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Yemenite Redemption and New Hebraism

Yemenite Redemption and New Hebraism
The Novel 'Yaish' by Hayim Hazaz
Itamar Drori

This book seeks to interpret the novel “Yaish” by Hayim Hazaz as a poetic, cultural and historiosophical phenomenon. The four volumes of this canonical novel were published in the 1940s and 1950s, and earned its author the first Israel Prize given in literature (1953). Hazaz (1898-1973), a novelist of modern Hebrew literature known for his writings on the Jewish shtetl in Eastern Europe and its destruction in the wake of the Communist Revolution, turned in this novel to writing about the Jewish community in Sanaa, Yemen in the late nineteenth century. The Yemenite community was viewed in Israeli culture (art, dance, music, etc.) as the paradigm of an ancient 'tribe', pure – before becoming “contaminated” metaphorically by European and non-Jewish values and attitudes. Thus Hazaz sets his testimony in “Yaish” to the late nineteenth century, before the Yemenite Jews came into contact with the Jews of Europe and a pro-western climate. In this novel he attempts to provide a colorful gallery of characters which together create a panoramic picture of Jewish society in exile, a sort of Yemenite Jewish comedy. Unlike the European Jewish experience, which ended in destruction and had to be rebuilt, the Yemenite experience of Yaish portrayed in the novel allows for survival of his Hebrew-Jewish identity in turbulent times.
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Danacode:   110-20212 ISBN:  978-965-226-456-5 Language:   Hebrew Pages:   210 Weight:   650 gr Dimensions:  17X25 cm Publication Date:   05/2014 Publisher:   Bar-Ilan University Press