Manuel Eichelbaum (1895-1957) Artista visual judío-argentino/Argentine- Jewish Artist “Obras judías”/”Jewish Works”

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Manuel Eichelbaum     Autorretrato/Self Portrait

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Manuel Eichelbaum

Nació en Domínguez, Entre Ríos, Argentina. Pintor y dibujante. Estudió en la Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes. Realizó exposiciones en instituciones, clubes y galerías de Buenos Aires. Ilustró el Libro para la pausa del sábado, de César Tiempo. Poseen su obra el Museo de la Boca y el IWO (Bs. As.), además del Museo Municipal de Santa Fe (Argentina).

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Manuel Eichelbaum

Born in Domínguez, Entre Ríos, Argentina. Painter and sketcher. Studied in the National Academy of Fine Arts. Shows in institutions, clubs and galleries in Buenos Aires. Illustrated Libro para la pausa del sábado [Book for the Sabbath Pause] by the Jewish Argentina poet and playwright César Tiempo. The Museum of the Boca, the IWO Museum of Buenos Aires and the Municipal Museum of Santa Fe (Argentina) possess his works.

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“Obras judías”/”Jewish Works”

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Bar-Mitzvá/         Bar-Mitzvah              óleo/oils, 1931

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Colegialas/Schoolmates    óleo/oils, 1939

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Chiche, óleo,/oils, 1943

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Casamiento judío/Jewish Wedding               óleo/oils, 1953

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El dramturgo Samuel Eichelbaum, el hermano de Manuel                    The Playwright Samuel Eichelbaum, Manuel’s brother,     óleo/oils,1930

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El poeta César Tiempo/The Poet César Tiempo                óleo/oils, 1930   

Julia Galimare — Poeta judío-uruguaya/Uruguayan-Jewish Poet — ‘”Diario poético”/”Poetic Diary” (2005)

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Julia Galimare

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Julia Galimare

Julia Galimare

Julia Galemire nació en Montevideo, Uruguay. Fue alumna de los profesores en la  Facultad de Humanidades, del profesor  Juan Carlos Legido sobre Historia del Arte y sobre literatura de los profesores Sylvia Lago Jorge Arbeleche. Fue integrante de Asesur (Asociación de Escritores del Uruguay) actuando como subsecretaria. En 1994, fundó el Grupo Cultural de La Tertulia, existente hasta la fecha. Realizó periodismo cultural por CX 38 SODRE de Montevideo, y el programa “La Tertulia” quien lo dirigió y coordinó durante 6 años.  En 1999 fue seleccionada para integrar el libro Letras de la Paz, publicación con apoyo de la UNESCO. En el año 2000, concurrió al encuentro en el País de las Nubes realizado en Oaxaca, México en representación del Grupo Cultural Abrace.Ha sido invitada a participar en congresos del país y del exterior y lecturas de poemas en varias oportunidades por instituciones culturales, del país y del extranjero. Poemas que le pertenecen han sido publicados en revistas y libros de antología del país y del extranjero. 

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Julia Galimare

Julia Galimare was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. She was the student of the Professors Roberto Ibáñez, Eugenio Petit Muñoz in the School of the Humanities,  Juan Carlos Legido on art history and Sylvia Lago Jorge Arbeleche on literature, She was a member of Asesur (Uruguayan Writers Association), acting as its under secretary. In 1994, Galimare founded the “Grupo Cultural de La Tertulia,” which is still in existence. She did cultural journalism for CX 38 SODRE, Montevideo, and for the program “La Tertulia” which she directed and coordinated for six years.She has been invited to participate in Congresses in Uruguay and in other countries, and often for poetry readings in cultural institutions. Her poems have been published in magazines and anthologies in many countries. Aproximación a la obra de Julia Galemire (2006) was edited by Professor Claudia Carneiro.  Julia Galimare has published ten books of poetry.

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 Libros publicados de Julia Galimare

  • Fabular de la piedra, 1989, Editorial Proyección.
  • La escritura o el sueño, 1991, Editorial Signos.
  • Al sur del aire, 1994 Editorial Grafiti.
  • Diecisiete poetas uruguayos de hoy, 1996, Editorial Proyección.
  • Fabular de la niebla, 1997, Premio Mención Poesía Edita del Ministerio Educación y Cultura, Bianchi Editores.
  • 10 Años, 1999, Editorial Proyección.
  • La Mujer y el Ángel, 2000, Premio mención Poesía Edita del Ministerio Educación y Cultura, Ediciones La Gotera 
  • Diario Poético, 2005,  Hermes Criollo, Serie Poesía Gotera. 
  • Fabulares. 2009, Ático Ediciones.
  • Memoria silenciosa. 2013,  Yaguarú.

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La bendición, acrílico sobre tela, 90 x 70 cm.
Adrián Levy  -“La bendición”, acrílico sobre tela, 90 x 70 cm./”The Benediction,” acrylic on paper, 90 x 70 cm.

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Julia Galemire

Diario poético/Poetic Diary (2005)

I

Quisiera que el Gran Ordenador

de la tierra, los mares y el cielo (así llamaba a

Dios una amiga notoriamente

agnóstica) me enseñara a pensar

y vivir en este mundo que

entendemos cada vez menos.

Sé que cuando vaya a seguir

la oscuridad interminable

sabré algo del misterio

que supone nuestra vida.

 

I

I wish that the Great Computer

of earth sea and sky (as a

notoriously agnostic friend used

to call God) would teach me to think

and live in this world that

we understand less and less.

I know that if interminable

darkness should follow

I will know something of

the mystery our life implies.

 

II

Tal vez sea demasiado

pretender abarcar los cauces de lo profundo

el porqué de un destino perdido, el porqué

de nacer para luego sumergirnos en un enigma

de preguntas, que presuponemos

no tienen respuestas adecuadas

ni aclaraciones. Traigo en mi memoria un fragmento

un fragmento de un poema de MacNeice, un lúcido creador

de Inglaterra moderna que me permito citar:  

¨árboles que me hablen, cielos que me canten, y una

luz blanca, en el fundo del alma que me guíe¨.

 

II

It may be too much

to try to bridge the riverbeds of the profound

the why of a lost destiny, the why

of being born in order to be caught up in an enigma

of questions we presuppose

without adequate answers

or clarifications.  I carry in my memory

a fragment of a poem by MacNeice, a lucid creator

from modern England whom I allow myself to quote:

“trees that speak to me, skies that sing to me, and a

white light, from the depths of my soul, that guides me.”

 

III

Puedo hacer en esos momentos míos esos

deseos, ese plan existencial con el cual

llegaré al lugar donde me destine el gran ordenador

(prefiero llamarlo Dios), con la certidumbre

de que no he pensado en vano esas

cuestiones que algunos incluyen en las

abstracciones metafísicas.  Todo me ha

mantenido en una marea de silencios,

en el espíritu del mar que ha sido

mi leal confesor.

 

III

In those moments of mine I can imagine

those desires, that existential plan with which

I will arrive where the great computer

(I’d rather call it God) has preordained, certain

that I haven’t thought uselessly of those

questions often numbered among

metaphysical abstractions.  Everything

has sustained me in a tide of silences,

in the spirit of the sea that has been

my loyal confessor.

 

IV

Lo mismo me sucede con los poemas a los

cuales soy adicta como si fuera una

iniciada en la magia de la escritura.

Recorro con el poeta los

Largos jardines que duermen,

Los silencios que pueblan el alguna

tarde encerrada en un sol que va

declinando en su postrer latido.

 

IV

The same thing happens to me with the poems

I am addicted to as if I were an

initiate in the magic of writing.

Alongside the poet, I go through

large sleeping gardens,

silences that populate an

afternoon embraced by a sun that goes on

setting in its last heartbeat.

 

V

Sabemos que ellos

representan una verdad nacida en un

secreto o en amor frustrado que en

la juventud cubrió los dulces follajes del

corazón (en la sombra de un adiós que

flotó en las aguas donde

duermen apacibles y humildes

las algas de negras espesuras).

 

V

We know they

represent a truth born in a

secret or in frustrated love that

in youth covered the sweet leafage of the

heart (in the shadows of a goodbye that

floated in waters where

the algae of black depths

sleep in peace and humility.)

 

VI

Ahora me nace otra pregunta

¿dónde encontrar los

minutos, las horas, el tiempo justo y

maduro en el que la gracia inundaba

los templos?  ¿dónde el inhallable olor de las

nueces, la canela y la voz que nos llegaba aún virgen,

el rostro de la adolescencia, la imagen

de dignos unicornios, las sombras que crecían

en los ojos de la noche vegetal?

 

VI

Now another question arises

where to find the

minutes, the hours, the precise and

mature time when grace flooded

the temples?  where the undiscoverable fragrance of

walnuts, cinnamon and the still virgin voice came to us,

the face of adolescence, the image

of honorable unicorns, shadows growing

in the eyes of vegetable night?

 

VII

En esa forma estricta de las cosas, de aquella

que nos impone recordar y memorizar episodios

de una vida limitada por el tiempo-tan breve-

siempre volvemos a los paisajes y a los seres

que sólo existen como un brumoso espejo

donde se guardan las voces y los nombres.

Cerrados cofres desgarrados por la humedad y

la vejez donde hallaremos

tal vez cartas donde las palabras han

desaparecido en un océano indiferente.

 

VII

In the strict form of things, those

forcing us to recall and memorize episodes

of a life limited by time — so brief —

we always return to the countryside and the beings

who only exist as a cloudy mirror

where voices and names are preserved.

Sealed coffers damaged by humidity and

old age where perhaps we will find

letters where words have disappeared

in an indifferent ocean.

 

VIII

He acudido necesariamente al tema de

las palabras como un recurso para

indagar a dónde van.

En qué límites distintos se pierden

de donde estoy segura no vuelven,

por lo menos en nuestras vidas.  Ellas son

como notas musicales que nos alcanzan

la eternidad de los rumores, aquello

que ocurrió sin que nadie pudiera evitarlo.

¿Adónde van las palabras caídas?

 

VIII

I‘m compelled to arrive at the theme of

words as an instrument to

investigate where they go.

Where exactly they are lost

from where I am sure they won’t return

at least during our lives.  They are

like musical notes that reach us,

the eternity of noise, what

happened without anyone being able to avoid it.

Where do fallen words go?

 

IX

Sabemos sí que hay palabras ocultas

que nos marcan con sus ritos secretos

y sus cargas de historias futuras.

Algunos entienden que las cosas

se expresan mejor en las palabras

de las gentes comunes, que sus emociones

a veces simples y sus sentimientos nacen

a flor de piel en ese lenguaje cotidiano.

Puede ser posible o no.

Lo cierto es que a veces la palabra nace en

la garganta y cae por los labios

hasta perderse por el cristal de la nada.

 

IX

We know for sure there are cryptic words

that mark us with their secret rituals

and their baggage of future histories.

Some people understand that things

are better expressed by the words

of common people, that their sometimes simple

feelings and sentiments are born

on the verge of that everyday language.

That may or may not be possible.

What is sure is that at times words are born

in the throat and fall through the lips

until they lose themselves in the crystal of nothingness.

 

X

Pero ahora en la comarca ha nacido una

edad distinta en que las mismas palabras,

los gestos, las fecundas anunciaciones

adquieren la tonalidad de los héroes,

edad de vigilias sobre el amanecer

del canto, mientras vamos creando

impensadas utopías que nos dicen

de anchas corrientes, de augurales

lenguajes, la fascinación de lo nuevo.

 

X

But now in my neighborhood a distinct age

has been born, in which the same words,

gestures, fertile annunciations

acquire the absolute of heroes,

age of vigils over the dawn

of song, while we go on believing in

unforeseen utopias that tell us about

deep currents of languages

foretold,  the fascination of the new.

 

XI

En este tiempo que nace con un espíritu

hecho de resoluciones claves, de posibles

destinos que aún ignoramos, nos

dice con otras palabras que nada

está perdido, sino lo que nosotros

queremos perder.  Lo invisible se va a

develar en una exaltación progresiva

del trabajo, el ardor lúcido de crear.

Renuncio a partir de un solo instante

a los miedos, y asumo el asceticismo

y lo inmanente de la conciencia humana.

 

XI

In this time born in a spirit composed

 of key determinations, of possible

destinies we don’t yet know,

we are told in different words that nothing

is lost, except what we want to lose.

The invisible departs,

revealing the lucid ardor of creation

in a progressive exaltation of the work.

I repudiate fear in a single instant

and take on the asceticism

and what is inherent in human consciousness.

 

XII

Pienso en aquel mundo que se nos imaginaba

encerrado y pequeño:  era simplemente

el nuestro, la aceptación de los destinos

truncados, escurridos entre las manos

donde toda era utopía

en las orillas sinuosas de la vida.

Ahora nos llega la anunciación

de los días en que despunta el fino

diseño –universal-de algo distinto.

 

XII

I think about that distant world we imagined

as shut away and small:  it was simply

ours, the acceptance of destinies

cut short, that slipped through our hands

where  everything was utopia

on the sinuous shores of life.

Now the annunciation of those days

 arrives, when — everywhere — the fine design

of something distinct dawns.

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Adrián Levy – El canto de los justos, mixta sobre tela, 150 x 120 cm./The Song of the Just, mixed technique on canvas 

 

 

 

Mabel Rubli — Artista visual judío-argentina/Argentine-Jewish Artist — “Holocausto”

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Mabel Rubli
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Mabel Rubli

          Se gradúa en la Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes. Vivió en Francia y Suiza donde se especializó en técnicas de grabado. Introdujo la técnica de collagraph en la Argentina con la que trabajó y dictó numerosos talleres. En la actualidad trabaja con técnicas mixtas. Desde 1956 realiza numerosas exposiciones individuales y colectivas en Argentina y el extranjero.

          Es jurado de selección y premios en importantes salones nacionales y provinciales. Recibió el Primer Premio de la IV Bienal arteBA de Gráfica (2004), el Premio Konex 2002 (Diploma al Mérito), el Gran Premio de Honor de Grabado XXVº Salón Nacional de Bellas Artes (1990) y el Premio Georges Bracque (Francia, 1964) -entre otros. Varias de sus obras pertenecen a colecciones privadas nacionales e internacionales.  En la actualidad trabaja con técnicas mixtas.

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          Mabel Rubli graduated from the National School of Fine Arts. She lived in France and Switzerland where she specialized in etching techniques. She introduced the techniques of Colagraphy in Argentina, with with she worked and gave numerous workshops. Now, she works with mixed techniques. Since 1956, she has had very many individual and group show in Argentina and in other counties.

          Rubli is a judge for selection and prizes for important artistic venues at the  national and provincial levels. She received the  First Prize at the IV Biennial arteBA de Graphic Art (2004), The 2002 Konex Prize (Diploma of Merit), the Grand Prize for Etching XXV, the National Salon of Fine Arts (1990) and the Georges Bracque Prize (France, 1964) among others. Some of her works belong to national and international collections. Currently, she is working with mixed techniques

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                      Un homenaje a los víctimas del Holocausto/                               Tribute to the Victims of the Holocaust

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          El homenaje de Mabel Rubli a los víctimas del Holocausto: imágenes múltiples, dibujados, pintados, escaneados, digitalizados: obras en serie en la cual un número de piezas que se hacen eco y se amplifican.      

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          Mabel Rubli’s tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.  mûltiples images: drawn, painted, scanned, digitalized. serialized work in which a certain number of pieces echo and amplify each other.

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“Serie Holocausto”

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Mabel Rubli

Premios:

2004        Premio a la Trayectoria IV Bienal de Arte Ba de Gráfica, Argentina.

2002        Fundación Konex, Diploma al Mérito, Argentina.

1997        2º Premio Banco Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1992        Fundación Konex, Diploma de  Honor, Argentina.

1990        Gran Premio de Honor de Grabado XXVº Salón Nacional de Bellas Artes, Argentina.

1988        Primer Premio Salón Municipal Manuel Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1984        Premio Navarro Correas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1983        Mención Honorífica VIº bienal de San Juan de Puerto Rico.

1983        Premio Facio Hebecquer que otorga la Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes, Argentina.

1964        Premio Georges Bracque, Francia.

 

Muestras individuales?Individual Shows:

2017      CC BORGES, Antológica, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2015       Galería Empatía, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2011        Museo del Holocausto – Shoa, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2009        Galería Empatía, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2005        Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2002        Museo Nacional  del grabado, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2001        Gästehaus der Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Alemania.

2001        Consulado General Argentino en Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Alemania.

2000        Museo Guaman Poma. C. del Uruguay, Entre Ríos, Argentina.

1999        Centro Cultural. Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

1998        Banco Provincia De Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Banco Provincia. La Plata, Argentina.

1996        Museo Enrique Larreta, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1994        Consulado Argentino, Frankfurt am Main, Republica  Federal de Alemania.

Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Washington, U.S.A.

1993        Museo Municipal Arte Decorativo, Firma y Odilo Estevez, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.

1991        Galería Jacques  Martinez, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1990        Darc, Córdoba, Pcia. de Córdoba, Argentina.

1986        Galería Jacques Martinez, Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires.

1984        Galería Del Retiro, Librería Española, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1983        Fundación Carbide, “El Artista y su memoria”, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Galería Sudan, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1982        Museo de Artes Visuales, Santa Fe, Pcia. de Santa Fe, Argentina.

1980        Galería Altichiero, 3 Artistas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1979        Galería del Retiro, Librería Española, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1978        Galería Borkas, Lima, Perú.

1977        Galería del Retiro, Librería Española, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1976        Galería Arte Nuevo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1970        Galería del Triangulo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1966        Gente de Arte de Avellaneda, Pcia, de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1965        Galería Galatea, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1964        Gabinete de Estampas, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Galería Wenger, Zürich, Suiza.

Galería Nice, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1963        Galería Nice, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1962        Galería Rubbers, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Galería le Soleil Dans la Tête, París, Francia.

1960        Galería Läubli, Zürich, Suiza.

1959        Galería Rubbers, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1958        Instituto de Arte Moderno, Lima, Perú.

1957        Galería Rubbers, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dirección de Artes Plásticas, La Plata, Pcia. de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1956        Galería Antígona, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

  

 

Moacyr Scliar (1937-2011) — Escritor brasileiro-judio/Brazilian-Jewish Writer — “A Balada do Falso Messias”/”The Ballad of the False Messiah”

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Moacyr Scliar

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Moacyr Scliar

          Moacyr Jaime Scliar nasceu no bairro do Bom Fim, em Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, a 23 de março de 1937. Filho de imigrantes russos judeus, o escritor resume, na sua pessoa e em grande parte de sua escrita, a dualidade típica do brasileiro nato, criado na cultura brasileira e herdeiro de uma bagagem cultural judaica-europeia. 

          Em 1962, formou-se pela Faculdade de Medicina Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Como médico principiante, fazendo suas rondas por uma casa (“lar”) de judeus idosos, em Porto Alegre, Scliar começou a ouvir e armazenar histórias individuais de um passado coletivo, no qual se encontravam suas próprias raízes.

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Moacyr Scliar

         Moacyr Jaime Scliar was born in the Bom Fim neighborhood, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, in March 23, 1937. The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Scliar shows in his person and in the greater part of his writing, the typical duality of a native-born Brazilian, raised in Brazilian culture and inheritor of European-Jewish cultural baggage.

          In 1962, he graduated from the Federal School of Medicine of Rio Grande do Sul. As a young doctor, making his rounds in an asylum (“home”) for the Jewish aged in Porto Alegre, Scliar began to listen to and collect individual stories from a collective past, in which he discovered his own roots.

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“A Balada do Falso Messias”

          A narrativa se desenvolve em dois níveis de representação ficcional: o convencional, com um entrosamento tradicional de locais, datas e estados de ânimo: “comprimidos na terceira classe. Chorávamos e vomitávamos naquele ano de 1906” e o surreal, pelo qual Scliar faz com que se aproximem, aos imigrantes do século XX, no Rio Grande do Sul, Shabtai [sic] Zvi e Natan de Gaza, duas figuras do século XVII.

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“The Ballad of the False Messiah”

         The narrative develops on two levels of fictional representation: the conventional, with a traditional mix of places, dates and moods: “packed together in third class. We wept and were seasick in that year of 1906”; and surreal, by which Scliar brings together the twentieth century immigrants in Rio Grande do Sul with Shabtai [sic] Zvi and Natan of Gaza, two figures from the seventeenth century.

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Notes from:

Regina Igel. Imigrantes Judeus/Escritores Brasileiros:  O Componente Judaica em na Literatura Brasileira. São Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, 1997, pp. 61-62.

Regina Igel is Professor of Portuguese, University of Maryland.

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Sabbatai Zvi
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Natan de Gaza/Nathan of Gaza

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“A Balada do Falso Messias”

Vai pôr vinho no copo. Suas mãos agora estão enrugadas e tremem. Mas ainda me impressionam, essas mãos grandes e fortes. Comparo-as com as minhas, de dedos curtos e grossos, e admito que nunca o compreendi e nunca chegarei a compreendê-lo. Encontrei-o pela primeira vez a bordo do Zemlia. Nesse velho navio, nós, judeus, estávamos deixando a Rússia; temíamos os pogroms. Acenavam-nos com a promessa da América e para lá viajávamos, comprimidos na terceira classe. Chorávamos e vomitávamos, naquele ano de 1906. Eles já estavam no navio, quando embarcamos. Shabtai Zvi e Natan de Gaza. Nós os evitávamos. Sabíamos que eram judeus, mas nós, da Rússia, somos desconfiados. Não gostamos de quem é ainda mais oriental do que nós. E Shabtai Zvi era de Esmirna, na Ásia Menor – o que se notava por sua pele morena e seus olhos escuros. O capitão nos contou que ele era de uma família muito rica. De fato, ele e Natan de Gaza ocupavam o único camarote decente do barco. Então, por que iam para a América? Por que fugiam? Perguntas sem resposta.

Natan de Gaza, um homem pequeno e trigueiro, despertava-nos particularmente a curiosidade. Nunca tínhamos visto um judeu da Palestina de Eretz Israel – uma terra que para muitos de nós só existia em sonhos. Natan, um orador eloqüente, falava para um público atento sobre as suaves colinas da Galiléia, o belo lago Kineret, a histórica cidade de Gaza, onde ele nascera, e cujas portas Sansão tinha arrancado. Bêbado, porém, amaldiçoava a terra natal: “Pedras e areia, camelos, árabes ladrões…”. Ao largo das ilhasCanárias, Shabtai Zvi surpreendeu-o maldizendo Eretz Israel. Surrou-o até deixá-lo caído no chão, sangrando; quando Natan ousou protestar, demoliu-o com um último pontapé.

Depois disso passou dias trancado no camarote, sem falar com ninguém. Passando por ali ouvíamos gemidos… e suspiros… e suaves canções. Uma madrugada acordamos com os gritos dos marinheiros. Corremos ao convés e lá estava Shabtai Zvi nadando no mar gélido. Baixaram um escaler e a custo conseguiram tirá-Lo da água. Estava completamente nu e assim passou por nós, de cabeça erguida, sem nos olhar – e foi se fechar no camarote. Natan de Gaza disse que o banho fora uma penitência, mas nossa conclusão foi diferente: “É louco, o turco”. Chegamos à ilha das Flores, no Rio de Janeiro, e de lá viajamos para Erexim, de onde fomos levados em carroções para os nossos novos lares, na colônia denominada Barão Franck, em homenagem ao filantropo austríaco que patrocinara nossa vinda. Éramos muito gratos a este homem que, aliás, nunca chegamos a conhecer. Alguns diziam que nas terras em que estávamos sendo instalados mais tarde passaria uma ferrovia, cujas ações o barão tinha interesse em valorizar. Não acredito. Acho que era um bom homem, nada mais. Deu a cada família um lote de terra, uma casa de madeira, instrumentos agrícolas, animais.

Shabtai Zvi e Natan de Gaza continuavam conosco. Receberam uma casa, embora ao representante do barão não agradasse a idéia de ver os dois juntos sob o mesmo teto.

– Precisamos de famílias – disse incisivamente – e não de gente esquisita.

Shabtai Zvi olhou-o. Era tal a força daquele olhar que ficamos paralisados. O agente do barão estremeceu, despediu-se de nós e partiu apressadamente. Lançamo-nos ao trabalho.

Como era dura a vida rural! A derrubada de árvores. A lavra. A semeadura… Nossas mãos se enchiam de calos de sangue. Durante meses não vimos Shabtai Zvi. Estava trancado em casa. Aparentemente o dinheiro tinha acabado, porque Natan de Gaza perambulava pela vila, pedindo roupas e comida. Anunciava para breve o ressurgimento de Shabtai Zvi trazendo boas novas para toda a população.

– Mas o que é que ele está fazendo? – perguntávamos. O que estava fazendo? Estudava. Estudava a Cabala, a obra-prima do misticismo judaico: o Livro da Criação, o Livro do Brilho, o Livro do Esplendor. O ocultismo. A metempsicose. A demonologia. O poder dos nomes (os nomes podem esconjurar demônios; quem conhece o poder dos nomes pode andar sobre a água sem molhar os pés; e isso sem falar da força do nome secreto, inefável e impronunciável de Deus). A ciência misteriosa das letras e dos números (as letras são números e os números são letras; os números têm poderes mágicos; quanto às letras, são os degraus da sabedoria).

É então que surge em Barão Franck o bandido Chico Diabo. Vem da fronteira com seus ferozes sequazes. Fugindo dos “Abas Largas”, esconde-se perto da colônia. E rouba, e destrói, e debocha. Rindo, mata nossos touros, arranca-lhes os testículos, e come-os, levemente tostados. E ameaça matar-nos a todos se o denunciarmos às autoridades. Como se não bastasse esse infortúnio, cai uma chuva de granizo que arrasa as plantações de trigo.

Estamos imersos no mais profundo desespero quando Shabtai Zvi reaparece.

Está transfigurado. O jejum devastou-lhe o corpo robusto, os ombros estão caídos. A barba agora, estranhamente grisalha, chega à metade do peito. A santidade envolve-o, brilha em seu olhar. Caminha lentamente até o fim da rua principal… Nós largamos nossas ferramentas, nós saímos de nossas casas, nós o seguimos. De pé sobre um montículo de terra, Shabtai Zvi nos fala.

– Castigo divino cai sobre vós!

Referia-se a Chico Diabo e ao granizo. Tínhamos atraído a ira de Deus. E o que poderíamos fazer para expiar nossos pecados?

– Devemos abandonar tudo: as casas; as lavouras; a escola; a sinagoga; construiremos, nós mesmos, um navio – o casco com a madeira de nossas casas, as velas com os nossos xales de oração. Atravessaremos o mar. Chegaremos à Palestina, a Eretz Israel; e lá, na santa e antiga cidade de Sfat, construiremos um grande templo.

– E aguardaremos lá a chegada do Messias? – perguntou alguém com voz trêmula.

– O Messias já chegou! – gritou Natan de Gaza. – O Messias está aqui! O Messias é o nosso Shabtai Zvi!

Shabtai Zvi abriu o manto em que se enrolava. Recuamos, horrorizados. Víamos um corpo nu, coberto de cicatrizes; no ventre, um cinturão eriçado de pregos, cujas pontas enterravam-se na carne. Desde aquele dia não trabalhamos mais. O granizo que destruísse as plantações. Chico Diabo que roubasse os animais, porque nós íamos embora. Derrubávamos as casas, jubilosos. As mulheres costuravam panos para fazeras velas do barco. As crianças colhiam frutas silvestres para fazer conservas. Natan de Gaza recolhia dinheiro para, segundo dizia, subornar os potentados turcos que dominavam a Terra Santa.

– O que está acontecendo com os judeus? – perguntavam-se os colonos da região. Tão intrigados estavam que pediram ao padre Batistella para investigar. O padre veio ver-nos; sabia de nossas dificuldades, estava disposto a nos ajudar.

– Não precisamos, padre – respondemos com toda a sinceridade. –

Nosso Messias chegou; ele nos libertará, nos fará felizes.

– O Messias? – o padre estava assombrado. – O Messias já passou pela terra. Foi Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo, que transformou a água em vinho e morreu na cruz por nossos pecados.

– Cala-te, padre! – gritou Santa. – O Messias é Shabtai Zvi!

Santa, filha adotiva do gordo Leib Rubin, perdera os pais num pogrom. Ficara então com a mente abalada. Seguia Shabtai Zvi por toda a parte, convencida de que era a esposa reservada para o Ungido do Senhor. E para surpresa nossa Shabtai Zvi aceitou-a: casaram-se no dia em que terminamos o casco do barco. Quanto à embarcação, ficou muito boa; pretendíamos levá-la ao mar, como Bento Gonçalves transportara seu navio, sobre uma grande carreta puxada por bois.

Estes já eram poucos. Chico Diabo aparecia agora todas as semanas, roubando duas ou três cabeças de cada vez. Alguns falavam em enfrentar os bandidos. Shabtai Zvi não aprovava a idéia. “Nosso reino está além do mar. E Deus vela por nós. Ele providenciará.” De fato: Chico Diabo desapareceu. Durante duas semanas trabalhamos em paz, ultimando os preparativos para a partida. Então, num sábado pela manhã, um cavaleiro entrou a galope na vila. Era Gumercindo, lugar-tenente de Chico Diabo.

– Chico Diabo está doente! – gritou, sem descer do cavalo. – Está muito mal. O doutor não acerta com o tratamento. Chico Diabo me mandou levar o santo de vocês para curar ele. Nós o rodeávamos em silêncio.

– E se ele não quiser ir – continuou Gumercindo – é para nós queimar a vila toda. Ouviram?

– Eu vou – bradou uma voz forte.

Era Shabtai Zvi. Abrimos caminho para ele. Aproximou-se lentamente,

encarando o bandoleiro.

– Apeia.

Gumercindo desceu do cavalo. Shabtai Zvi montou.

– Vai na frente, correndo.

Foram os três: primeiro Gumercindo, correndo; depois Shabtai Zvi a cavalo; e fechando o cortejo, Natan de Gaza montado num jumento. Santa também quis ir mas Leib Rubin não deixou. Ficamos reunidos na escola todo o dia. Não falávamos; nossa angústia era demasiada. Quando caiu a noite ouvimos o trote de um cavalo. Corremos para a porta. Era Natan de Gaza, esbaforido.

– Quando chegamos lá – contou – encontramos Chico Diabo deitado no chão. Perto dele, um curandeiro fazia mandingas. Shabtai Zvi sentou perto do bandido. Não disse nada, não fez nada, não tocou no homem – só ficou olhando. Chico Diabo levantou a cabeça, olhou para Shabtai Zvi, deu um grito e morreu. O curandeiro, eles mataram ali mesmo. De Shabtai Zvi nada sei. Vim aqui avisar: correi, fugi!

Metemo-nos nas carroças e fugimos para Erexim. Santa teve de ir à força. No dia seguinte, Leib Rubin nos reuniu.

– Não sei o que vocês estão pensando em fazer – disse – mas eu já estou cheio dessas histórias todas: Barão Franck, Palestina, Sfat… Eu vou é para Porto Alegre. Querem ir comigo?

– E Shabtai Zvi? – perguntou Natan de Gaza com voz trêmula (era remorso o que ele sentia?).

– Ele que vá para o diabo, aquele louco! – berrou Leib Rubin. – Só

trouxe desgraças!

– Não fale assim, pai! – gritou Santa. – Ele é o Messias.

– Que Messias, nada! Acaba com essa história, isso ainda vai provocar os anti-semitas. Não ouviste o que o padre disse? O Messias já veio, está bom? Transformou a água em vinho e outras coisas. E nós vamos embora. O teu marido, se ainda está vivo, e se ficou bom da cabeça, que venha atrás. Eu tenho obrigação de cuidar de ti, e vou cuidar de ti, com marido ou sem marido!

Viajamos para Porto Alegre. Judeus bondosos nos hospedaram. E para nossa surpresa, Shabtai Zvi apareceu uns dias depois. Trouxeram-no os “AbasLargas”, que haviam prendido todo o bando de Chico Diabo.

Um dos soldados nos contou que haviam encontrado Shabtai Zvi sentado numa pedra, olhando para o corpo de Chico Diabo. Espalhados pelo chão – os bandidos, bêbados, roncando. Havia bois carneados por toda a parte. E vinho. “Nunca vi tanto vinho!” Tudo o que antes tinha água agora tinha vinho! Garrafas, cantis, baldes, bacias, barricas. As águas de um charco ali perto estavam vermelhas. Não sei se era sangue das reses ou vinho. Mas acho que era vinho. Ajudado por um parente rico, Leib Rubin se estabeleceu com uma loja de fazendas. Depois passou para o ramo de imóveis e posteniormente abriu uma financeira, reunindo grande fortuna. Shabtai Zvi trabalhava numa de suas firmas, da qual eu também era empregado. Natan de Gaza envolveu-se em contrabando, teve de fugir e nunca mais foi visto.

Desde a morte de Santa, Shabtai Zvi e eu costumamos nos encontrar num bar para tomar vinho. E ali ficamos toda a noite. Ele fala pouco e eu também; ele serve o vinho e bebemos em silêncio. Perto da meia-noite ele fecha os olhos, estende as mãos sobre o copo e murmura palavras em hebraico (ou em aramaico, ou em ladino). O vinho se transforma em água. O dono do bar acha que é apenas um truque. Quanto a mim, tenho minhas dúvidas. 

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Campos do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil

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Sabbatai Zvi
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Natan de Gaza/Nathan of Gaza

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“The Ballad of the False Messiah”

He’s about to pour the wine into the glass. His hands are now wrinkled and unsteady. And yet, those big, strong hands of his still deeply affect me. I compare them with my own hands with their stubby fingers and I admit that I’ve never understood him and never will.

I first met him on board the Zemlia. We were Jews leaving Russia in that old ship; we feared the pogroms. Enticed by the promises of America, we were now journeying toward our destination, crammed into the third class. We wept and were seasick in that year of 1906.

They were already aboard the ship when we embarked. Shabtai Zvi and Natan de Gaza. We shunned them. We knew that they were Jews, but we from Russia are wary of strangers. We dislike anyone who looks more Oriental than we do. And Shabtai Zvi was from Smima, in Asia Minor—one could tell by his swarthy complexion and dark eyes. The captain told us that he was from a very wealthy family. As a matter of fact, he and Natan de Gaza occupied the only decent stateroom in the ship. What made them leave for America? What were they escaping from? Questions with no answers.

Natan de Gaza, in particular—a short, dark complexioned man—roused our curiosity. Until then we had never seen a Jew from Palestine, from Eretz Israel—a land which to many of us existed only in dreams. Natan, an eloquent public speaker, would tell an attentive audience about the rolling hills of Galilee, about beautiful Lake Kineret, about the historical city of Gaza, where he had been born, and whose gates Samson had wrenched off their hinges. When drunk, however, he would curse his native land: ”Nothing but rocks  and sand, camels, larcenous Arabs . . . ” When we were off the Canary Islands, Shabtai Zvi caught him execrating Eretz Israel. He beat Natan up, until he collapsed on the floor, where he lay bleeding; when Natan dared to protest, Shabtai knocked him out with one final kick.

After this incident he spent days shut up in his stateroom, speaking to no one. As we walked past his door, we could hear moans . . . and sighs . . . and melodious songs.

One day at dawn we were awakened by the shouts of the seamen. We rushed to the deck and saw Shabtai Zvi swimming in the icy sea. A lifeboat was lowered and with great difficulty he was pulled out of the water. Stark naked as he was, he walked past us, without a glance in our direction, his head held high—and he went straight to his stateroom, where he shut himself up. Natan de Gaza said that the bathing in the sea had been an act of penance, but our own conclusion was quite different: “He’s crazy, this Turk.”

We arrived at Ilha das Flores in Rio de Janeiro, and from there we traveled to Erexim, from where we proceeded in covered wagons to our new homes in the settlement called Barão Franck, named for the Austrian philanthropist who had sponsored our coming. We felt very grateful to this man, whom, incidentally, we never met. It was rumored that later a railroad would be built across the lands where we were being settled, and that the baron was interested in the valuation of the shares of stock in the railroad company. I don’t believe this rumor was true. I do think that he was a generous man, that’s all. He gave each family a plot of land, a wooden house, agricultural tools, livestock.

Shabtai Zvi and Natan de Gaza stayed with us. They were given a house, too, although the baron’s representative wasn’t pleased with the idea of having two men living together under the same roof.

“We need families,” he stated incisively—”not fairies.” Shabtai Zvi stared at him. It was such a powerful gaze that it froze us.

The baron’s agent shuddered, bid us farewell, and left hastily. We threw ourselves wholeheartedly into our work. How hard country life was! Felling trees. Plowing the fields. Sowing . . . Our hands were covered with bleeding blisters. We hadn’t seen Shabtai Zvi for months. He had shut himself up in his house. Apparently he had run out of money because Natan de Gaza began to wander about the village, asking for clothes and food. He would tell us that Shabtai Zvi would reappear in the near future to bring good tidings to the entire population. “But what has he been doing?” we would ask. What has he been doing? Studying. He has been studying the Cabalah, the masterpiece work of Jewish mysticism: The Book of Creation, the Book of Brightness, theBook of Splendor. The occult sciences. Metempsychosis. Demonology. The power of names (names can exorcise demons; a person well versed in the power of names can walk on the water without getting his feet wet; and there is also the power of the secret, ineffable, unpronounceable name of God). The mysterious science of letters and numbers (letters are numbers and numbers are letters; numbers have magical powers; as for letters, they are the steps leading to wisdom).

It is around that time that the outlaw Chico Devil puts in an appearance at Barão Franck for the first time. A fugitive from the law, he comes from the frontier, he and his band of desperados. While fleeing from the “Stetsons,” he finds a hideout near our settlement. And he plunders and he destroys and he sneers. Laughing, he kills our bulls, wrenches out their testicles, then eats them slightly roasted. And he threatens to kill every one of us if we denounce him to the authorities. As if this misfortune weren’t enough, we are struck by hail, which destroys our fields of wheat. We are plunged into the deepest despair when Shabtai Zvi reappears.

He is transformed. Fasting has ravaged his once robust body, his shoulders stoop. His beard, oddly turned grey, now reaches down to his chest. Sainthood enfolds him like a mantle and it glows in his eyes. Slowly he walks toward the end of the main street . . . We drop our tools, we leave our houses, we follow him. Then, standing on a mound of earth, Shabtai Zvi addresses us.

“Divine punishment will befall you!”

He was referring to Chico Devil and to the hail. We had attracted God’s wrath. And what could we do to expiate our sins?

“We will abandon everything: the houses; the cultivated fields; the school; the synagogue; with our own hands we will build a boat—the timber of our houses will bemade up into the hull, and our talliths will be made up into sails. Then we will cross the ocean. We will arrive in Palestine, in Eretz Israel; and there, in the ancient, holycity of Sfat, we will build a large temple.”

“And will we await the coming of the Messiah there?” somebody asked in a trembling voice.

“The Messiah has already come!” shouted Natan de Gaza. “The Messiah is right here! The Messiah is our own Shabtai Zvi!”

Shabtai Zvi opened the mantle which enveloped him. We stepped back, horrified. What we saw was a naked body covered with scars; circling his belly was a wide belt studded with spikes that penetrated his flesh.

That day we stopped working. Let the hail destroy the cultivated fields. Let Chico Devil steal our livestock; we no longer cared, because we were leaving soon. Jubilant, we tore down our houses. The women sewed pieces of cloth together to make sails for the boat. The children gathered wild berries to make jam. Natan de Gaza collected money, which was needed, he said, to buy off the Turkish potentates that ruled over the Holy Land.

“What’s been going on in the Jewish settlement?” wondered the settlers in the neighboring areas. They were so intrigued that they sent Father Batistella over to find out. The priest came to see us; he was aware of our plight and willing to help us.

“We don’t need anything, Father,” we replied with great earnestness. “Our Messiah has come; he’s going to set us free and make us happy.” “The Messiah?” The priest was astonished. “But the Messiah has already been here on earth. He was our Lord Jesus Christ, who changed water into wine and who died on the cross because of our sins.”

“Shut up, Father!” shouted Sarita. “The Messiah is Shabtai Zvi!”

Sarita, the adopted daughter of fat Leib Rubin, had lost her parents in a pogrom. Ever since, she had been mentally unbalanced. She would follow Shabtai Zvi everywhere, convinced that she was destined to become the wife of the Anointed of the Lord. And to our surprise, Shabtai Zvi accepted her: they were married on the day when we finished the hull of the boat. As for the vessel itself, it was quite good; we planned to transport it to the sea on a big oxcart, the way Bento Gonçalves had transported his own boat.

There weren’t many oxen left. Chico Devil was now showing up once a week, each time stealing a couple of them. Some of us began talking about confronting the bandits. Shabtai Zvi disapproved of this idea. “Our kingdom lies overseas. And God is protecting us. He will provide for us.” Indeed: Chico Devil disappeared. For two weeks we worked in peace, putting the finishing touches to the preparations for our departure. Then on a Saturday morning, a horseman galloped into the village. It was Gumercindo, Chico Devil’s lieutenant.

“Chico Devil is ill!” he shouted without dismounting from his horse. “He’s seriously ill. The doctor doesn’t seem to be able to come up with the right treatment. Chico Devil has asked me to bring your saint over so that he can cure him.”We surrounded him in silence.

“And if he refuses to come with me,” Gumercindo went on, “then I have orders to set the whole village on fire. Did you hear?”

“I’ll go,” thundered a strong voice. It was Shabtai Zvi. We made way for him. Slowly he drew closer, his eyes fastened on the outlaw.

“Get down from the horse.”

Gumercindo dismounted. Shabtai Zvi mounted the horse.

“You go in front of me, running.”

The three of them set off: Gumercindo, running ahead; then Shabtai Zvi, on horseback; and bringing up the rear, Natan de Gaza, riding on a donkey. Sarita wanted to go with them, but Leib Rubin didn’t let her.

We were assembled in the school building all day long. We were far too anxious to speak. When night fell, we heard a horse’s trotting. We ran to the door. It was Natan de Gaza, gasping for breath.

“When we got there,” he said, “we found Chico Devil lying on the floor. Beside him, a witch doctor was performing his sorcery. Shabtai Zvi sat down by the bandit. He didn’t say a word, he didn’t do a thing, he never touched the man—he just sat there watching. Then Chico Devil raised his head, looked at Shabtai Zvi, let out a yell, and died. The witch doctor, he was killed right then and there. I don’t know what happened to Shabtai Zvi. I came over to warn you: Cut and run!”

We got into our wagons and fled from Erexim. Sarita had to be taken forcibly. On the following day, Leib Rubin called us to a meeting. “I don’t know about the rest of you,” he said, “but I’ve had enough of the whole shebang: Barão Franck, Palestine, Sfat . . . I’ve made up my mind to go to Porto Alegre. Do you want to come with me?””And what about Shabtai Zvi?” asked Natan de Gaza in a shaky voice (was he feeling remorse?).

“The hell with him. He’s nuts!” yelled Leib Rubin. “He has caused us nothing but misfortunes.”

“Don’t speak like that, Father!” shouted Sarita. “He is the Messiah!”

“The Messiah, my foot! Enough of this story—it’s the kind of thing that might well provoke the Jewhaters. Didn’t you hear what the priest said? The Messiah has already come, didn’t you hear? He changed water into wine, among other things. And we’re leaving. That husband of yours, if he’s still alive—and if he has gotten his head together—can join us later. It’s my duty to look after you—which I’m going to do, husband or no husband!”

We traveled to Porto Alegre. Kindly Jews took us in. And to our surprise, Shabtai Zvi showed up a few days later. The “Stetsons,” who had arrested Chico Devil’s gang, brought him to us.

One of the soldiers told us that they had found Shabtai Zvi sitting on a stone, his eyes fixed on the body of Chico Devil. And throughout the floor—the bandits, dead drunk, lay snoring. There were quartered oxen scattered everywhere. And wine. “I’ve never seen so much wine! Every single container previously filled with water was now filled with wine! Bottles, flasks, buckets, basins, barrels. The waters of a nearby marsh were red. I don’t know if it was the blood of the oxen or if it was wine. But I think it was wine.”

With the help of a wealthy relative, Leib Rubin set up shop: first he ran a store that sold fabrics. Then he moved on to furniture, and eventually he established a brokerage firm, and ended up amassing a great fortune. Shabtai Zvi worked in one of his companies, where I was also an employee. Natan de Gaza, after getting mixed up in some smuggling activities, had to flee the country and was never heard of again.

After Sarita’s death, Shabtai Zvi and I got into the habit of getting together in a bar to drink wine. That’s where we spend our evenings. He doesn’t say much, and neither do I; he pours the wine and we drink in silence. Just before midnight he closes his eyes, lays his hands over the glass and murmurs some words in Hebrew (or in Aramaic, or in Ladino). The wine is changed into water. The bar owner thinks it is just a trick. As for myself, I’m not so sure.

Translation by Eloah Giacomelli

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Fields in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

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Moacyr Scliar’s website

Livros de Moacyr Scliar/Books by Moacyr Scliar

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