Page 165 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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N A S H / T H E D ISCU SS ION O VER Y A L A G ’S L E G A C Y
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o rde r, contains a reply to Go rdon ’s own nihilistic question. One
should emphasize this fact that Yehudah Leib Gordon, for all
o f his occasional melancholy, was an uncommonly' positive and
resilient Jew and human being. Following B renne r’s wonderful
intuition, we close this centenary article with a translation o f
the two stanzas from “Faith and Reason” which B renne r high­
lights:21
My nation I ’ve seen cast into the muck
Harassed without respite, strapped with every burden;
Reason would dictate: its hope is empty;
With what strength, to what purpose does it prolong
its existence?
Yet faith is what speaks to its heart:
Fear not, O Jacob, be not abashed, O Israel;
Upon the clouds o f heaven a redeemer will come fo r you,
I f he should tarry, wait fo r him, fo r he shall
surely come.22
21. Miron in his abovecited article refers to the sad slight to YaLaG and to
Haskalah poetry, generally, in that T. Carmi in
The Penguin Book of Hebrew
Verse
(New York, 1981), p. 39, justifies skipping over this entire period
because it is “largely devoid o f esthetic interest.”
22. See n. 20. As this article goes to press we note the publication o f Shmuel
Werses’ “Merhav u-Zeman ve-Tifkudam bi-Yetsirat Y.L. Gordon,”
Dappim
le-Mehkar be-Sifrut Ivrit,
Vol. 7 (1990), pp. 205-226. Werses refers to the
most recent developments in YaLaG research while contrasting the more
“cosmic” spatial contexts o f Gordon’s poetry and feuilletons with the more
limited and parochial topographies o f his short stories.