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National Symbols and Kabbalistic Motives in the Figure of Leah in "Lifnim Min ha-Homah" / סימבוליקה לאומית ומוטיבים קבליים: דמותה של לאה בסיפור 'לפנים מן החומה' לש"י עגנון

אלחנן שילה and Elchanan Shilo
Dappim: Research in Literature / דפים למחקר בספרות
כרך‎ 18 (תשע"ב), pp. 165-188
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23417854
Page Count: 24
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National Symbols and Kabbalistic Motives in the Figure of Leah in "Lifnim Min ha-Homah" / סימבוליקה לאומית ומוטיבים קבליים: דמותה של לאה בסיפור 'לפנים מן החומה' לש"י עגנון
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Abstract

This paper deals with Jewish national symbols and Kabbalistic motives which Agnon uses in creating Leah, the heroine of his story Lifnim Min ha-Homah. At the beginning the various symbolic layers of the story are discussed. Leah is identified with the Jewish nation, her father is identified with God, and their house is identified with the Temple. Agnon's reason for writing symbolically is also discussed. In the second part of the paper, the Kabbalistic motives that form the heroine Leah's personality are addressed. According to the pre-Lurianic mysticism Agnon identifies Leah with the sefira Bina, 'intelligence,' and other similar motives such as heart, the day of atonement, soul, Alma d'etcasa and trei rain delo mitparshin. According to Lurianic Kabbalah, Agnon identifies Leah with Jerusalem, humility, the inner self of the Shechina, the soul of Malchut and 'zivug neshikin'. On the one hand, Agnon puts metaphysical meaning into realistic descriptions, and his work of art proceeds from reality to metaphysical being; on the other hand, he puts the Kabbalistic idea into literary reality.

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