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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15Focusing on Jewish Religious Life, 1500-1900$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774716

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774716.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

‘Ahavat yehonatan’: A Poem by Judah Leo Landau

‘Ahavat yehonatan’: A Poem by Judah Leo Landau

(p.243) ‘Ahavat yehonatan’: A Poem by Judah Leo Landau
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15

Veronica Belling

Liverpool University Press

This chapter takes a look at Rabbi Judah Leo Landau’s poem, ‘Ahavat yehonatan’. Landau was a Hebrew poet and one of the fathers of modern Hebrew drama. ‘Ahavat yehonatan’ is based on a folk tale about the life of King Jan Sobieski. It relates the story of how Jan Sobieski was abandoned as a young boy and then brought up in the home of the rich Jew Bezalel, the leader of the Jewish community. The poem opens with a powerful description of the dark and stormy night when the J Bezalel, walking alone through the deserted streets in the Jewish quarter, discovers Jonathan (Jan) lying weak and abandoned next to a Jewish home. This dramatic description, in the pseudo-biblical style of the Haskalah, is characteristic of Landau’s later work and demonstrates a remarkable lyricism.

Keywords:   Judah Leo Landau, Ahavat yehonatan, Hebrew poetry, Hebrew drama, South Africa, Johannesburg, Jewish national culture, Jewish language

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