Days of Awe: Agnon’s High Holy Day Tales
Days of Awe: Agnon’s High Holy Day Tales: Lesson 1
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur play a large role in the writigns of Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon. His well-known anthology of classical sources on the High Holy Days, Yamim Noraim, is available in abridged translation as The Days of Awe.(https://amzn.com/0805210482) But these holidays also feature throughout his fiction – and nowhere more than in his surreal tales collected under the heading “Sefer HaMaasim”. Tonight we will explore one of these stories – “HaTizmoret” (in English as “The Orchestra”). The main thing in reading the story (attached in Hebrew(http://www.webyeshiva.org/wp-content/themes/blank2r/uploads/classmaterials/17831_0_HaTizmoret.pdf) or English(http://www.webyeshiva.org/wp-content/themes/blank2r/uploads/classmaterials/17831_0_The_Orchestra.pdf) is to try to identify anything that serves as a symbol – even if its meaning or interpretation is not perfectly clear. What do those letters represent?! Mainly: Why is the story set on Rosh Hashana?
MIDRASH AGNON in English with R. Jeffrey Saks Course Schedule for 5777 (2016-17) Sundays 7:00-8:30pm (Jerusalem time) Live at Beit Agnon and online at WebYeshiva.org/Agnon (http://www.webyeshiva.org/agnon) Dec. 4, 11, 18 – A Guest for the Night (http://a.co/7fuyTMu) Feb. 12, 19, March 5 – A Simple Story (http://a.co/awjogrI) May 14, 21, 28 – Stories of Eretz Yisrael
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding director of ATID – The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education, in Jerusalem, and its WebYeshiva.org program. He is the Editor of the journal Tradition, Series Editor of The S.Y. Agnon Library at The Toby Press, and Director of Research at the Agnon House in Jerusalem. A three-time graduate of Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semicha), Rabbi Saks has published widely on Jewish thought, education, and literature (see www.webyeshiva.org/rabbisaks).