David Viñas (1927-2011) — Crítico social y novelista judío-argentino/Argentine Social Critic and Novelist — “Los dueños de la tierra”/”The Owners of the Earth” — fragmento/excerpt

images
David Viñas

 

Viñas, David

David Viñas nació en Buenos Aires en 1929. Estudió en el Liceo militar a causa de los problemas económicos familiares. Estudió Filosofía y Letras, allí conoció a algunos intelectuales. Fue uno de los fundadores, en 1953, de la revista Contorno. Al poco tiempo publicó su primera novela Cayó sobre su rostro. Recibió en 1962 el Premio Nacional de Literatura. En 1967 fue galardonado con el Premio Casa de las Américas, de La Habana (. También ha sido capital su aportación al ensayo con libros como Literatura argentina y realidad política: de Sarmiento a Cortázar o Rebeliones populares argentinas: De los montoneros a los anarquistas. La dictadura le robó a sus dos hijos, ambos acaban de ser padres cuando los detuvieron, y fueron desaparecidos por los militares, y lo obligó a exiliarse en México y España. En México fundó la editorial Tierra del Fuego junto a Pedro Orgambide, Jorge Boccanera, Alberto Ádelach y Humberto Costantini, en 1981. En 1984 pudo regresar a Argentina tras el fin de la dictadura. Fue nombrado titular de la Cátedra de Literatura Argentina de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. En los años siguientes se sucedieron los estrenos teatrales. En 1991 recibió la la Beca Guggenheim pero la rechazó como homenaje a sus hijos.

___________________________________________________

David Viñas was born in Buenos Aires in 1929. He studied at the Military Lyceum because of family financial problems. He studied Philosophy and Letters, there he met some intellectuals. He was one of the founders, in 1953, of the magazine Contorno. Soon after, he published his first novel. It fell on his face. He received in 1962 the National Prize for Literature. In 1967 he was awarded the Casa de las Américas Prize. His contribution to the essay has also been capital with books such as Argentine literature and political reality: from Sarmiento to Cortázar or Argentine popular rebellions: From the montoneros to the anarchists. The dictatorship stole his two sons, both of whom had just become parents when they were detained, and who were disappeared by the military, and forced him into exile in Mexico and Spain. In Mexico he founded the Tierra del Fuego publishing house together with Pedro Orgambide, Jorge Boccanera , Alberto Ádelach and Humberto Costantini, in 1981. In 1984 he was able to return to Argentina after the end of the dictatorship.He was appointed holder of the Chair of Argentine Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Buenos Aires. Theatrical premieres followed, in 1991 he received the Guggenheim Scholarship but rejected it as a tribute to his children.

_____________________________________________________________________

De la novela “Los Dueños de la tierra”, 1958

 

images-1

“Esos de la Guardia Blanca”

Claro que estaban ésos de la guardia blanca. Vicente ya los conocía; en Buenos Aires, desde su departamento de la calle Ayacucho los había visto golpear a la gente del barrio en la semana de enero en 19.[i] Y rompían vidrieras y ensuciaban las sinagogas. Había sido un lunes y por las calles de la ciudad deambulaban algunos hombres solitarios y sudorosos, con las corbatas flojas y el saco en la mano. Los que acababa de ver en el puerto y los que tiraban bombas de alquitrán contra las sinagogas de Buenos Aires se parecían, desde la manera de golpear y reírse al mismo tiempo, hasta la insolencia se confeccionaban para insultar y pararse en medio de la calle con las piernas abiertas. Eran tipos que gritaban”—Judío sucio” con la misma calma que se instalaban a la salida de un jardín israelita para obligarles a cantar el Himno, “Oíd mortales el grito sagrado!” Sí, pensaba. Y desde su balcón de la calle Ayacucho había visto a esos chiquilines que cantaban destempladamente, espiando a sus maestras y esperando que les ordenasen que se callaran de una vez porque el Himno no se canta así, o que se largaran a correr hacia sus casas. Pero en 1910, cuando el Centenario.él, él mismo, Vicente había hecho algo parecido. Era más joven claro. Pero las balas de su revólver corrían por debajo del paño verde de los billares en esos cafés oscuros y bajos de la calle Libertad. Dos, tres, seis tiros sobre esas mesas mientras los parroquianos se apoyaban en sus tacos con inquietud hieráticos, extranjeros, pero con esa silenciosa y acusadora dignidad de las víctimas. Había olor a pólvora en aquella sala de billar. Un judío de rancho, insignificante, había seguido frotando la tiza sobre su taco. Vicente vació su revólver sobre una de las mesas de billar. Las balas se deslizaban por debajo del paño como unos extraños gusanos veloces y aturdidos. Eso había sido para divertirse, por cierto. Como él iba a pasar sus horas muertas en uno de los prostíbulos enfrente a los tribunales, le quedaba cerca. Era una diversión cercana. “Un trabajo a un paso de la farra”, comentaban en el Gimnasia y Esgrima. Los tribunales de un lado, y a la vuelta, el prostíbulo y los billares judíos de la calle Libertad. Todo ahí no más. ”Un verdadero centro de diversiones” proclamaba entonces. Pero es que todos los prostíbulos estaban atestados de judíos y muchos judíos andaban en ese negocio.[iii] “Las polacas”, les decían los amigos en el club. “Y una polaca le da vuelta y media a cinco francesas”.  Y todos se divertían con las judías que al fin de cuentas, eran lo mismo. Él, sus compañeros de la facultad en el año del Centenario y la guardia blanca en la semana de enero del 19. Pero con la diferencia que él lo había hecho para pasar el rato, total, no eran más que los paños de los billares. Además, unos días después había ido a pagarlos. Pasar el rato, de eso se trataba, porque él no tenía nada contra los judíos, que eran gente trabajadora y no se metían con nadie. Aunque un poco… un poco… ¿Cómo diría?, calculaba Vicente. Poco elegantes. Ahí estaba. No eran lindos los judíos y qué se la iba a hacer. Se nacío fiero o se nacía con pinta de macho. Una vez le habían comentado en la mesa de Ingenieros: “Usted es el precursor de las guardias blancas. Verá—“ Y Vicente no había sabido si se lo decían en serio o en divertirse. Él no tenía prejuicios. Y no pensaba eso para darse una explicación que lo tranquilizarse.

__________________________________________________________

[i] La Semana Trágica es el nombre con el que se conoce la represión y masacre sufrida por el movimiento obrero argentino, en la que fueron asesinadas cientos de personas en Buenos Aires, en la segunda semana de enero de 1919, La misma incluyó el único pogromo (matanza de judíos) del que se tiene registro en América. Dentro de la Semana Trágica se produjo el único pogromo (matanza de judíos) del que hay registro en el continente americano. El pogromo tuvo su epicentro en el barrio judío de Once. El pogromo se desató cuando promediaba la Semana Trágica y se sumaron a la represión los civiles de clase alta, Fue llevado a cabo por la Liga Patriótica Argentina, “la guardia blanca”; incendiaron sinagogas. Hubo centenares de muertos

[ii] La prostitución en Argentina fue dominada por judíos por muchos años. Fue terminado por protesta vehementes de la comunidad judía y legislación del gobiernos.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

From the novel: “The Rulers of the Earth, 1958”

 

images-1

 

“Those of the White Guard”

 

Of course, those of the White Guard were there. Vicente knew them already; in Buenos Aires, from his apartment on Ayacucho Street, he had seen them strike the people of the neighborhood in the January week of 1919. And they broke store windows and the befouled the synagogues. It had been a Monday and solitary and sweaty men wandered the streets, with their ties loose and their jackets in their hands. Those that he had just seen in the port and those who threw tar bombs at the synagogues of Buenos Aires seemed, from their manner to punch and laugh at the same time, to the insolence they had for insulting and stopping in the middle of the street with their legs apart. They were guys who shouted “Dirty Jew” with the same calmness who stood in the exit of a Jewish kindergarten to force them to sing the National Anthem, “Hear, O Mortals, the sacred shout!” Ye, he thought. And from his balcony on Ayacucho Street he had seen those little ones who were singing off-key, spying at their teachers and hoping that they would order them to be quiet at once because the Anthem was not song in that way, or that they leave to run home. But in 1910, which was the Centenary, he, he himself, Vicente had done something similar. Surely, he was younger. But the bullets from his revolver shot below the green cloth of the billiard tables in those dark and humble cafes on Libertad Street. Two, three, six shots over those tables while the neighbors were leaning on their cues. A Jew from the farms, insignificant, had continued rubbing the chalk on his cue. Vicente opened his revolver on a billiard table. The bullets slid under the billiard cloth like some strange and confused worms. This was for fun, of course. Just like he was going to spend his free time in one of the brothels near the courts. It was a nearby diversion. Work just a step from the party, they commented at Gym and Fencing . The gym on one side and, around the corner the Jewish brothel and billiard parlors on Liberty Street. Everything there. That’s it. A true center of entertainment, they proclaimed in those days. But it was that all the brothels were filled with Jews and many Jews were in that business.The Polish girls”, his friends in the club called them.  “And a Polish girl gives you more than five French girls and they all had a good time with the Jewish girls who, in the end were the same ones. He, his buddies from the college, in the year of the Centenary and the White Guards in the January week of 1919. But the difference was that he had done it to pass the time, they weren’t more that cloths on billiard tables, that’s all. Moreover, a few days later, he went over to pay for them. To pass the time, that’s what it was about. Because he didn’t have anything against the Jews, who were hard working people and don’t bother anyone. Although a little… a little. How would you say it?, Vicente  reckoned. Not elegant. That was it. The Jews weren’t attractive and what are you going to do. You are born fierce or you were born with a macho look. He had once heard commented at the Engineer’s table. “You are precursor of the White Guards. You’ll see.” And Vicente didn’t know whether if it was said to him seriously or in jest. He didn’t have prejudices. And he wasn’t thinking that to give himself an explanation that would calm him down.

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

_________________________________________________________

“Those of the White Guard”

 

Of course, those of the White Guard were there. Vicente knew them already; in Buenos Aires, from his apartment on Ayacucho Street, he had seen them strike the people of the neighborhood in the January week of 1919. [i]And they broke store windows and the befouled the synagogues. It had been a Monday and solitary and sweaty men wandered the streets, with their ties loose and their jackets in their hands. Those that he had just seen in the port and those who threw tar bombs at the synagogues of Buenos Aires seemed, from their manner to punch and laugh at the same time, to the insolence they had for insulting and stopping in the middle of the street with their legs apart. They were guys who shouted “Dirty Jew” with the same calmness who stood in the exit of a Jewish kindergarten to force them to sing the National Anthem, “Hear, O Mortals, the sacred shout!” Ye, he thought. And from his balcony on Ayacucho Street he had seen those little ones who were singing off-key, spying at their teachers and hoping that they would order them to be quiet at once because the Anthem was not song in that way, or that they leave to run home. But in 1910, which was the Centenary, he, he himself, Vicente had done something similar. Surely, he was younger. But the bullets from his revolver shot below the green cloth of the billiard tables in those dark and humble cafes on Libertad Street. Two, three, six shots over those tables while the neighbors were leaning on their cues. A Jew from the farms, insignificant, had continued rubbing the chalk on his cue. Vicente opened his revolver on a billiard table. The bullets slid under the billiard cloth like some strange and confused worms. This was for fun, of course. Just like he was going to spend his free time in one of the brothels near the courts. It was a nearby diversion. Work just a step from the party, they commented at Gym and Fencing . The gym on one side and, around the corner the Jewish brothel and billiard parlors on Liberty Street. Everything there. That’s it. A true center of entertainment, they proclaimed in those days. But it was that all the brothels were filled with Jews and many Jews were in that business. [ii]The Polish girls”, his friends in the club called them.  “And a Polish girl gives you more than five French girls and they all had a good time with the Jewish girls who, in the end were the same ones. He, his buddies from the college, in the year of the Centenary and the White Guards in the January week of 1919. But the difference was that he had done it to pass the time, they weren’t more that cloths on billiard tables, that’s all. Moreover, a few days later, he went over to pay for them. To pass the time, that’s what it was about. Because he didn’t have anything against the Jews, who were hard working people and don’t bother anyone. Although a little… a little. How would you say it?, Vicente  reckoned. Not elegant. That was it. The Jews weren’t attractive and what are you going to do. You are born fierce or you were born with a macho look. He had once heard commented at the Engineer’s table. “You are precursor of the White Guards. You’ll see.” And Vicente didn’t know whether if it was said to him seriously or in jest. He didn’t have prejudices. And he wasn’t thinking that to give himself an explanation that would calm him down.

_______________________

[i] Tragic Week is the name by which the repression and massacre suffered by the Argentine labor movement is known, in which hundreds of people were murdered in Buenos Aires, in the second week of January 1919, it included the only pogrom (massacre of Jews) that is recorded in America. Within the Tragic Week there was the only pogrom (massacre of Jews) of which there is record in the American continent. The pogrom had its epicenter in the Jewish quarter of Once. The pogrom was unleashed when Tragic Week was averaging and the upper-class civilians joined the repression. It was carried out by the Argentine Patriotic League, “the white guard”; synagogues burned. There were hundreds of deaths.

[ii] While prostitution in Argentina was dominated by Jews for many years., it was terminated by vehement protest from the Jewish community and government legislation.

______________________________________________________________________

Bibliografía de David Viñas/David Viñas’ Bibliography

NOVELA/NOVEL

Cayó sobre su rostro (1955)

Los años despiadados (1956)

Un Dios cotidiano (1957)

Los dueños de la tierra (1958)

Dar la cara (1962)

En la semana trágica (1966)

Hombres de a caballo (1967)

Cosas concretas (1969)

Jauría (1971)

Cuerpo a cuerpo (1979)

Prontuario (1993)

Tartabul (2006)

La hermosa yegua

TEATRO/THEATER

Sarah Goldmann

Maniobras

Dorrego

Lisandro (1971)

Tupac-Amaru

Walsh y Gardel

ENSAYO/ESSAYS:

Literatura argentina y realidad política: de Sarmiento a Cortázar (1970)

De los montoneros a los anarquistas (1971)

Momentos de la novela en América Latina (1973)

Indios, ejército y fronteras (1982)

Los anarquistas en América Latina (1983)

Literatura argentina y política – De los jacobinos porteños a la bohemia anarquista (1995)

PREMIOS

Premio Guillermo Kraft (1957)

Premio Gerchunoff (1957)

Premio Nacional de Literatura (1962) y (1971)

Premio Casa de las Américas (1967)

Premio Nacional de Teatro (1972)

Premio Nacional de la Crítica

 

 

 

Bernardo Verbitsky (1907-1979) — Novelista judío- argentino/Argentine Jewish Novelist — “Es difícil empezar a vivir”/”It is Difficult to Learn to Live” — fragmento de la novela/excerpt from the novel

download
Bernardo Verbitsky

_________________________________________________

Con sus novelas Es difícil empezar a vivir y Etiquetas a los hombres, se considera a Bernardo Verbitsky como uno de los fundadores de la literatura judío-argentina moderna.

______________________________

With his novels It is Difficult to Learn to Live and Labels on Men, Bernardo Verbitsky is considered one of the founders of modern Argentine Jewish literature.

___________________________________________________________

Bernardo Verbitsky abandonó los estudios universitarios para dedicarse al periodismo en diversos medios, en particular noticias gráficas, donde escribió durante muchos años una columna titulada “Los libros por dentro”. Se convirtió en un retratista de las glorias y miserias de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, muy ligado al tango y al alma de la ciudad. Con su primera novela, Es difícil aprender a vivir (1941), obtuvo el premio Ricardo Güiraldes. Tanto ésta como las siguientes fueron componiendo un amplio fresco de la baja clase media urbana.Fue también guionista y miembro de la Academia Porteña del Lunfardo. Como escritor, dirigió la serie “Letras Argentinas” de Editorial Paidós9. Su novela Calles de Tango fue llevada al cine con el título Una Cita con la Vida.

Bernardo Verbitsky abandoned his university studies to devote himself to journalism in various media, in particular, graphic news, where he wrote for many years a column entitled “The Books Inside”. He became a portraitist of the glories and miseries of the city of Buenos Aires, closely linked to tango and the soul of the city. His first novel, It is Difficult to Learn to Live (1941), received the Ricardo Güiraldes prize. Both this and the following ones composed a large fresco of the lower urban middle class. He was also a scriptwriter and member of the Academia Porteña del Lunfardo. As a writer, he directed the series “Letras Argentinas” of Editorial Paidós9.  His novel Calles de Tango made into a movie with the title An Appointment with Life.

_______________________________________________________________________

Es difícil empezar a vivir

Por Leo se enteraba de las fiestas judías. Le sorprendió la llegada del año nuevo y fue entonces que conoció como una deseable aventura ayunar en Iom-Kipur. La perspectiva de pasar un día entero sin comer ni beber, figurábasele como internarse a través de un tenebroso lugar en que las amenazas acechaban en retorcidas callejuelas que debía recorrer extrayendo ánimo de su propio temor. Imaginábase que sólo podría arriesgarse en ese viaje de exploración apenas unas horas y luego debería regresar, como desiste. Al planear este ayuno de Iom-Kipur concedía sus mecánicas comidas un valor que en realidad no alcanzaba a tener para él el transcurrir de todos los días. Lo que siempre era un cumplido sin conciencia adquiría ahora un nuevo relieve. Imponiéndose una exagerada y deformada apreciación, el temor infantil de tener hambre, un temor de un solo bloque, irracional. Un día de hambre. Entonces dejaba de ser un vericueto de tortuosas calles. Una jornada de ayuno se extendía como desierto blanquecino sobre el que reverberaba una liviana neblina. Se entretenía en su visión, que de pronto entroncó con el recuerdo de muchos días del perdón que había pasado en el campo. Pensó entonces que de ese recuerdo nacía lo imaginado y que en ese momento estaba haciendo consciente un rastro de su memoria. Esa neblina blanca recordaba la sinagoga llena de hombres en una tarde calurosa de un día de perdón, faltaba pocas horas para el término del ayuno y allí seguían todos desde el comienzo de la mañana, con sus “tales” colgados desde los hombros. Ya era una escena marchita. Débiles, cansados, proseguían animosamente. Rostros amarillos transparentes de debilidad. Olor a aglomeración, olor humano en la tarde calurosa. Zumbaban monótonos los rezos y adquirían un periódico crescendo que, al disminuir, dejaba una sensación de aburrimiento. Creía ver un rayo amarillento de sol atravesando oblicuo la sinagoga, iluminando la sumida palidez de los rostros y el crema claro de los mantos. Por sobre los reunidos flotaba un vaho pesado y agrio. De nuevo el ayuno era un espacio de turbio peligro que no se animaba a atravesar. Parecíale que al final del día de ayuno se hallaría convertido a un exhausto espectro al que agregaba blancas vestiduras que hacían juego con tanto desmayo y flojedad. Estar tantas horas a pie en la sinagoga murmurando rezos era convertirse en un cirio que iba ardiendo alimentando lentamente por su propia sustancia. Arder en un místico fuego frío, descamarse paulatino y casi insensible, hasta quedar en huesos amarillos, en pellejo marfilino.

No le animó tampoco la idea de que millones de judíos realizaban todos los años el sacrificio que le acobardaba. En casa no se ayunaba, pensó, y a esto se debía su manera temerosa de enfrentar su plan. Los millones de judíos que ayunan anualmente, ¿eran unos héroes? Reconsideró entonces con un nuevo espíritu la posibilidad de hacer lo mismo. Si era penoso, mayor el aliciente; ahora descubría y saboreaba el verdadero móvil del sacrificio proyectado en honor de lo que le importaba: someterse a un penoso ejercicio, una mortificación. Se exaltaba pensando que se castigaría, por todo. Así vagamente, por todo. Lo imaginaba con fervor, gozando la perspectiva de pedir un mudo perdón por todo lo que hacía, por todo lo que dejaba de hacer, complaciéndose en la oculta penitencia a cumplir. Porque no diría nada a nadie, seguro que de llegarse a saber, todo perdería valor y intento volveríase estúpido. Además, más fácil era callarlo que comunicárselo a alguien. Y sentía, ya casi la alegría de ser perdonado.

Alguien lo había dicho alguna vez delante suyo y lo recordaba muy bien. Había sido escrito. Si un judío entra en una sinagoga y no sabe rezar como lo demás, lo ha de lamentar, le ha de defender su ignorancia. Ahora podía comprobarlo en sí mismo. Podía causarle gracia el asunto, que la tenía, pero era así. El hubiera querido leer como todos en su libro. Ese leer era orar, hablarle a Dios. No era necesario arrodillarse, no había más sacerdote que el cantor, y todo se limitaba a decir con palabras con la cabeza alta. Y ya entraba a fantasear sobre un tema, que por interesarle, no dominaba en realidad. Con la cabeza alta y el sombrero puesto permanecían los judíos en la sinagoga. Conversaba con Dios de igual con igual. Ese sombrero que se conservaban puesto los judíos fue una pequeña preocupación de los años infantiles, y ahora interpretaba que los judíos, ni al hablar con Dios se descubrían. Era un poco en broma. Pero tal vez tenía una raíz más seria. Para los judíos Dios estaba en el hombre, en cada hombre hay algo de Dios, algo divino. Ignoraba si había tal contenido en el judaísmo, pero al suponerlo creía intuir la verdad o una parte de ella. A través de las edades se había intentado de la realidad. La religión podría ser eso, un teoría de vida, una guía para desenvolverse en el mundo. Con los datos aportados por la vieja ciencia, se formó la base de muchas religiones. Ninguna tan humana como el judaísmo que es más que una religión ya que es un sistema de vida, una posición ante la existencia, un concepción que tendía a elevar al hombre, singular entre todas que las  que ofrece la antigüedad. El socialismo no sería sino una interpretación, adaptada a una ciencia moderna. Eso era casi coincidir casi con los hitleristas, se dijo. Luego se sumergió en un estado de ánimo especial en el que se mezclaban reproches a su padre por no haberle instruido acerca de esas cosas, y un especie de vocación furiosa por enterarse de todo cuanto concernía al judaísmo que ignoraba. Un poco más y hubiese querido ser un viejo rabino sabio, hebraísta ducha y capaz en desempeñarse hábilmente en medio de los libros y las consultas. En fin. Algún día lo tomaría más en serio. Mientras se formulaba esa promesa de estudio a cumplir en plazo incierto, volvió a escuchar el “jazán” que seguía su canto plañidero. Le observó con atención. Lo conocía muy bien. Era el propio padre de Leo, el honrado y siempre laborioso peletero Porter. Era el mismo, pero era otro. Con su amplio “tales” blanco de pura seda, con su mitra de terciopelo negro, parecía un obispo de la iglesia ortodoxa. Quedaba bien la palabra archidiácono. Pero era más que un archidiácono y más que un obispo. Era un rey bíblico, como Saúl como David o Salomón. Mientras cantaba infatigable no pensaba seguramente en esas cosas, pero para Pablo era eso: Moisés Porter era un rey. Y tal vez todos los judíos allí reunidos eran tantos otros reyes. Todos no, en realidad. Tan sólo creyentes. Y Moisés Porter cuando cantaba era un creyente sincero de alma clara. Y él, él también cuando escuchaba su voz suave y modelada a la manera de todos los cantores, se hacía la ilusión consoladora de que creía en algo. ¿Creía en Dios? Tal vez nada más en la música, y eso es creer algo. eso de lo de creer no le importaba en este momento tanto. Sólo quería entender las palabras del libro hebreo que distinguía perdidas en el canto. Adoinoi, Malkeini, Acoileinu, de una sonoridad magnífica, con muchas vocales, palabras abiertas y hondas, de resonancia musical. Pablo miró a Leo. Este contemplaba satisfecho a su padre, orgullosamente rodeado de sus hijos que formaban el coro. En esa oportunidad los hermanos se vinculaban en el canto más estrechamente que en cualquier otro día del año, apoyando la voz del padre, que plañía con un profundo sabor judío en las inflexiones. Pero el coro de los muchachos se escuchaba inseguro, completando un poco tristemente la parte del solista. Pablo y Leo se miraron, poniéndose de acuerdo sobre el efecto nada brillante.

–Canta—dijo Pablo.

Leo este año había interrumpido una antigua costumbre de cantar acompañando a su padre; separándose de Pablo se alejó en busca de un manto y se colocó entre sus hermanos. De pronto se oyó su voz fortaleciendo el languideciente grupo. El canto se enderezó, se hizo más denso. Pablo distinguía muy bien la bella voz de su amigo en la que hallaba ahora un nuevo tono cálido, Al resonar en el alto local se expandía libremente, matizándose de un timbre familiar pero que no le conocía tan acentuado como surgía en esa plena voz. Se la individualizaba en el conjunto, pero al mismo tiempo se diluía en él y le comunicaba con rara firmeza, le infundía una clásica sonoridad. Se percibía en el ambiente, la impresión que producía en el transfigurado coro. Este calló y Leo dijo, solo, su parte. La voz, limpia, se moduló un minuto por sobre los reunidos y luego al cesar, el zumbido de las oraciones murmuradas se extendió como un blando colchón para recibir las notas, que al dejar de cobrar altura iban a caer desde lo alto. Le emocionó su amigo con su “schemensre”. Al terminar el kolnidre comenzó a dispersar la gente. Muchos felicitaron a Leo por su canto.

–¿Qué vas a hacer esta noche? –preguntó Pablo.

Este se sorprendió la pregunta.

–Y, nada, lo que quieras. Caminamos si querés, iremos a dar al café.

–Bueno, vamos –dijo el otro después de una vacilación.

Caminaron juntos. Pablo espontáneamente comunicativo trató de explicarle cómo pudo, lo mucho que le había gustado su canto, la impresión recibida y el efecto de la voz sobre el coro. Estaba como conmovido de amistad y sin deseo de reprimir el sentimiento. Y en contra de lo que había propuesto, decidió informarle su plan de ayuno, para cumplirlo juntos.

Pidió café, pero Leo se negó a tomar nada. Después de un rato de silencio, le dijo con una sonrisa un poco forzada.

–No quiero nada. Te voy a decir por qué. Decidí ayunar este año. Se me ocurrió y lo estoy haciendo.

— ¿Estás ayunando?—Y luego casi sin querer, agregó Pablo–. Yo también pensaba. Te lo iba a proponer ahora. Pensaba que comenzaríamos esta noche, después de cenar.

–¿Desde esta noche? –Leo se rió —Pero eso no ayunar. Nosotros cenamos en mi casa a las seis. Es antes de ir al kolnidre y no se come hasta el día siguiente.

Pablo lo sabía. Pero lo había olvidado.

–¿No ves – siguió Leo—que algunos se quedan ya en la sinagoga para rezar toda la noche? Se ayuna en el día, pero son veinticuatro horas seguidas las que debe suplicarse el perdón.

_____________________________________________________________

images-8

_______________________________________________________________________________

It’s Difficult to Learn to Live

From Leo, he learned about the Jewish holidays. The arrival of the New Year surprised him and it was then that he decided that fasting on Yom Kippur would be an interesting adventure. The idea of spending an entire day without eating or drinking seemed to him like getting himself into a dark place in which the threats were lying in wait in the twisted little streets that he had to pass through, finding energy in his own fear. He imagined that he could only risk a few hours on this voyage of exploration and then return, giving up. On planning this Yom Kippur fast he conceded to his routine meals a value that in reality they didn’t have for him in his daily life. Something that was an unconscious act would acquire a new importance, imposing an exaggerated and deformed appreciation, the infantile fear of being hungry, a fear of a single block, irrational. A day of hunger. Then it ceased being a rough track of tortuous streets. A day without eating extended like a whitish desert above which reverberated a light mist. His vision entertained him, that suddenly connected to the memory of many days of pardon he had experienced in the countryside. He then thought that from that memory was born the what he had imagined and that in that moment a trail of memories was becoming conscious. That white mist reminded him of the synagogue full of men in a hot afternoon of a day of pardon, few hours were left before the end of the fast and there all had continued since early morning, with their tallit hanging from their shoulders. It was already a withered scene. Weak, tired, they went spiritedly. Yellow faces transparent from weakness. Odor of agglomeration, human odor in the hot afternoon. The prayers buzzed on monotonously and they came to a periodical crescendo the, when it diminished, left behind a sensation of boredom. He believed he saw a yellowing ray of sun obliquely crossing the synagogue, illuminating the sunken paleness of the faces and the light cream color of the prayer shawls. On the group was floating a heavy and bitter vapor. Once again the fasting was a turbid danger that he didn’t want to take on. It seemed to him that the end of the fast day, you would be converted into an exhausted specter to which were added white clothing that matched so much dismay and weakness. To spend so many hours standing in the synagogue, murmuring prayers was to convert oneself in a candle that kept on burning, slowly feeding itself on its own substance, To burn in a cold mystical fire, flaking off little by little and almost numb, until leaving yellow bones in ivory-white skin.

Neither did the idea inspire him that millions of Jews carried out every year the sacrifice that frightened. At home, we didn’t fast, he thought; this caused his fearful manner of carrying out/facing his plan. The millions of Jews who fast annually, were they heroes? He then reconsidered with a new spirit the possibility of doing the same thing.  If it were awful, greater the inspiration;; now he discovered and savored the true meaning of the sacrifice, done in honor of what was important: to submit himself to a painful exercise, a mortification. He became exalted thinking that he would punish himself, for all. And so, vaguely for all. He imagined it with fervor, enjoying the perspective of asking a mute pardon for everything he was doing, for everything he no longer did, pleasing himself in the hidden penance to be completed. Because he wouldn’t say anything to anybody, sure that if it became known, everything would lose value and intention and become stupid. Moreover, it was easier to keep it quiet than communicate it to anyone. And he felt, already, almost the joy of being pardoned.

Someone had once said in front of him and he remembered it very well. It had been written. If a Jew entered a synagogue and didn’t know how to pray like the others, it was a shame. He had to defend his ignorance. Now he could test this in himself. This could cause him embarrassment, that he didn’t know, but so it was. He would have liked to read in his book like everyone. That reading was praying, speaking to God. It wasn’t necessary to kneel down, there was no other priest than the cantor, and everything was limited to saying words with head held high. An already he began to fantasize about a theme, that though interesting to him, wasn’t based on reality. With head held hid and hat on head, the Jews stayed in the synagogue. They conversed with God as equals. This hat that the Jews kept wearing was based on a minor preoccupation from their childhood years, and now he interpreted that the Jews, speaking with God, discovered themselves. This was in part in jest. But perhaps it had a more serious basis. For the Jews, God was in man, in each man, there is something of God, something divine. He didn’t know if such ideas were part of Judaism, but on thinking so, he believed he intuited the truth or part of it. So. Some day he would take this more seriously. While he was formulating that promise to study at an unspecified time in the future, he listened again to the “Hazan,” the cantor, who continued on with his mournful song. He observed him attentively. He knew him well. He was Leo’s own father, the honored and always hard-working furrier Porter. He was the same, but he was at the same time different. With his ample white tallit of pure silk, with his miter of black velvet, he seemed like a bishop of the Orthodox Church. The title archdeacon suited him well. But he was more than an archdeacon and more than a bishop. He was a biblical king like Saul or David or Solomon. While he tirelessly sang, he surely didn’t think of those things, but for Pablo, that’s what he was: Moisés Porter was a king. And perhaps all the Jews there together were more kings. Not all, in reality. Only the believers. And Moisés Porter, when he sang, was a sincere believer with a clear soul. And he, he also, when he heard the smooth a voice, formed in the way of all the cantors, Pablo had the consoling illusion that he believed in something. Did he believe in God? Perhaps it was nothing more than the music, but that was to believe in something. At that moment, what to believe in wasn’t so important. He only wanted to understand the words of the Hebrew book that he noticed lost in the singing: Adonei, Malkenui, Acolenu, of a magnificent sonority, with many vowels, open and deep words, with musical resonance. Pablo looked at Leo. With satisfaction, he was contemplating his father, who was proudly surrounded by his sons who formed the choir. In that moment, the brothers were tied to the song more tightly than on any other day of the year, supporting their father’s voice, who grieved with profound Jewish flavor in the inflexions. But the chorus of boys sounded unsure, completing a bit sadly the voice of the soloist. Pablo and Leo looked at each other, agreeing that the effect was nothing brilliant.

“Sing,” Pablo said.

This year, Leo had interrupted an old custom of singing in accompaniment of his father; separating himself from Pablo, he went in search of his prayer shawl, and placed himself among his brothers. Immediately, his voice was heard, strengthening the languishing group. The singing strengthened; it became denser. Pablo distinguished very well the beautiful voice of his friend in in which was now a new warm tone. Resonating in the higher tones, it expanded freely, blending a familiar timbre, that Leo didn’t recognize, so extenuated as it surged in that full voice. He showed his individuality in the group, but at the same time it became part of him and he communicated with rare firmness as surged in that full voice. He infused a classical sonority. The impression that he produced in the transfigured choir was noticed throughout the synagogue. The choir became quiet. And, solo, Leo sang his part. His clean voice modulated for a moment over the congregants, and then, on stopping, the buzz of the murmured prayers extended like a white cushion to receive the notes, that after reaching the heights fell from there. His friend was moved by the “scjemensre.” At the end of Kol Nidre, the people began to disperse. Many congratulated Leo for his singing.

“What are you going to do tonight?” Pablo asked.

The question surprised Leo.

‘Well. Nothing. Whatever you like. We can walk if you want; we can go get a coffee.

“Okay, let’s go” said the other, without vacillation.

They walked together. .Spontaneously communicative, Pablo tried to explain to the extent that he could how much he had enjoyed singing, the reception it received and the effect of his voice on the choir. It was as if he was moved by friendship and without desire to repress his feeling. And in spite of what he had proposed, he decided to tell him about his plan to fast, so that they could do so together.

He ordered coffee, but Leo refused to have anything. After a period of silence, he said to him with a smile that was a bit forced:

“I don’t want anything. I will tell you why. This year I decided to fast. It occurred to me and I’m doing it.”

“You are fasting?” And then without wanting to, Pablo added. “I also thought about it. I’m going to propose it to you now. I thought that we would begin tonight, after supper.”

“Starting tonight?” Leo laughed. “But that’s not fasting. We had supper at home a six o’clock. It’s before Kol Nidre, and you don’t eat until the next day.”

Pablo knew, but he had forgotten.

“Didn’t you see?” Leo continued, “ that some of them stayed in the synagogue to pray all night? You fast during the day, but there are twenty-four hours straight in which you ought to be for asking pardon.

Translation by Stephen A. Sadow

_____________________________________________________________

Algunas de las novelas de Bernardo Verbitsky/                                                    Some of the novels by Bernardo Verbitsky

Linda Kohen — Artista judía-uruguaya/Uruguayan Jewish Artist — “La cama abierta” y otras pinturas/”The Undone Bed” and Other Paintings

Voices-pic3
Linda Kohen

Nacida en 1924 en Milán, Italia, Linda Kohen vive en Montevideo, Uruguay. Huyendo del antisemitismo en vísperas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Linda Kohen emigró con su familia a Montevideo a través de Buenos Aires en 1939. Desde entonces, la artista de origen italiano ha vivido y trabajado en la región del Río de la Plata, con un interludio en Brasil (1979-1985). Desde 1949 hasta la desaparición del estudio en 1962, Kohen fue miembro del Taller Torres-García, donde estudió, creó y exhibió su arte. Después de su trabajo en el Taller, llegó a su propio estilo único y personal, creando pinturas íntimas que ofrecen un vistazo a sus momentos, sentimientos y experiencias privadas. Kohen continúa desarrollando su práctica artística desde su casa y estudio en Montevideo.

____________________________________________

Born in 1924 in Milan, Italy, Linda Kohen lives in Montevideo, Uruguay. Fleeing from anti-Semitism on the eve of World War II, Linda Kohen immigrated with her family to Montevideo by way of Buenos Aires in 1939.  Since then, the Italian-born artist has lived and worked in the Río de la Plata region, with an interlude in Brazil (1979-1985). From 1949 until the studio’s demise in 1962, Kohen was a member of the Taller Torres-García, where she studied, created, and exhibited her art.  After her work at the Taller, she arrived at her own uniquely personal style, creating intimate paintings that offer a glimpse into her private moments, feelings, and experiences.  Kohen continues to develop her artistic practice from her home and studio in Montevideo.

__________________________________________________________

El arte de Linda Kohen/The Art of Linda Kohen

 

 

images-8
Linda Kohen 

images-2
Linda Kohen

images-10
Mamma

images-9
LINDA KOHEND’apres Hilda Lopez (After Hilda Lopez), 1981
Oil on canvas
21⅝ x 18⅛ in. 55 x 46 cm.

images-5
Viajero

download-3.jpg
Multitud

images-3
El momento de la escultura

images-1
El momento de la escultura II

images-15
La cama abierta (The bed undone), 2003
Oil and mixed media on canvas
39⅜ x 39⅜ in. 100 x 100 cm.

download
El sillón (The armchair), 1999
Oil on canvas
36¼ x 25½ in. 93 x 65 cm.

images-13.jpg
Tiempos

images-4
La presencia I

d7hftxdivxxvm.cloudfront
El Gran Biombo (The Large Screen), 2005
Oil on wood panels
12 panels, each 72¼ x 24⅜ in. 185 x 63 cm.

lk-Valija
La maleta

 

unnamed
Bodegón
Óleo sobre cartón   33 x 52 cm.
Circa 1950
\

images-14
A Leopardi, 1990
Oil on canvas
31½ x 23⅝ in. 80 x 60 cm.

Interview with Linda Kohen.  In English.

CV de Linda Kohen

Collecciones

Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California Samuel Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville Florida USA Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay Museo Gurvich, Montevideo, Uruguay Museo de Arte Americano de Maldonado, Uruguay Museo de Arte Contemporáneo “El País”, Montevideo, Uruguay Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina Museo de Bellas Artes Castagnino, Rosario, Argentina Museo de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil Fundación Ortiz Gurdian, Managua, Nicaragua

_________________________

Exhibicions individuales

2017 Vivir, Fundación Pablo Atchugarry, Maldonado, Uruguay Caminos, Museo Mazzoni, Maldonado, Uruguay Natura y el hombre, Fundación Pablo Atchugarry Maldonado, Uruguay 2016 Mamma, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Montevideo, Uruguay 2015 Uomo, Vicenzo Lovato Gallery, Vicenza Italia Amanti, Galleria Ghelfi, Venice, Italy 2014 Private Life: my house, my table, my bed, myself, Cecilia de Torres, Ltd., New York 2013 Self-Shadows, The Americas Collection, Coral Gables, Florida Pueblo Garzón Gallery, Maldonado, Uruguay 2012 ALONE, Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay I Have Always Liked to Draw, Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina TIMES, Pablo Atchugarry Foundation, Maldonado, Uruguay 2011 Ghelfi Gallery, Vicenza, Italy MVD Gallery, World Trade Center, Montevideo, Uruguay Dan Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil The Americas Collection, Coral Gables, Florida Hoy en el Arte Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina Las Vertientes Farm Cultural Center, Punta del Este, Uruguay 2010 Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2009 El Peñasco, Maldonado, Uruguay 2008 Museo Artiguista, Maldonado, Uruguay Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2007 Meridiano Gallery, Montevideo, Uruguay Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2005 Cultural Center of Spain, Montevideo, Uruguay 2004 Puerta de San Juan Gallery, Montevideo, Uruguay 2003 Alianza Cultural Uruguay Estados Unidos, Montevideo, Uruguay Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1999 Museo de Arte Contemporáneo “El País”, Montevideo, Uruguay 1998 Mazzoni Museum, Maldonado, Uruguay Museo Regional de San Carlos, Uruguay Museo de Arte Americano, Maldonado, Uruguay Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1997 Museo de Arte Americano, Maldonado, Uruguay New Israeli Congregation, Montevideo, Uruguay 1995 OEA Exhibition Hall, Buenos Aires, Argentina Museo de Arte Americano, Maldonado, Uruguay 1994 Moretti Gallery, Montevideo, Uruguay Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina Museo de Arte Americano, Maldonado, Uruguay 1991 Álvaro Castagnino Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina Moretti Gallery, Montevideo, Uruguay Museo de Arte Americano, Uruguay 1988 Museo de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil Wizo Federation of Uruguay 1987 Cultural House of Alicia Goyena, Montevideo, Uruguay B’Nai B’rith Oriental, Montevideo, Uruguay Museo de Arte Americano de Maldonado, Maldonado, Uruguay 1985 Art Museum of The Organization of American States, Washington D.C. Instituto Cultural Italiano, Montevideo, Uruguay Museo Artiguista, Maldonado, Uruguay 1984 Bonino Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Museo de Arte Americano, Maldonado, Uruguay Museum of Fine Arts Castagnino, Rosario, Argentina 1982 Dan Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil 1981 Gallery Meeting Point, Miami, Florida Museo de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil 1978 Ática Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1977 Arte Múltiple Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1976 Contemporary Gallery, Montevideo, Uruguay 1975 Trilce Gallery, Montevideo, Uruguay 1971 Moretti Gallery, Montevideo, Uruguay

__________________________________________________________________

Las sinagogas de Ecuador, de Perú, Bolivia y Paraguay /The Synagogues of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay

Algunas sinagogas de Ecuador, de Perú, Bolivia y Paraguay/Some of the Synagogues of  Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia and Paraguay

_______________________________

Ecuador

La comunidad judía ecuatoriana es un grupo homogéneo, un hecho que ha facilitado una gran organización comunal. La comunidad judía de Quito tiene su propio edificio, un hogar para ancianos y sinagogas que ofrecen servicios en Shabat y días festivos. Beit Chabad en Ecuador ofrece comida kosher.

__________________________________

The Jewish population of Ecuador is approximately 600. The Ecuadorian Jewish community is a homogeneous group, a fact which has facilitated great communal organization. The Jewish community of Quito has its own building, a home for the aged, and a synagogue that holds services on Shabbat and holidays. Beit Chabad in Ecuador offers kosher food.

_______________________________________

252comunidad-judia-del-ecuador-2
Comunidad Judía del Ecuador -Quito

synecuador3
Comunidad Judía del Ecuador – Interior

images
Sinagoga Judía Sefardita – Quito

images-2
Sinagoga de la Comunidad de Guayaquil 

_______________________________________

Perú

Hoy Perú es el hogar de aproximadamente 2.500 judíos, la mayoría de los cuales viven en Lima, la capital. Hay comunidades activas en Guayaquil e Iquitos.

__________________________

Today Peru is home to approximately 2,500 Jews, most of whom live in Lima, the capital. There are also active communities in Guayaquil and Iquitos.

_________________________

download-1
1870 Asociación de Beneficia y Culto – Lima

199sinagoga 1870-2
1870 Asociación de Beneficia y Culto – Interior – Lima

download-14
Sinagoga de San Isidro

sinagoga-kneset-israel
“Shavei Israel” – Lima

images-3
Centro Cultural Sharon – Ashkenazi -Lima

images-4
Templo de Iquitos – Amazonas

____________________________________

Bolivia

La pequeña pero activa comunidad judía de Bolivia tiene alrededor de 400 miembros, la mayoría de los cuales viven en La Paz. También hay comunidades más pequeñas en Cochabamba y Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

____________________

The small but active Jewish community of Bolivia has around 400 members, most of whom live in La Paz. There are also smaller communities in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

_____________________

BO 1-L
Círculo Israelita de Bolivia – La Paz

download-3
Sinagoga Ortodoxa – Cochabamba

___________________________________________

Paraguay

La comunidad judía de Paraguay es pequeña y comprende solo unas 1.000 personas. En gran parte tradicional, aunque no ortodoxa, la judería paraguaya es muy sionista y se concentra en Asunción, la capital.

___________________________

The Jewish community of Paraguay is small, comprising only some 1,000 people. Largely traditional, though not Orthodox, Paraguayan Jewry is highly Zionist and concentrated in Asunción, the capital.

____________________________

 

b11e2968eca003373a71a19dd60b9990
Sinagoga de la Unión Hebraica de Paraguay

_________________________________________________________________________