Leah Goldberg was not known for writing war poems or poems in response to the Shoah. On the contrary: with the outbreak of World War II, Goldberg provoked a major literary controversy with her declaration in an essay published in Hashomer Hatsa 'ir that she had no intention of writing war poems. This paper examines Leah Goldberg's 1950 poem cycle "Keneged arba' ah banim" (1950), one of the few cycles she wrote in response to the catastrophe of World War II. Using the motif of the Four Sons of the Haggadah, Goldberg's cycle simultareously reinvigorates and undermines liturgical language, offering a provocative reconsideration of what it means to be wise, wicked, simple, or unquestioning in the post-Holocaust era.
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Feb 24, 2005