Michal Govrin

His presentation of the unique Jewish foundation of the 'cathedral in time.'

Author, Poet, Theater Director
Jerusalem, Israel

My “dialogue” with Heschel, particularly with his “Shabbat” crosses my novel Snapshots, presenting a radical reading of the Sukkah and Shmita commandements. I regularly presented his reading of the “cathedral of the Sabbath,” a term he probably borrowed from Bialik’s important essay (translated to German by the young Gershom Scholem) “Halacha and Aggadah,” and his presentation of the unique Jewish foundation of the “cathedral in time.” I read it with my students at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, in my lectures on Sukka and Shmita in a seminar led by the poet David Shapiro.

I often juxtaposed Heschel’s thoughts originally presented to the Yiddish society in New York after World War II to Heidegger’s essays, written at the same time concerning space and building, with a palpable contrast in defining the metaphysical dimension.

Heschel’s attitude toward Zionism, hinted at in this book, interested me in my formulation of a complex attitude to the Topos—Zion, in the actual phase of Jewish thinking from within sovereignty and implantation. 

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