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Ruth Wisse: Jewish Stories & Jewish Politics
Tuesday, May 29 2018 | Haim Hazaz’s “Hadrasha” (“The Sermon”)

The 1942 Hebrew story by Haim Hazaz is called “The Sermon,” because that is what its main character is trying to deliver: an exhortation to the Jews. Yudka is a member of an Israeli kibbutz. He lacks the authority, education, and talent to fully express what he wants to say. But the provocation is clear: Yudka rejects the legacy of Jewish history for its passivity, and he wonders why his new society should bother with anything so distasteful.