Midrash Agnon: A Guest for the Night
Join us for a 3-part lecture 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. Please note this course has a fee of $20. Paypal (https://www.paypal.com/webapps/hermes?token=8U787587HM020333W&useraction=commit&rm=1&mfid=1553804288882_b351d7c045842#/checkout/signup) The class will meet December 4, 11, and 18, 2016, and will be broadcast live from Beit Agnon in Jerusalem.
Midrash Agnon: A Guest for the Night: Lesson 1
Midrash Agnon: A Guest for the Night: For those wishing to read the novel in advance of our three sessions — it is available in our new English edition A Guest for the Night (https://amzn.com/1592643574) or in Hebrew as Oreach Nata LaLun.(http://www.schocken.co.il/Book/%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%97+%D7%A0%D7%98%D7%94+%D7%9C%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9F.aspx?name=%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%97+%D7%A0%D7%98%D7%94+%D7%9C%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9F&code=40-51501&docNo=1&qid=1) While it would be wonderful if you would read the whole novel (either in advance of the series or as we move along), please try to read at least chapters 1-5 (focusing on chapters 1, 4, 5) — attached in Hebrew(http://www.webyeshiva.org/wp-content/themes/blank2r/uploads/classmaterials/18046_0_%D7%90%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%97_%D7%A0%D7%98%D7%94_%D7%9C%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9F_-_%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7%D7%99%D7%9D_1-5.pdf) or English.(http://www.webyeshiva.org/wp-content/themes/blank2r/uploads/classmaterials/18046_0_A_Guest_for_the_Night_-_chap1-5.pdf)
Midrash Agnon: A Guest for the Night: Lesson 2
Reb Hayim & Daniel Bach: For our next session we will focus on two specific characters that are very important to the novel: Reb Hayim – Read chapters 41, 43, 69-72, about the tragic Reb Hayim, hostage in Siberia (we mentioned him as the former husband of the “Divorcee”). Daniel Bach of the peg-leg and lost faith – See especially chapter 8 and the symbolism of the tefillin. (Have you read Haim Sabato’s Adjusting Sights? (https://www.amazon.com/dp/159264127X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_pPiryb0VY82W9)Is there a resonance of the tefillin symbol there?) These chapters are attached — you can skim them, but of course best to read the whole book! Attached are the annotated bibliography of the essential works in English on A Guest for the Night(https://www.amazon.com/dp/1592643574/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_4QirybVFKG30D) and the “Cast of Characters.”
Midrash Agnon: A Guest for the Night: Lesson 3
The Guest and Zionism: For our final session we will explore the relationship of Szybucz and Jerusalem — and what Agnon (or his narrating Guest) might be saying about Zionism. To do so, one must skim chapter 15 (for background on the key symbol), read chapters 18, 31 (specifically the encounter between the Guest and the Rabbi, pp. 195-198), and the conclusion chapters 79-80. These selections are attached.(http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/midrash-agnon-a-guest-for-the-night/?material=7812) For the next course (Feb. 12, 19, & March 5) we will be reading A Simple Story,(https://www.amazon.com/dp/1592643582/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_M2XqybD23HND5) in Hebrew as Sippur Pashut (in the volume Al Kapot HaManul).(http://schocken.co.il/Book/%D7%A2%D7%9C+%D7%9B%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%AA+%D7%94%D7%9E%D7%A0%D7%A2%D7%95%D7%9C.aspx?name=%D7%A2%D7%9C+%D7%9B%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%AA+%D7%94%D7%9E%D7%A0%D7%A2%D7%95%D7%9C&code=40-51508&docNo=1&qid=1) [Apologies, the first 20 minutes of this session’s recoridng have gone missing; the essay on Agnon and Rav Kook mentioned here is available in the links.]
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).