à́é ñéđé

1927 - 2008


I have inside me a great love for the written word. Eli Sinai was of those people who taught me to extract the visual picture from the written word. Most important, he taught me to get excited by the clear beauty of the picture.

Eli taught me stage design as a part of my theater studies. Only in the course of time, when I became a teacher myself, did I then understand the importance of the wording. I can still remember clearly the many questions Eli tirelessly asked, again and again. Those questions seemed so irrelevant at the time. It took me some time to absorb what today I preach again and again in every lesson, and at every opportunity; that the process of the creative work begins by asking the accurate questions, that a true work of art begins with the essence of each word and image, and not in general elusive words.

I owe a lot to this wonderful man. When I was first invited, as a young director, to “Habima Theater”, I asked Eli Sinai to work together with me. I remember the hidden smile when he gladly agreed to join me, totally removing the gaps of age and experience that had existed between us. Eli loved the theater. Thanks to him I got the feeling that never leaves me – the Theater is the Holy of Holies.

During one of the lessons, when working on the scenery of a new production, I remember myself standing there watching him banging nails. To this day I remember the smell of the stage and the wood. Even today, when I am now a theater manager, I often come to the stage just to inhale this smell. It strengthens me, because while it is Eli who taught me how to make theater, it is his name that also reminds me why I am doing that which is called Theater.

Ophira Hennig, theater director

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Editor Roni Toren
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