It has long been considered a truism that Israeli society is deeply divided between “hilonim” and “dati’im”—between secular and religious Jews—but a more nuanced picture can be seen in the writing of contemporary Israeli poets over the last several decades. Many self-identified “secular” writers wrestle deeply in their poetry with their relationship to Jewishness, to the legacy of the Bible and rabbinic texts, and to the personal search for God.
Through a close reading of selected poems, we will explore the religious struggles of these secular writers and consider how they might speak to our own experiences of faith and doubt in the post-modern era.
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