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

Despite Reasons for Worry, Jews Shouldn’t Lose Faith in the American Promise

Sept. 24 2021

From synagogue shootings, to attacks on Jews on the streets, to the gathering strength and viciousness of anti-Zionism, especially in the corridors of political power, American Jewry has ample reason for concern about its safety and wellbeing. But, surveying both the present situation and the deep roots of what has made America a welcoming home to Jews with “no analogue in the 2,000 years after the destruction of the Temple,” Josef Joffe argues that the U.S. remains exceptional. The bad news, however, is still bad:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American exceptionalism, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer