Contemporary Hebrew Mystical Poetry: How It Redeems Jewish Thinking

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This interdisciplinary scholarship correlates Hebrew Poetry and Jewish Mysticism to forge new pathways in Jewish Thinking. Contemporary Israeli poetry serves as the site for debating the relation between public trauma and private experience. These Anmerkungen or afterwords explore how Hebrew poetry has carried forward from collective catastrophe to rewrite and rebirth the individual experience after the Shoah.


“Aubrey Glazer has enriched our literary canon with some great poetry by three wonderful Hebrew poets who meet the challenge put forth by that quintessential prolific poet Emily Dickinson, two-thirds of whose writing an important critic like Harold Bloom finds still to speak to him [us] over a hundred years after having been penned. . . . What follows in Glazer’s collection, translations, and analysis should at the very least blow your socks off — who would expect lines such as “I give birth to Adonai between my thighs,” — a new Poethics.” – Prof. Harry Fox, University of Toronto

“[T]his work is utterly unique. Hebrew literary criticism (the bulk of it, of course, published in Hebrew) is generally rather conservative and history-driven, or else imports single categories wholesale from the critical vocabulary. Glazer’s intense weave of native Jewish categories (of which only some of these poets are conscious) and wide-ranging literary/philosophical tools from the world of contemporary criticism often leaves the reader breathless, fully intending to do just that.” – Prof. Arthur Green, Hebrew College

Table of Contents

Preface by Harry Fox, University of Toronto
1. Hebrew Hermeneutics: Introduction
1.0 Reflections in utero: Writing as Birthing
1.1 Distilling the Kaleidescope: Fractured Fragments of Methodology
1.2 Problems of Pleasure: Theology, Canons, and Concerns with Contradiction
1.3 Speech-thinking as Method: The Challenge of A/theistic Theological Residue in Afterwords
1.4 On the Intricacy of the Real: Gendlin’s Philosophy of Language
1.5 A Word on Terms: Wandering in Language
2. What Are Hebrew Poets for? Toward a Post-Zionist and Post- Auschwitz Poethics
2.0 Bialik’s Rebirthing Hebrew Hermeneutics in the Wake of Nietzsche
2.1 Masculine Occlusion of the Feminine in “The Desert Dead” (1902)
2.2 Aïe, E—i—o: Poetry of Fragmentation after Auschwitz
2.3 Re-birthing Redemption in Hebrew Poetry: The “Crossing-Over” of Ivri/t
2.4 Re-birthing Hebrew Poetry and Jewish Thinking: An Overview of Scholarship
2.5 Rebirthing Redemption: Towards a Poethics within Hebrew Hermeneutics
2.6 Beyond Tiqqun Ha-Nuqbah: Towards a Hypersubjective Mystical Poetics
3. “A Butterfly without Poise”: Hermeneutics of Cordovero’s qefitzat ha-derekh and behinah — Path-Swerving through Zelda’s Poetry
3.0 Hermeneutics of qefitzat haderekh as “Path-Swerving”
3.1 Hermeneutics of Behinah as “Hypogram”
3.2 Hypograms without Poise: “Path-Swerving” in Zelda’s Poetry
3.3 Hypograms of Bayit (House) in Mishkovsky’s Poetry
3.4 Hypograms of Parpar in Mishkovsky’s Poetry
4. “As the Living Light Contracts”: Hermeneutics of Gilgul from Belt Lehem Yehudah into Pedaya’s Poetry
4.0 (Re)birthing Situation and Word: Preliminary Reflections
4.1 Between Poetry and Mysticism: Limits of Said and Saying
4.2 Cosmogenesis of Birthing: The Lurianic Myth of Seven Edomite Kings
4.3 Concentric Opening: The case of ??? (baqa) Becoming ?? ? (paqa)
4.4 Metalepsis of a Lurianic Imaginality in Pedaya’s Poetry
5. “Between My Legs I Give Birth to Adonai”—Hermeneutics of Tohu Ve-tiheiru in the Poetry of Ravikovitch, Wallach, and Esther
5.0 Preamble: Breaching Boundaries in Hebrew
5.1 Crossing Boundaries within Hebrew Poetry: The Sabbatean Impulse
5.2 Recovering Feminine jouissance: Implications for Reading Hebrew Poetry
5.3 “Like a Rose in the Thorn-Hedge”: Hebrew Poetry after Sabbetai Tzvi
5.4 The Ecstatic Journey Begins Again: E.A. Lissitzky’s “Meliselda” (1957)
5.5 Yearning for Immanence: A. Gilboa’s “Songs of Unification” (1974)
5.6 Melting Messianic Desires: B. Shevili’s “A Boy Flies a Kite...” (1988)
5.7 Destructive “Thought-less Light”: Feminine Messianism in Hebrew Poetry
5.8 Pro/creative Messianism in the Poetry of Dalia Ravikovitch
5.9 Tattering and Eliding Verses: Tohu Ve-tiheiru in Yonah Wallach
5.10 My Flesh Speaks God: Embodiment in Haya Esther’s Song of Messianic Self
5.11 Sustenance for Spirit, Salve for Flesh: Conclusions after Poetry Like This
6. Seeing the Saying: Re-birthing Kabbalah’s Said from Hebrew Poetry’s Saying
6.0 Wandering beyond Hierarchy: Cultivating a Poetics of Imagination
6.1 Between Greek and Hebrew Imaginations: Psychoanalysis of the Poetic
6.2 From Individual to Communal Imagination: A Sociology of the Poetic
6.3 Beyond Medieval Mysticism: “Carrying-forward” Imagination to Imaginality
6.4 Imaginal Origins in Hebrew: By-paths of Hoshev within Mahshavah
6.5 Conceptual and Inceptual Imagination in Light of First and Second Imagination
6.6 From Poetics to Musicality of Imagination
6.7 The Song of Poetic Desire: Re-reading Hebrew in Light of Adorno
6.8 Birthing a Poetic Presencing: The Imaginal Shift from Shekhinah to Metatron
6.9 Wandering through the Spirit of Hebrew Poetry’s Saying
6.10 Wandering through Color: Toward a Philosophy of Language after Goethe, Wittgenstein, and Gendlin
6.11 Colors of Imaginality: Re-reading Zohar in Light of Wittgenstein
6.12 Seeing the Saying: Perceiving Color as Imaginal Experience
6.13 Re-turning to the Poetics of Language’s Womb: Seeing the Unsaying of TN”TO [?????] in Lurianic Kabbalah
6.14 Wandering in the Ashes of Imagination: How Hebrew Poetry Might Redeem Jewish Thinking
6.15 Saying as Imagining Beyond: Cycles of dmh and hsv
6.16 Seeing the Sounds: Toward a Poetics of Experience in Hebrew
6.17 Seeing from the Eyes of In/sight: Unscientific Postscript
7. Beyond Afterwords: Returning to Poetry’s “How” and Poetics’ “What”

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