Creator, Are You Listening: Israeli Poets on God and Prayer

David C. Jacobson
    Creator, Are you listening :
Israeli poets on God and prayer / David C. Jacobson. -- Bloomington and Indianapolis : Indiana University Press, 2007.
    243 pages -- (Jewish literature and culture)

This book presents the work of six contemporary Israeli poets - Zelda Mishkovsky,Yehuda Amichai, Asher Reich, Rivka Miriam, Hava Pinhas-Cohen, and Admiel Kosman ­ who write about the search for God, how to communicate with God, and how to pray. A scholarly work as well as an anthology that is accessible to students and the public, the book begins by discussing the central role that poetry has always played and continues to play in our understanding of religious experience. Each poet's work is preceded by a biographical and historical introduction, with particular focus on the author's relationship to the worlds of tradition and modernity. The poems appear in Hebrew along with English translations by Jacobson. Additionally, each poem is accompanied by an analytical interpretation that considers the poem, discusses its relationship to classical Jewish sources, and explores the theological implications of the poet's approach to issues of God and prayer.

Table of contents:

  • Introduction : the religious dimension of Israeli poetry (pages 1-13)
  1. Zelda Mishkovsky : "The small garden showed me signs that His mercies never cease" (pages 14-39)
    The delicate light of my peace (page 19)
    Island (page 21)
    There was something alarming ... (page 22)
    In the kingdom of sunset (page 24)
    I am a dying bird (page 26)
    Be not far (page 28)
    The shadow of the white mountain ... (page 30)
    All night I wept (page 33)
    At this thought-filled hour (page 35)
    A heavy silence (page 38)

  2. Yehuda Amichai : "Footprints of birds in the sand by the sea" (pages 40-78)
    God's hand in the world (page 50)
    God full of mercy (page 53)
    And for this you merit praise (page 56)
    Our father our king ... (page 60)
    After Auschwitz there's no theology ... (page 62)
    God's fate (page 65)
    I say with perfect faith ... (page 66)
    God is steps that ascend ... (page 67)
    Footprints of birds in the sand by the sea ... (page 69)
    My father, my king (page 70)
    I am the last of them (page 73)
    Even private prayer needs two ... (page 76)
    Public prayer ... (page 76)
    Verses of psalms ... (page 77)

  3. Asher Reich : "Perhaps he'll answer me this time" (pages 79-114)
    Piyyut for nights of awe (page 85)
    A voice ... (page 88)
    Piyyut for days of awe (page 91)
    Instead of a prayer (page 94)
    If there are (page 97)
    Kind of a prayer (page 100)
    Black holes (page 102)
    How shall I come (page 105)
    Take my thoughts (page 107)
    Travel prayer (page 109)
    Ne'ilah (page 112)

  4. Rivka Miriam : "For a person is a prayer" (pages 115-139)
    My God the soul you placed in me ... (page 121)
    The god of pears (page 124)
    Booths (page 126)
    I'll go to submit my plea (page 129)
    My God breathes next to me ... (page 130)
    In the beginning God created ... (page 132)
    Who will take us (page 134)
    One (page 136)
    Sanctification (page 136)
    Shut (page 137)

  5. Hava Pinhas-Cohen : "To the place where love has a manifest name" (pages 140-171)
    Communion (page 144)
    Photosynthesis (page 147)
    A manifest name (page 150)
    Before his gates (page 153)
    This is the time (page 156)
    Plea (page 160)
    A mother's prayer before dawn (page 163)
    What is his intention (page 166)
    A woman's mourner's Kaddish (page 169)

  6. Admiel Kosman : "Creator, aren't you listening?" (pages 172-208)
    When that man was killed (page 177)
    And as one prays (page 179)
    I don't move when I pray (page 180)
    We've reached God (page 184)
    A poem (page 189)
    Psalm of the day (page 191)
    Something hurts (page 194)
    Oh, the active intellect, the first cause (page 196)
    Piyyut (page 199)
    A note in the western wall (page 203)
    A psalm (page 207)
  • Conclusion : Israeli poetry and the possibility of religious discourse in a secular age (pages 209-214)

  • Notes (pages 215-231)

  • Bibliography (pages 233-238)

  • Indexes (pages 239-243)

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[עודכן לאחרונה: 10 בנובמבר 2016]

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