"The fact that the Holocaust poetry discussed here is also Israeli poetry makes the book even more important and relevant. One may cogently argue that the state of Israel was established on the ashes of the Holocaust. If so, the fact that contemporary Israeli poetry is dedicated to the topic of the Holocaust celebrates the victory of humankind over Nazi atrocities. This book should be of interest to students, teachers, and scholars of the Holocaust, modern Hebrew/Israeli poetry, and literature in general."--BOOK JACKET.
Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of the death camps, this anthology comprises some 85 poems on subjects closely connected with the Holocaust. Each poet and poem is prefaced with a few introductory remarks.
Does David Still Play Before You? explores the ways that contemporary Israeli poets have made use of images from the Bible in their poetry. Through close readings of fifty poems, featured in their original Hebrew and in English translation, David Jacobson studies how Israeli poets respond to and incorporate the Bible in their work and reflect on the presence of the Bible in contemporary Israeli culture. The book provides a stunning collection of powerful and moving voices. Jacobson organizes the works according to subjects that recur with great frequency in Israeli poetry based on the Bible: the Arab-Israel conflict, responses to the Holocaust, relations between men and women, and modern challenges to traditional religious faith. Jacobson's literary analysis is informed by an astute awareness of the role of the Bible in Israeli culture. This volume is the first comprehensive study of the use of the Bible by Israeli poets, a phenomenon that is central to the development of Israeli poetry.
Yehuda Amichai is an Israeli poet of international distinction. Known as Israels master poet, Amichai conveys a portrait of life in modern Israel, summarizing and reflecting all the major preoccupations of his generation. Unlike most of his Israeli contemporaries he explores the alteration of Jewish perspectives, the loss of religious orthodoxy and the nature of Jewish identity in the mid-20th century. He illuminates the dislocation of Jewish life after the Holocaust and the dilemma of response on the part of young Israelis. His poetic language is rich in figuration and laced with quotations from classical Jewish texts which he manipulates into ironic discourse with the problems of the present. Echoing the 17th-century metaphysical poets, Amichais writing reveals a tussle between physical love and spirituality; its tension lies in his failure to synthesize both in religious faith. Abramson presents a detailed critical description and thematic analysis of Amichais work, with reference to the historical background from which it has emerged. The problems of an emerging national culture are seen subjectively through the eyes of one of its most sensitive and perceptive literary observers.
Artist and poet, Renate Kaufmann, expresses what it was like living through the bombing and the hiding and then through all the sorrow and confusion in the war-torn aftermath. She also tells how, later in life, she came to know her Jewish Messiah in a deeper way. Renate did not learn English until she came to America as an adult, yet she writes beautiful poems in what is not her mother tongue-all for the glory of the Lord! Some of the titles of her poems are: "What Is Peace?" "Why Hate The Jews?" "What Is A Home?" "Mama, Is There Life After Death?" "My Hiding Place" "Who Am I?" "Why G-d Why?" "I Found The Truth" "Not An Alien Anymore" "Let's Be Women Of Influence" "Shalom To You." Renate, a child Holocaust survivor, lives in Rochester, New York, and is in the process of immigrating to Israel. She has been denied citizenship by the Israeli government because of her belief in Yeshua as Messiah. Her court case is currently being handled by the Jerusalem Institute for Justice. Funds from the sale of this book will go to help her cause. Winning her case will help set a precedent for other Jewish believers.
In his new collection Terra Treblinka: Holocaust Poems Hanoch Guy brings readers into the rough terrain of Holocaust memory. At once vivid and piercing these poems neither pretend immediacy nor do they shy away from exploring the intimacies of traumatic memory. Through these poems, Guy constructs links in the chain of memory. He shows us how extended and intimate engagements with the works of survivor poets and writers make this possible. What he recreates is not so much the physical landscape of Treblinka but rather its abiding haunting presence. These are fierce and heartbreaking poems. Bristling with passion and rage, in their specificity these poems demonstrate what it means to keep the legacy of the Holocaust alive in the present. Laura S. Levitt, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Gender, Temple University. Among other works, she is the author of American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust (2007) and an editor of Impossible Images: Contemporary Art after the Holocaust (2003).
Of the 6,000,000 Jews who perished in the Holocaust, at least 160,000 were Sephardim: descendants of Jews exiled from Spain in 1492. Although the horror of the camps was recorded by members of the Sephardic community, their suffering at the hands of Nazi Germany remained virtually unknown to the rest of the world. With this collection, their long silence is broken. And the World Stood Silent gathers the Sephardim's French, Greek, Italian, and Judeo-Spanish poems, accompanied by English translations, about their long journey to the concentration and extermination camps. Isaac Jack L vy also surveys the 2,000-year history of the Sephardim and discusses their poetry in relation to major religious, historical, and philosophical questions. Wrenchingly conveying the pathos and suffering of the Jewish community during World War II, And the World Stood Silent is invaluable as a historical account and as a documentary source.
An exploration of the development of Holocaust research in Israel, this book ranges from the consolidation of Holocaust research as an academic subject in the late 1940s to the establishment of Yad Vashem and beyond. Research on the story of historiography is often a work on books, on the "final products" that fill academic bookshelves yet, in Israeli Holocaust Research, Boaz Cohen illustrates that the evolution of holocaust research in Israel has a more human element to it. Drawing on knowledge gained through seven years of work in ten major archives in Israel, the author reveals a previously unseen picture of the development of Israeli Holocaust research "from below," and of the social and cultural forces influencing its character. In doing so, a new facet to the picture emerges, of the story beyond the archive and the people who see Holocaust research as their mission and responsibility. This book will be a fascinating addition to the study of Holocaust research and will be of particular interest to students of history, historiography and Jewish studies
Yehuda Amichai is one of the twentieth century’s (and Israel’s) leading poets. In this remarkable book, Gold offers a profound reinterpretation of Amichai’s early works, using two sets of untapped materials: notes and notebooks written by Amichai in Hebrew and German that are now preserved in the Beinecke archive at Yale, and a cache of ninety-eight as-yet unpublished letters written by Amichai in 1947 and 1948 to a woman identified in the book as Ruth Z., which were recently discovered by Gold. Gold found irrefutable evidence in the Yale archive and the letters to Ruth Z. that allows her to make two startling claims. First, she shows that in order to remake himself as an Israeli soldier-citizen and poet, Amichai suppressed (“camouflaged”) his German past and German mother tongue both in reference to his biography and in his poetry. Yet, as her close readings of his published oeuvre as well as his unpublished German and Hebrew notes at the Beinecke show, these texts harbor the linguistic residue of his European origins. Gold, who knows both Hebrew and German, establishes that the poet’s German past infused every area of his work, despite his attempts to conceal it in the process of adopting a completely Israeli identity. Gold’s second claim is that Amichai somewhat disguised the story of his own development as a poet. According to Amichai’s own accounts, Israel’s war of independence was the impetus for his creative writing. Long accepted as fact, Gold proves that this poetic biography is far from complete. By analyzing Amichai’s letters and reconstructing his relationship with Ruth Z., Gold reveals what was really happening in the poet’s life and verse at the end of the 1940s. These letters demonstrate that the chronological order in which Amichai’s works were published does not reflect the order in which they were written; rather, it was a product of the poet’s literary and national motivations.
Alexander treats sympathetically writers like Kovner and Appelfeld who integrated the European tragedy into the Israeli imagination, but charges that some Israeli dramatists have perpetrated travesties of the Holocaust that resemble antisemetic polemics
This stunning anthology gathers together the riches of poetry in Hebrew from 'The Song of Deborah' to contemporary Israeli writings. Verse written up to the tenth century show the development of piyut, or liturgical poetry, and retell episodes from the Bible and exalt the glory of God. Medieval works introduce secular ideas in love poems, wine songs and rhymed narratives, as well as devotional verse for specific religious rituals. Themes such as the longing for the homeland run through the ages, especially in verse written after the rise of the Zionist movement, while poems of the last century marry Biblical references with the horrors of the Holocaust. Together these works create a moving portrait of a rich and varied culture through the last 3,000 years.
The best of contemporary Israeli poetry is presented here in exciting new English translations. Poets included in the anthology are Amir Gilboa, Abba Kovner, Haim Gouri, Yehuda Amichai, Dan Pagis, Natan Zach, David Avidan, Dahlia Ravikovitch, Ory Bernstein, Meir Wieseltier, and Yona Wallach.
During and in the aftermath of the dark period of the Holocaust, writers across Europe and America sought to express their feelings and experiences through their writings. This book provides a comprehensive account of these writings through essays from expert scholars, covering a wide geographic, linguistic, thematic and generic range of materials. Such an overview is particularly appropriate at a time when the corpus of Holocaust literature has grown to immense proportions and when guidance is needed in determining a canon of essential readings, a context to interpret them, and a paradigm for the evolution of writing on the Holocaust. The expert contributors to this volume, who negotiate the literature in the original languages, provide insight into the influence of national traditions and the importance of language, especially but not exclusively Yiddish and Hebrew, to the literary response arising from the Holocaust.
In this compelling and engaging book, Dvir Abramovich introduces readers to several landmark novels, poems and stories that have become classics in the Israeli Holocaust canon. Discussed are iconic writers such as Aharon Appelfeld, Dan Pagis, Etgar Keret, Yoram Kaniuk, Uri Tzvi Greenberg and Ka-Tzetnik, and their attempts to come to terms with the unprecedented trauma and its aftereffects. Scholarly, yet deeply accessible to both students and to the public, this illuminating volume offers a wide-ranging introduction to the intersection between literature and the Shoah, and the linguistic, stylistic and ethical difficulties inherent in representing this catastrophe in fiction. Exploring narratives by survivors and by those who wrote about the European genocide from a distance, each chapter contains a compassionate and thoughtful analysis of the author’s individual opus, accompanied by a comprehensive exploration of their biography and the major themes that underpin their corpus. The rich and sophisticated discussions and interpretations contained in this masterful set of essays are sure to become essential reading for those seeking to better understand the responses by Hebrew writers to the immense tragedy that befell their people.
The articles in this collection originated from an international symposium at the University of Haifa and centre around a major topic in German, European and American literature, i.e. the way in which Jewish self-definition, both positive and negative, has materialized as a product of the tensions between secular culture and society on the one hand, and Jewish tradition and religion on the other. The broad range of authors (most of them of German-speaking origin) necessarily results in an almost equally broad range of answers to this central question. The volume is dedicated to the memory of the Israeli literary scholar Chaim Shoham.