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Agnon Archives

Archives of Courses on S.Y. Agnon and Accompanying Resources

These courses were delivered live at Jerusalem’s Agnon House and broadcast on WebYeshiva.org by Rabbi Jeffrey Saks. These archives provide video recordings, audio-only (MP3) recordings, and downloadable links to the primary and secondary sources and course materials. Each session generally runs 75-90 minutes.Contact Rabbi Saks at ATID for more information on the courses, or to discuss ways the materials can be used in your classrooms, synagogues, or reading groups.



Midrash Agnon
5 sessions on various short stories: “The Kerchief”, “The Sign” and others.

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Land of Israel in Agnon’s Writing I

1-time session (for Yom HaAtzmaut)

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Land of Israel in Agnon’s Writing II

3 sessions: Includes “Fable of the Goat” and others.

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Land of Israel in Agnon’s Writing III
Spring 2017: The Legends of Lag BaOmer; Jerusalem of Agnon and Amichai; Agunot.

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Days of Awe
2 sessions on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, plus exploring what Agnon was doing with his anthology Days of Awe.
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Nostalgia and Nightmare
8 sessions exploring and contrasting the themes of Agnon’s nostalgic presentation of the old world, with modern stories that depict the shock of the modern. Includes: “The Tale of the Scribe”, selections from the Kafkaesque series Sefer HaMa’asim, and other stories.
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In the Heart of the Seas
3 sessions covering the novella Bilvav Yamim (In the Heart of the Seas), a midrashically lyrical weaving of history and mystery into a legend of love for the Land of Israel as a group sets out from 19th century Buczacz on Aliya,  accompanied by a mysterious and miraculous man of spirit.
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Righteousness, repentance, redemption, reward and punishment – all explored in a 3-part series on Agnon’s beloved story Tehilla, set in the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1920s.
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Agnon’s Novels
4 sessions, each giving an overview to Agnon’s longer novels – A Simple Story, The Bridal Canopy, A Guest for the Night, and Only Yesterday.
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In the Prime of Her Life
3 sessions on S.Y. Agnon’s novella “In the Prime of Her Life” (Bidmei Yameha) – a tale of love lost and found, and the profound way the older generation shapes the life of its children, as told through the perspective of a young female narrator.
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Agnon’s Hometown
5 sessions on stories of the Old World and Agnon’s ancestral Buczacz as depicted in his ‘Ir uMelo’ah.
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A-Ag-Agn-Agno-Agnon and Rebbe Nachman
6 sessions on connection between the Nobel laureate and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, along with other important influences on Agnon’s writing.
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Two Scholars Who Were in Our Town
4-sessions on Agnon’s tragic tale of the clash of Talmudic titans.
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The Dramatized Ego

A careful reading of 5 different short stories, exploring the complex
connections between Agnon the man, the author, and the narrator he
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Forevermore (Ad Olam)
4 sessions on Agnon’s tale of a cloistered scholar works for twenty years attempting to unravel the secrets of an ancient city, now reduced to dust and ashes. What sacrifice will he pay in the present in order to  recover the past? What does this allegory mean for today’s readers and contemporary Jewish  history?
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The Old World and the New
4 sessions with 4 stories on the Jewish world in transition between the past and the present, tradition and modernity, and the Diaspora and Eretz Yisrael. What do Agnon’s stories mean for today’s readers and contemporary Jewish history?
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Agnon’s Nobel Anniversary
For the 50th anniversary of Agnon’s receiving the Nobel Prize, 3 lectures exploring the themes he struck in his famous speech in Stockholm, working back to see how they reflected themes in his writings. Each week a different theme will be examined through the prism of a single short story.
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A Guest for the Night
3-part series on S.Y. Agnon’s epic novel A Guest for the Night – a nostalgic tale of the old world on the eve of destruction. The work was considered “perhaps his greatest achievement” by the Nobel Committee.
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A Simple Story
3-part series on A Simple Story – set in small town Jewish Galicia, a scene of bitter-sweet romance, revealing the profound psychological and social insights of the Nobel laureate’s finest fiction.
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Contact WebYeshiva.org Tech Support for any help needed in accessing the materials: support@webyeshiva.org or 1-646-977-7978 (US) or 073-796-2230 (Israel).


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