How does a writer translate a book from a language he can’t read? Isaac Bashevis Singer and Haim Nahman Bialik are among many to have done it.
As we observe the 400th anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes’s death, Benjamin Ivry commemorates the occasion by speaking with Cervantes expert Ruth Fine about the Jewish origins of Don Quixote’s creator and some of the stranger interpretations of his novel.
Was Don Quixote Jewish? Were his adventures with Sancho Panza influenced by the Kabbalah? Benjamin Ivry analyzes these and other quixotic mysteries.
The great poet Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934) also produced translations that helped re-energize Modern Hebrew. Bialik’s renditions of Friedrich Schiller’s 1804 drama “Wilhelm Tell” and Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” are examples, as detailed in “The Russian Jewish Diaspora and European Culture, 1917-1937.”
Crossposted from Haaretz
At 76, Rabbi Josy Eisenberg is a longtime representative of Judaism for the French public. He is the genial host of the half-hour religious program “La Source de Vie,” broadcast in various formats since 1962, and he helped write the 1973 hit comedy film “The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob,” starring comedian Louis de Funès. In France, Rabbi Jacob is still so popular that in 2008, comedian Patrick Timsit, of Algerian Jewish origin, directed a music stage version complete with a Hasidic rap.