By Ezra Cappell
Seems to be on the position of Jewish American fiction within the better context of yankee culture.
In American Talmud, Ezra Cappell redefines the style of Jewish American fiction and locations it squarely in the better context of yankee literature. Cappell departs from the traditional process of defining Jewish American authors completely by way of their ethnic origins and sociological constructs, and as a substitute contextualizes their fiction in the theological historical past of Jewish tradition. by means of intentionally emphasizing old and ethnographic hyperlinks to religions, spiritual texts, and traditions, Cappell demonstrates that twentieth-century and modern Jewish American fiction writers were codifying a brand new Talmud, an American Talmud, and argues that the literary creation of Jews in the US will be visible as yet another level of rabbinic statement at the scriptural inheritance of the Jewish humans.
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Additional resources for American Talmud: The Cultural Work of Jewish American Fiction
Jewish tradition expounds two separate myths concerning the nature of God. One posits a transcendent God, above and separate from our world, a God who created our world but is now totally removed from his handiwork. This is the fearful God of Judgment who created the world and, if he so chooses, can destroy it as well. The alternate view presents a God who is immanent, a God who is accessible and who created humanity in his own image and endowed us with his divine characteristics. These two conceptions of God have coexisted throughout Jewish history.
As Berger notes: “Various crises in Jewish national existence were measured against the norms of divine promise and divine judgment” (1). 2 In pre–World War II Jewish American fiction, Orthodoxy had a marginal role, serving as a point of departure for many protagonists as they pushed away from the old world and all it represented. Orthodoxy was disparagingly treated, usually in the form of the stereotypically crafted rabbi in the fiction of Abraham Cahan or Henry Roth. The rituals and traditions associated with Orthodoxy were used as a contrasting device to differentiate between the old world and the new.
6) The Rav’s theorem for leading a Torah-true Jewish life has as its corollary the life of the Jewish American writer. Is not the Rav’s credo for a Torah-true Jew the selfsame aim of the fiction writer? To turn passivity into action and imagination? To transform readers from muteness and confusion toward daring and imaginative leaps with an “other,” an invention on the page, a fictional character? ORTHODOXY AND THE HOLOCAUST IN AMERICAN TALMUD On March 17, 2002, the art exhibit “Mirroring Evil” opened in New York City.