Stories of Religious Crisis: “Nothing,” “The War in Heaven” and “A Yud”.
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Coming into Yeshiva University as a freshman, I devoted my time to the careful analysis of Talmud that many students embark on in their morning programs. Now, I have shifted my focus to the literary tradition, which in many ways parallels the tradition of my youth in the careful attention and reverence it pays towards texts. The meaning supplied to me by organized religion became supplanted by the multifarious meanings of literature, and I exchanged Talmud for Tennyson and Woolf. Now, in these stories, I attempt to build characters who also struggle with the relationship of these different traditions in the form of the literary interpretations of creation of the world, the words of prayer or the words of Torah. ====== In writing this thesis, I hoped to develop myself as a creator, though like my characters I only partly succeed. Something I hope to have shown throughout these stories, though, is that final success or failure is irrelevant to the journey of creation. Satan becomes a hero in his failed rebellion; Yochanan’s sin is not in his own mistake, but in hoping that the ancient Torah contains a mistake as well; Uri’s success is to realize that it is sometimes good to look into the weekly Torah portion and find nothing to say. (from Reflection)
Stone, Jacob. Stories of Religious Crisis: “Nothing,” “The War in Heaven” and “A Yud”. Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program. NY: Yeshiva College. Yeshiva University, January 31, 2020. Mentor: Prof. David Puretz.
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