Synopses & Reviews
Hebrew literature sprang to life in late-nineteenth-century Russia, entering the "tehiyah" (revival) period in the life of Hebrew letters. The Yeshiva and the Rise of Modern Hebrew Literature examines the role of the Yeshiva (Orthodox Jewish seminary) in why and how did this happen at that time and place?
Departing from the conventional interpretation of the origins of secular Hebrew literature, Marina Zilbergerts argues that the rise of Hebrew literature was grounded in the literary practices and metaphysics of the world of Talmud study in Eastern Europe from which its first writers had emerged.
The Yeshiva and the Rise of Modern Hebrew Literature focuses on the early works and personal histories of five founding Hebrew writers who began publishing between 1862 and 1900, tracing the deep connections between their new secular writings and the scholarly milieu of Talmudic culture and the yeshiva in which they had all been reared. Zilbergerts reveals that even as these writers clashed with the rabbinical elites, they were inspired by the very Talmudic texts and ascetic ideals they so despised.
The Yeshiva and the Rise of Modern Hebrew Literature argues that the institution of the yeshiva and its ideals of Jewish textual study played a seminal role in the resurgence of Hebrew literature in modern times. Departing from the conventional interpretation of the origins of Hebrew literature in secular culture, Marina Zilbergerts points to the practices and metaphysics of Talmud study as its essential animating forces. Focusing on the early works and personal histories of founding figures of Hebrew literature, from Moshe Leib Lilienblum to Chaim Nachman Bialik, The Yeshiva and the Rise of Modern Hebrew Literature reveals the lasting engagement of modern Jewish letters with the hallowed tradition of rabbinic learning.