Journal Article

The Prayer House of Chava Rosenfarb: Poetry, Religion and the Shadow of the Holocaust

Goldie Morgentaler

in Literature and Theology

Volume 24, issue 2, pages 161-174
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frq023
The Prayer House of Chava Rosenfarb: Poetry, Religion and the Shadow of the Holocaust

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This article focuses on the poetry of the Yiddish-Canadian novelist and poet, Chava Rosenfarb, a Holocaust survivor and author of The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto. Rosenfarb is known primarily for her novels and short stories, but she is also an accomplished poet. Although a lifelong atheist, several of Rosenfarb’s poems centre on religious themes, specifically on how Jewish traditional belief and the Jewish longing for God are nullified by the fact of the Holocaust. This theme, which balances between the longing for faith and the acknowledgement of its impossibility is movingly expressed in two of Rosenfarb’s poems, ‘Isaac’s Dream’ and ‘I Would Go Into a Prayer House’. Using these two poems as prooftexts, this essay will analyse the religious poetry of a secular author who is also one of the last Yiddish-language writers.

Journal Article.  5929 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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