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Notes On Christians And Christianity In Agnon'S Writings

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Chapter Summary

S.Y. Agnon has produced important works which show a conspicuous interest in Christians and Christianity, whether because of his criticism or because of his concealed attraction. One example of begrudging attraction is expressed in his wonder at Christian monasticism in the novel Shira, where monasticism is used as an expression of surrender, a choice made in order to bypass the existential questions that arise in the novel. This chapter focuses on the only story Or Tora that appears in all of Agnons writing which survived from the Buczacz period as an autonomous story with its original title. It discusses the status and significance of the story Or Tora, which is based on a ritual anecdote that repeats itself several times in the story and is set off by an expression that recurs, both in its entirety and in parts: layla layla, kol ha-layla, like a kind of magical initiation ceremony.

Keywords: Buczacz period; Christian monasticism; Or Tora; S.Y. Agnons writing; Shira



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