Agnon's Days of Awe with Rabbi Jeffrey Saks of WebYeshiva.org and co-sponsored by Lincoln Square Synagogue, NY.
Aside from S.Y. Agnon's best selling volume "Yamim Noraim" ("Days of Awe" - An anthology of Torah sources on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur) the Nobel laureate featured the High Holy Days in many of his most enigmatic tales. In this two-part series we will look at some of these short stories from a literary perspective, while unraveling the "intertexts" of classical Jewish sources from which Agnon drew, and explore the resonances between text and mastertext.
Stories will be read in English translation, with references to the original Hebrew text - but Hebrew fluency is not required to participate.
Participate in the course live in Agnon's own house in Talpiot, Jerusalem, or via the simultaneous, interactive, online broadcast at WebYeshiva.org (sessions will be recorded and archived for those unable to join in "real time").
Sundays, September 18 and 25 at 5:30 pm (Jerusalem time).
About Rabbi Jeffrey Saks
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding Director of ATID―The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education, in Jerusalem. An editorial board member of the journal Tradition, Rabbi Saks authored Spiritualizing Halakhic Education (Mandel Foundation) and edited Wisdom From All My Teachers: Challenges and Initiatives in Contemporary Torah Education (Urim). He is a graduate of Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Smicha) and participated in the Jerusalem Fellows program for senior Jewish educators at the Mandel Institute. He has taught at the Yeshiva University High School for Girls and Yeshivat Hamivtar.
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September 25, 2011 5:30PM - 7:00PM Pi Shnayim / Twofold
For our second session we'll read Agnon's surreal tale of a squandered Yom Kipppur entitled "Pi Shnayim".
Attached is a link to my experimental translation - presented as a side-by-side bilingual edition, I welcome your comments on improving the translation - as well as on the story itself or your thoughts on Chemdat (which we read in the last session).
For those interested, see also Agnon's short story "Another Tallit" which has parallel themes to "Twofold" (here also in bilingual ediiton).
I have also uploaded a lovely poem by Yehuda Amichai on the experience of the Tallit, and an important Hebrew essay on the story by critic Baruch Kurzweil.
[See file marked "Esther Bloch" for a very good insight by one of our students and a piece of poetry from her hand.]
September 18, 2011 5:30PM - 7:00PM Etzel Hemdat - Flesh and Spirit and the Paradox of Yom Kippur
For our first of two sessions on S.Y. Agnon's writings about the High Holy Days, we'll read his short story "Etzel Hemdat" - available at accompanying links in Hebrew and English translation. Please try to read it in advance of our session on Sunday, September 18.
I have also uploaded a few sections from Agnon's Hebrew anthology of Torah sources, Yamim Noraim, which I will discuss during the session as we explore the connections between the story and the sources. This work - Agnon's best-selling volume - is available in an abridged translation asDays of Awe.