A Poetic Portrait, Translated from Yiddish, of a Snow-Filled Journey

June 18 2018

One of the greatest Yiddish poets of the 20th century, Avraham Sutzkever wrote the poem quoted below in 1983 while living in Israel. Its images perhaps reflect the six years he spent in Siberia, where he had fled with his family from the Pale of Settlement during World War I. The poem, in a new translation by Maia Evrona, begins thus:

Am I seeing, from a speeding train, young trees covered in snow
for the first time, for the last, or are crowned white nurses twisting,
turning and gliding by, charmingly disturbing,
and in the balance of their gazes: life and death, life and death?

This long corridor is shorter than a moment, perhaps,
I may still manage to comfort my companion, perhaps,
a nurse shows the way: a door at this very corner,
the white nurse freely provides a faint glimmer.

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Read more at Pakn-Treger

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

Distrust of the Supreme Court Led Likud Voters to Rally around Netanyahu

Jan. 17 2020

A few weeks ago, Benjamin Netanyahu handily won the Likud party’s primary election, receiving 72 percent of the votes. He won despite the fact that he is facing indictments on corruption charges that could interfere with his ability to govern if he remains Israel’s premier, and despite the credible challenge mounted by his opponent, Gideon Sa’ar. Evelyn Gordon credits the results not to love of Netanyahu but to resentment of Israel’s overweening Supreme Court:

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politics, Israeli Supreme Court