lama Loveshet Ha-Zebra Pijama]
  • Abroad, Abroad!, Sifriat Poalim, 1960 [Hutz La-Aretz, Hutz La-Aretz]
  • Nobody Can See Me, Massada, 1967 [Oti Lir'ot Af Ehad Lo Iachol]
  • Uncle Simcha, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1969/99 [Dodi Simha]
  • I'm a Warbler, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1970 [Ani Pashosh]
  • Good Morning, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1971 [Boker Tov]
  • Bulbul, Why?, Massada, 1972 [Bulbul, Lama Kacha?]
  • Birdie, Birdie, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1973 [Rom Tziporim Tziporim Tzip]
  • Giraffe in Blue Jeans, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1976 [Giraf Be-Jeans Kahol]
  • Uncle Simcha's Voice, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1976 [Kol Dodi Simha]
  • How Are You Mrs. Ladybird, Am Oved, 1977 [Shalom Lach Para Moshe Rabenu]
  • From Fly To Elephant, Keter, 1977 [Mi-Zvuv Ve-Ad Pil]
  • A Story About Cats, Keter, 1977 [Ma'ase Be-Hatulim]
  • Yossi, Smart Child of Mine, Massada, 1978 [Yossi Yeled Sheli Mutzlah]
  • Unbelievable, Ministry of Education, 1978 [Lo Yeuman]
  • When Uncle Simcha Sings, Zionist Confederation, 1984 [Ke-She Dod Simha Shar]
  • I'm a Warbler, Certainly and Maybe, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1987 [Ani Pashosh Betah Ve-Ulai]
  • The Book of Scribble-songs, R. Sirkis, 1988 [Sefer Ha-Kishkushirim]
  • A Cloud in My Hand, Sifriat Poalim, 1989 [Anan Ba-Yad]
  • It Happened to a Fawn, Kinneret, 1989 [Ma'ase Be-Ofer Ayalim]
  • Ayin Hillel's Big Book, Am Oved, 1992 [Ha-Sefer Ha-Gadol Shel Ayin Hillel]
  • A Kibbutz Adventure, London, F. Warne, 1963

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Every word a precious stone, Haaretz
  2. ^ Ayin Hillel Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. at the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, accessed October 6, 2007
  3. ^ Every word a precious stone, Haaretz