Agnon’s Days of Awe: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in Agnon’s Stories, September 18 & 25
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).
Agnon’s Days of Awe: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in Agnon’s Stories, September 18 & 25: Lesson 1
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 as Days of Awe.(http://www.amazon.com/Days-Awe-Treasury-Reflection-Repentance/dp/0805210482/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315310119&sr=8-1) Please feel free to be in touch with me in advance should you have any questions – email@example.com
Agnon’s Days of Awe: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in Agnon’s Stories, September 18 & 25: Lesson 2
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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehuda_Amichai)on the experience of the Tallit, and an important Hebrew essay on the story by critic Baruch Kurzweil.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.]
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 webyeshiva.org/rabbisaks).