My Quarrel with "My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner"

How I came to translate one of the greatest stories in all of Yiddish literature, a work that I believe uniquely illuminates the debate at the very center of Jewish modernity.

December 7, 2020 | Ruth R. Wisse
About the author: Ruth R. Wisse is a research professor at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her most recent book is No Joke: Making Jewish Humor (2013, paperback 2015).

Young Jewish men engaged in a lively talmudic discussion in the Ramayles yeshiva in Vilna in the 1930s. Taken by A. Sapir, courtesy YIVO.

This month, Mosaic is pleased to offer a seminal essay by Ruth R. Wisse on the great Yiddish writer Chaim Grade’s story “My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner.” Alongside this essay, we’re pleased to present Wisse’s original translation of the work, which is the first unabridged version of the story to be published in English. A printable PDF package containing both essay and translation is available here, and you can listen to Wisse’s essay below.—The Editors

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now