A Thematic Dialogue Of Exile Essay

1510 Words Oct 5th, 2016 7 Pages
4. A thematic dialogue between several early Modern Jewish literature prose is this discussion of exile. This is perhaps unsurprising, given exile of the Jewish people is often a narrative framework for the Jewish way of life. The roots of this theme can be traced in to one of the inaugural Jewish literary prose authors, Medele Mocher Sforim, who writes in Shem and Japeth on the Train, “life in exile-this precious gift from God’s store- belongs only to Jews-His chosen people” (Sforim 35). In this story and in the Y.H. Brenner’s The Way Out Jews, how Jewish people live in exile is developed and displayed as an immense hardship, deleterious toward Jewish family and its future, and yields an unclear identity of what it means to be Jewish. First and foremost, these stories show quite clearly the anguish produced by exile. The description of the refuges in The Way Out is equally is horrifying and telling, “Women in tatter blouses, their emaciated breast exposed. Young girls, their shriveled faces long devoid of the bloom of youth (Brenner 148).” Those in exile are tired, hunger, clothingless, and for the most part helpless. In fact, this exact suffering from exile is described in Shem and Japeth on the Train when Reb Moshe speaks about the the Polish man’s exile, “Familiar, as a Jew, with every aspect of poverty and hunger, I sympathized with this poor wretch” (Sforim 33). For Reb Moshe, and the Jews in exile he symbolizes, the hardships caused by exile are so characteristic…

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