Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Myth of the Eternal Jew

Jews have inspired a remarkable range of mythic images and fantasies. Often those that revile the Jew most viciously, display a profound awe and fear at the same time. For example, the nazis could not compete with the Jew on a level playing field, seeing "him" as too powerful and dangerous, too successful in controlling the minds and obtaining wealth in the society.

I have decided to explore this myth from a Jewish perspective, painting some portraits of faces and personalities, and composing some landscapes and the tragic and miraculous events that take place within them. And embedded in these tales, the hidden immanence of the Divine, as much here with us as it is absent.

This, the opening scene, probably not what you expect:

Miths ov the Ternel Jew

Here I stand, ammung hem tall aeks,
Brambellen bush I am up to my nek.
Louk I over a rivver, its wayz,
Its musselz rippel, o ellaggen, streng.

Down at the shor, all pebbel and sans,
Dans the gerlz, like the rivver thay sway.
Gownz an vaelz all likwiddee wet.
Brests thay sway, thiez a trembel.
Like the tinee waevz tu glitterree sun.

Siy. Du yu heer it? Aspiyerz the wind,
An divvine seeng ov the siyrennee gerlz
Drifts like the mists on the fiyeree wotter.
Don iz kum but the aenjelz doent see me.
Don iz kum. Wy kant yu see me?

This my parabbel now I tell
Ov the ternen Jew, him noktern seeng.
Not even he kan see the don,
And all ov us at the rivver side.
Seeng we dans an taest ov song
But not we understan ov fiyer.
Trembel thi, an sway owwer brest,
And we, messsiyaz, all ov us.
Yes, yu ar tu. Kant yu see?

Dreem on sleeper in yur noktern day.
Woch for hem Jew. Will he retern?
Wut du yu see, o dreemer a dreemz?
That Jew yu see, an yu ar he.
This my parabbel. I that Jew,
And I will tell yu hu yu ar,
And I will tell abowt how far
Frum the donnee rivver and the fade a star.

Take my hand, o dreemee wokker
And let us wok intu the wotter...

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