S.Y. Agnon’s History of His Hometown, Told in Short Stories

July 29 2016

In the posthumously published collection of short stories titled A City and Its Fullness, the Nobel prize-winning Israeli author takes the reader through 300 years of the history of his birthplace, Buczacz. To mark the publication of a partial English-language translation of this work, Ariel Hirschfeld, Alan Mintz, and Jeffrey Saks discuss Agnon’s overall project, his use of the Jewish legal tradition as a source of humor, and some of the individual stories—including one where fish “miraculously” turn into frogs and another where a pious Jew must care for the body of a dead count. The session includes a reflection by the author A.B. Yehoshua, written especially for the occasion, on Agnon’s inventive use of language. (Audio, 76 minutes.)

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Read more at Toby Press

More about: A B Yehoshua, Arts & Culture, East European Jewry, Israeli literature, Modern Hebrew literature, S. Y. Agnon

Hamas Is Winning the War for Palestinian, and Israeli Arab, Hearts and Minds

While many in the West seem to think the current fighting in Israel is about housing policy, or human rights, or the selective blockade of the Gaza Strip, the rhetoric of Palestinian leaders and on Palestinian social media makes clear that it is in fact about al-Aqsa mosque. This should come as no surprise: fabricated claims that “al-Aqsa is in danger” have been used to provoke anti-Jewish violence for a hundred years. In this particular case, explains Haviv Rettig Gur, both Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party exploited the claim in their rivalry for Palestinian hearts and minds:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas, Israeli Arabs, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict