By David C. Jacobson
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Extra info for Modern midrash: the retelling of traditional Jewish narratives by twentieth-century Hebrew writers
The two classic examples of such collections composed in the twentieth century are Sefer , edited by G. N. Bialik and Y. Rawnitzki, and Mimekor , edited by M. Y. Berdyczewski. Included in this category would be various collections of Hasidic tales presented in a manner that is relatively faithful to the original sources, for example haganuz, edited by M. Buber, and Sifreihem shel tsaddikim, edited by S. Y. Agnon. On the other end of the spectrum are works of poetry, fiction, and drama which focus on the portrayal of contemporary experience but make significant use of allusions to traditional Jewish narratives as a means to do so.
And if we introduce into this world one of the first Hasidim, standing upright, with the spirit of life in him, a spirit which penetrates the world open before him in all its breadth and depth, then he will be like a king among troops, like a man with the wreath of God on his head among those who sit in darkness. The latter are afraid of desecrating the holy, while he even does profane actions with the purity of holiness. 13 In contrast to the ascetic approach of those who followed rabbinic Judaism, in his relationship with the world this new Hasidic man was able to discover a path to spiritual exaltation by transcending his sense of himself as a separate entity and perceiving that he, the world, and God are one.
For a selection from the translation by Richard Flantz of "The King," by Shaul Tchernichowsky, in Anthology of Modern Hebrew Poetry, edited by S. Y. Penueli and A. Ukhmani, (Jerusalem: Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and Israel Universities Press, 1966), copyright 1966 by Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature. University of California Press for a selection from the translation by Ruth Finer Mintz of "Like This Before You; by Yocheved Bat-Miriam, and for the translation by Ruth Finer Mintz of "Isaac," by Amir Gilboa, in Modern Hebrew Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology, edited and translated by Ruth Finer Mintz (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966), copyright 1966 by University of California Press.
Modern midrash: the retelling of traditional Jewish narratives by twentieth-century Hebrew writers by David C. Jacobson