Israel in Translation
About This Show
Israel in Translation explores Israeli literature in English translation through street names, famous literary sites, and popular music. From Biblical poetry to the yearning of Andalusia song, from memoirs of the founding of the State of Israel to contemporary speculative fiction, we will explore Israel’s literary countryside, cityscapes, and psychological terrain, and the lives of the people who create it.
Most Recent Episode
Poems of praise from Medieval Spain
4 days ago
Host Marcela Sulak reads Hebrew poetry from Medieval Spain to mark the Jewish holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah. The latter celebrates the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Thus the reading at the morning service for Simchat Torah is from "Genesis." Here is the end of Yosef Ibn Avitor's poem on the creation of the universe, "Hymn for the New year": "Who hurls ruin upon the strong lest in cruelty they lash out? Who casts fright across the lion before the Ethiopian gnat? Who brings over the scorpion terror of the spider’s poison? Who sends fear of swallows into the falcon’s eyes? Who established the world’s foundations and set them beneath the skies?" Marcela also reads Yehuda Halevi's poem "Where Will I Find You," an ofan written for the Simchat Torah morning service. Halevi is considered to be one of the greatest Hebrew poets. He lived in both Muslim and Christian Spain before rejecting its culture of Jewish-Arab hybridization and leaving for the Holy Land in 1140. Texts: The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain 950-1492. Translated, Edited, and Introduced by Peter Cole. Princeton University Press, 2007. "Where Will I Find You" by Yehuda Halevi. Music:Etti Ankri - Mi Yitneni; Avdei Zman; Yefe Nof (all from the album Songs of Rabbi Yehuda Halevi)