Six Poems by a Yiddish Master

Jan. 13 2016

The great Yiddish poet Abraham Sutzkever (1913–2010) helped save rare Jewish books and manuscripts in Vilna during World War II, then joined the partisans to fight against the Nazis, and later settled in Israel. James Nadel has translated six of his poems, with Yiddish facing, from the collection Oasis (1960). One of them begins:

I dreamed that I came
among a people where no one had yet died.
There had never been a victim there.
Every suckling child is as old as Methuselah.
That same clever king still rules,
From the time of the first Flood.
A resident need only rake through
his memory—
his years are set in him like stars.
Eternity is his daily bread.

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Read more at In geveb

More about: Arts & Culture, Avraham Sutzkever, Jewish literature, Poetry, Yiddish literature

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy