At my death
I will weep for your anguish that I died.
Before my death I say,
with all tenderness I say,
that if you could weep only a little,
like the doe
I once saw shed a tear or two
and then quit the place of its weeping
and climb to a distant crag
to see the world beyond tears –
If you could—
then I too would find a great stillness
like a river becalmed between its banks
flowing going to my fate.
If I meet you
my allusions will not be
like fine birds with delicate wings.
They will be like murky words
whose darkly secret depths
will hurt you with pain.
Happy is he who hurts this night
in your honor.
How many have fallen
in their fields
in battles raging for serenity.
fall in battles—
they break apart from their rhymes
like women from their jewels.
They are silent
until there comes one like you.
Until you come.
—translated by Leon Wieseltier
To read a review of a new documentary on Avraham Halfi, click here.
Whether it’s 18 percent or eight families, Gordon Tucker maintains “patience and tenaciousness change the world,” a fact that is lost when we focus on numbers.
Bellow’s not so innocent knock in The Adventures of Augie March is generally taken as the moment when Jews barged into American literature without apology.
Abraham Socher's pre-Yom Kippur assessment of the possibility of true repentance led to a discussion on the mussarist's answer (or non-answer) on moral choices.
Yankee ingenuity at Passover: how one regiment made a Seder in the midst of the Civil War.