Menachem Mendel

Menachem Mendel RSS Feed
 
 
 
 

Studying Agnon and Ibn Gabirol in Gaza

The New York Times has an article on the study of Hebrew in Gaza.

“Through the Hebrew language we can understand the structure of the Israeli society, the way they think,” explained Mahmoud Matar, director general of the Hamas-run Ministry of Education here. “The Arabic language is a basic thing for the Israelis, and they use it to achieve what they want,” Dr. Matar added. “We look at Israel as an enemy. We teach our students the language of the enemy.”

Israel Channel 10 News broadcast a piece on the study of Hebrew in Gaza that is a bit more optimistic in my opinion than the above quote. According to the broadcast, close to ninety percent of Gazan students who were given the choice of studying Hebrew or another foreign language chose Hebrew.  In addition, it seems that there are a significant number of adults who also want to learn Hebrew. What I liked about the Channel 10 broadcast is that it shows Gazans studying Agnon, מאויב לאוהב (“From Enemy to Lover”).  Now that the Talmud has also been translated into Arabic, is there an interfaith Beit Midrash on the horizon?

Maybe there is hope.

4 Responses to “Studying Agnon and Ibn Gabirol in Gaza”

  1. 1
    Joachim Martillo:

    It is worthwhile to keep in mind that Agnon had a background in Arabic literature, which he rather shamelessly plagiarized, e.g. A Simple Story.

  2. 2
    Menachem Mendel:

    Joachim,

    While Agnon may have been influenced by Arab literature, besides a comment at Mondoweiss, do you know anybody else who has made this claim regarding “Simple Story”?

  3. 3
    Joachim Martillo:

    My Arabic instructor at Harvard was fluent in MIH and could read Agnon with no problems. He had the impression that Agnon had rewritten/plagiarized Qais waLayla or Majnun waLayla. Because there is no one Qais waLayla story and A Simple Story seems to combine at least 6 different versions, plagiarism may be too strong a term. In any case it is fairly easy to trace Agnon’s familiarity with the Qais waLayla stories back to the early 20s. A Simple Story appeared in 1935. Like Goitein Agnon was very much involved in counterfeiting a false oriental heritage for Eastern European ethnic Ashkenazim in order to legitimize the theft of Palestine from the native population. It is not hard to connect the dots, but I will consult some people that are much more expert in this sort of literary analysis than I.

  4. 4
    Menachem Mendel (Michael P.):

    “Like Goitein Agnon was very much involved in counterfeiting a false oriental heritage for Eastern European ethnic Ashkenazim in order to legitimize the theft of Palestine from the native population.”

    And the evidence of that is where? And evidence that Agnon was fluent enough in Arabic to have read all of these stories? Goiten made up all of those Oriental Jews whose lives he described in A Mediterranean Society?

Categories

Tags

Archives

Recent Posts

Meta

Sign up for an email subscribtion to this blog.

Michael Pitkowsky

Biblioblogs

Daf Yomi

History

Israel

Jewish Law

Judaica

Law and Legal History

Politics

Religion

Talmud