Yeshurun, Avot

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YESHURUN, AVOT (pseudonym of Yehiel Perlmutter ; 1904–1992), Israeli poet. Born in Volhynia, he immigrated to Palestine in 1925, and his poems first appeared in Turim, in 1934. Among Yeshurun's published volumes of poetry are Al Ḥokhmat Derakhim ("The Wisdom of the Road," 1942, under his original name); Re'em (1961), and Sheloshim Ammudim shelAvot Yeshurun ("Thirty Pages," 1965); Ha-Shever ha-Suri-Afrikani (1974; translated into English as The Syrian-African Rift, 1980); Homograph (1985); and Ein Li Akhshav ("I have no now," 1992). A collection of all his poems (Kol Shirav) was edited by his daughter, Helit Yeshurun, with a forward by B. Harshav (1995). He sets personal experience against the background of national problems. At first his poetry found its inspiration in the Bedouin world in a kind of ancient alliance between two peoples nurtured in the same region. Following the Israel War of Independence, he saw the Arab people's exile from Palestine and the Jewish tragedy in Europe as a "common Holocaust." The Eastern European Jew and the Palestinian Arab share a common destiny. This is reflected in his poetic idiom which is studded with Yiddish and Arab elements as well as Hebrew-Arabic puns. Yeshurun's unconventional style, his distortions of syntax and his idiosyncrasies of rhyme and diction reflect his attempt to forge a new idiom. His autobiography appeared in Massa, 1 (Jan. 1965). He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1992. For translations into various languages see the ithl website at


S. Burnshaw, et al., The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself (1965), 89–91; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 107. add. bibliography: Sh. Sandbank, in: Masa (May 19, 1978); Y. Besser, in: Yedioth Aharonoth (January 23, 1981); B. Ziffer, in: Haaretz (January 9, 1981); N. Zach, in: Yedioth Aharonoth (October 5, 1984); Y. Oppenheimer, Shirat Avot Yeshurun (1992); E. Zoritte, Shirat ha-Pere ha-Aẓil: Biografyah shel Avot Yeshurun (1995); G. Moked, "Dikt ve-Ḥol be-Palestinah," in: Akhsahv 64 (1996), 134–38; Y. Oppenheimer, Tenu Li le-Daber Kemo she-Ani, Shirat Avot Yeshurun (1997); O. Wolkenstein, Ha-Zikkaron bi-Yẓirotehem shel Avot Yeshurun u-Franz Kafka: Model Psikho-semioti (2000); A. Kinslter, Ke-Dag ha-Karev el ha-Ḥakah," in: Helikon, 59 (2004), 26–34.

[Yonah David]

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Yeshurun, Avot

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Yeshurun, Avot