Modern Hebrew Literature, by Simon Halkin
Jewish literary expression, whether in the form of revelation, law, liturgy, or poetry, has always echoed a conscious sense of the uniqueness of the Jewish people and its history. However he has expressed it—as the Deutero-Isaiah’s Suffering Servant of the Lord, or David Shimonovitz’s “in spite of it all”—the Hebrew writer has borne within him the sense of a peculiar Jewish fate. Jewish literature has been, just as surely as Jewish life itself, a Promethean attempt to wrest the Yerushalayim Shel Maala (“Celestial Jerusalem”) from the heavens. Certainly one’s awareness of this classically tragic strain in Jewish experience is intensified by a reading of Mr. Halkin’s competent survey.
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