Isaac Meyers


Music From Her Own Mind

By Isaac Meyers

Agi Mishol is a major minor poet, the kind with whom, as John Crowe Ransom said, “the poetic object is elected by a free choice… and this object, deliberately elected and carefully worked up by the adult poet, becomes his microcosm.” In other words, she captures our imagination by observing her own. Israel is such a small country that non-Hebrew speakers seldom get to meet its “major-minors”; all attention is saved for the “major-majors” — outstanding poets who seem to speak for their age, their generation and so forth. But with “Look There,” Lisa Katz’s selection and translation of Mishol’s work, we have the chance to discover a mature and individual lyric poet who draws music mainly from her own consciousness. It’s good luck for us, and a little victory for Hebrew literature.Read More


Israel’s Divine Poets

By Isaac Meyers

In an interview, Yehuda Amichai once mentioned that some congregations in America had started to use his poems as tefillot, or prayers, in a synagogue setting. This left him pleased (why not?) but also bemused. He had studied Bible at the Hebrew University, not in yeshiva. The Israeli literary scene, which is thoroughly secular, considered him a master and teacher, and sometimes found his flirtation with the Jewish God dishonest, even grotesque. But for other Israelis, and even more for Americans, this flirtation was the very basis of Amichai’s appeal. So he found himself refashioned into a sort of atheist rabbi, sexy yet spiritual, and easy to translate — which is no doubt what we want Israel itself to be.Read More


Chapter and Verse: Two Poets Explore Religion

By Isaac Meyers

The Insatiable Psalm: Poems By Yermiyahu Ahron Taub Wind River Press, 144 pages, $14.


Morning Prayer By Eve Grubin Sheep Meadow Press, 96 pages, $12.95 * * *Yermiyahu Taub named his first book of poems “The Insatiable Psalm,” a striking title that foretells the wealth of fine phrases that fill his poetry. Almost every line hasRead More


A Poet’s Contradictory Properties

By Isaac Meyers

For a while now, I have been asking Hasidic Jews, especially women, what they think poetry is supposed to be. In today’s Hasidic world, many view poetry as at worst secular, at best bittul torah, a frivolous distraction from serious learning. The women I’ve spoken to basically agree with this; they consider poetry ornamental orRead More


The Prophet’s Song for the Choirmaster

By Isaac Meyers

First Day: EXODUS 19:1-20:23;NUMBERS 28:26-31,EZEKIEL 1:1-28 & 3:12; Second Day DEUTERONOMY 15:9-16:17, NUMBERS 28:26-3, HABAKKUK 2:20-3:19.* * *Shortly before the Babylonian Exile in 587 BCE, Habakkuk in his workshop meditates on the visions he has seen: Babylonian soldiers storming westward toward the Kingdom of Judah, drivenRead More






    Find us on Facebook!
    • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
    • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
    • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
    • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
    • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
    • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
    • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
    • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
    • This is the face of hatred.
    • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
    • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
    • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
    • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
    • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
    • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
    • from-cache

    Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















    We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

    Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.