Threshold Experience in Poetry and Music / Shoshana Zeevi

Threshold Experience in Poetry and Music
("The Dark Gate"- David Vogel and Eyal Adler; "The Invisible Carmel" – Zelda and Yinam Lief; " ( Entrapped  Bird)"- Yair Hurwitz and Menachem Wiesenberg)

In the present article I shall consider psychological and cultural aspects of the lyrical self as reflected in the work of three Hebrew poets set to music by three Israeli composers: Eyal Adler's setting of two poems by David Vogel, "If He Should Come to You" and "Black Flags Are Flapping"; Yinam Lief's settings of four poems by Zelda, "The Invisible Carmel", "You Are Silent to Me", "A Bird Enchanted" and "You Drove from My Heart"[1]; and Menachem Wiesenberg's setting of three poems by Yair Hurwitz, "Winds Blow", "In Your Dream", and "Open a Gate for Me." Through these poems set to music I shall interpret the poetics of their respective authors and composers in light of their backgrounds and inner worlds.

The article will also examine the cultural context of the lyrical self at two essential levels. The first level, deriving mainly from modernist interwar and post-war European and American literature, expresses of the hollowness of early twentieth century life. A loss of faith in divine authority and the breakdown of traditional societal structures had led to malaise, loneliness and alienation. Although the same traditional structures had restricted the intellectual life of individuals, they had also reinforced their sense of security, belonging and protection and their breakdown stimulated an existential movement in literature, both religious and secular.

At the second level we discover a unique inter-cultural context for each of these Hebrew poets, and their encounter both universal ideas in addition to the spiritual and intellectual treasures of Judaism: the Bible, Hasidism and Jewish philosophy. Discernible too is the way in which the spiritual level of Judaism gave rise to a poetic diction that enabled these moderns to express the affective maelstrom of estrangement and dislocation they experienced, irrespective of their national identities.

The lyrical poet writing in Hebrew and struggling with a sense of loss, bereavement and despair, grasped at meaning in order to transmit an awareness of beauty from the darkest abyss to the most sublime: from Vogel's experience of the holy tongue conveying his lyrical self in The Dark Gate (Vogel and Adler) and the unfathomable mysteries of personal fate; to Zelda's voyage of discovery of the supernal light in earthly nature in The Invisible Carmel (Zelda and Lief); to Hurwitz's wonder at the essential freedom inherent to poetry in Entrapped Bird (Hurwitz and Wiesenberg.

A definitive sense of the mystical was a fertile source of inspiration in the hollow intellectual and emotional world of the Modern Hebrew poets, albeit not the only source. The fluent language and existential familiarity of these poems are lifted to a higher degree by something hidden in them or by the abundant light that radiates from the Divine realm in counterpoint to dark and menacing reality. Mystical experience is illuminated through the sefirotic realm of the Divine ein-sof, or infinity, in contrast to recognized existence, dark as the unconscious. Yet notwithstanding these seeming differences, the two conceptions share an element: meaning remains concealed from us in the poems despite the clarity of the words.

The existential paradox in the emotional and cultural world offsets the contrary positions of the lyrical self, in what I call the threshold experience that is illuminated simultaneously by the mystical element- Kabbalistic or Kafkaesque- and through the experience of the Void, the Ayin, the driving force of Existentialism. The threshold experience carries opposite spiritual charges which may in themselves react negatively with the worlds of other poets. In the worlds of our three poets, the opposite spiritual charges generate an intellectual and emotional unity despite the cultural distance between thought and feeling. Within this threshold experience the lyrical self may reach an impasse, loss of freedom and despair and simultaneously a fullness of being which it seeks in hidden realms. The hidden realm of the threshold coexists with emptiness. David Vogel, Zelda and Yair Hurwitz sense the hollowness of the age and give voice to it through the poetic figures they create. Unlike other poets of their generation, they seek mystical sources within Judaism for spiritual and emotional support. To fill the vacuum of modernity, the emptiness and alienation they feel, the three poets implant the spiritual values of biblical and Rabbinic Judaism and most of all perhaps, those hidden within Kabbalistic Judaism. Each of them expresses an inconceivable poetic fusion of contradictory realities.

The reality of Kabbalistic mysticism, as elucidated in the words of Gershom Scholem, pertains to the mystic's experience of the ineffable that cannot be communicated in terms of ordinary reality.

A mystic is a man who has been favored with an immediate, and to him real, experience of the divine, of ultimate reality, or who at least strives to attain such an experience. It may come through sudden illumination, or the result of elaborate preparations. The mystical quest occurs within a prescribed tradition. A mystic operates within the context of such traditional institutions and authority.[2]

The direct experience encountered by readers of Zelda or Yair Hurwitz is mediated through the poet's union with Godhead. According to Scholem, the experience of mystical union entails a boundless spirituality that "cannot be objectively defined."  mystical experience is essentially imageless. It goes beyond "the bounds of subject-object categorization," fundamental to any process of a merging of one self with another. In our case, the image of the other is absent, whereas the mystic attributes shape and form to the other through images and concepts imprinted in earlier generations.

The mystical experience is imageless in effect. It essentially comes about from an encounter with God, for the more powerful it becomes and the higher it reaches the more limited does the possibility of expressing and describing it clearly become.  Nor is it susceptible to objective definition, for its object is ephemeral by nature, and the categorical boundaries of subject-object depend on it.[3]

The second, more expressive approach suggests the pressure experienced by the hero of Franz Kafka's allegorical "Before the Law" (from The Trial), the hero of which feels his life passing as he waits on the threshold, that is, in the delayed anticipation of crossing the threshold. Standing on the threshold suggests the existence of a hidden presence, the logic of which becomes ever sharper. The more hesitant the hero grows about passing through the gate before the law, the stronger the position of standing on the threshold as a kind of reaction to the terrors of emptiness. Such hesitation is a basic feature of the modern hero for whom traditional symbols and images may be inadequate to bring about the freedom that beckons beyond doubt.

These two outlooks, the Kabbalistic and Kafkaesque, underlie our treatment of the threshold experience in the three works discussed here. Our focus will be on the lyrical self, and its awareness of the great distance that separates it from revelation and enlightenment and the intimations of the hidden presence. Paradoxically, in both cases it is the very acknowledgment of this distance that leads to inner-strength in the face of emptiness and despair. And herein lies the paradox. The affinity of modern Hebrew poets for the unnamable infinite, ein sof, sustains them one way or another in their temporal life. Two opposite points of reference share an elliptical orbit –hopeless despair at the failure to ground the concept of Divine nothingness, ayin, and a sense of immanency and devotion to Godhead – complementing each other albeit from different perspectives.

Nevertheless an important distinction must be made between the threshold experience of Kabbalists and that of poets. The experience of the Kabbalists reflects this world as manifested in canonical literary and Rabbinic texts and the sacred writings they interpret. The moment they cross over the threshold in a progression towards the Divine experienced as an outpouring or inspiration, there is movement within the static elements of Godhead that issue forth in sympathy with the ineffable ein sof  which is in turn affected by state of affairs on earth. This movement to and from Godhead forms a dynamic circuit, incongruous yet at the same time as tangible to the Kabbalist as an earthly event, whereas for the poet, the threshold experience is supported by personal testimony that cries out at critical points in the poet's lifetime. Even when the poet draws inspiration from the Kabbalah, the limits of the experience are entailed by the poem.

To better understand the uniqueness of each of the poets' respective threshold experience as a lyrical self, I will briefly review their relationship to the poets of their generation. Vogel's writing bears a correspondence to the symbolist poetry that took shape in Palestine of the 30s and 40s; Zelda's writing evinces existentialist ideas that influenced the poetry of her contemporaries in the 50s and 60s; while Hurwitz belongs to the avant-garde establishment of Israeli poetry in the 60s and 70s.

Threshold Experience in The Dark Gate

David Vogel (1891-1944), a contemporary of Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Alterman and Yonatan Ratosh, distanced himself from their often stilted and archaic diction and their self-depiction against a moving larger-than-life backdrop in keeping with the heroic ideology of the Zionist enterprise. Vogel never fills his work with images that suggest hidden meanings woven into a conceptual fabric, nor does he stick to a strict system of rhythm or scansion, preferring to structure his verse freely, as befitting his truly personal poems. Even when describing his sense of estrangement from the scenery of pre-state Israel he does so in a language that is clear and understated based entirely on the experience of his lyrical self.  Vogel's Hebrew, in its receptiveness to abstract feeling-states is not infrequently charged with mystical connotations.[4] Indeed, the effects of mysticism on the sensibility of young poets seeking a personal voice to express personal experience is clearly in evidence. Thus, Nathan Zach, for example, finds an aesthetic ideal in Vogel's free verse,[5] while Dan Pagis maintains that "Vogel's restrained language, his quiet tone and the open structure of his poetry are no longer deemed marginal, albeit there is some justification to regard them as such, but rather as central to poetry and even as exemplary."[6]

In two of Vogel's poems, "When Night Approaches" [ki yigash ha-layil] and "Black Flags Are Flapping" [degalim shchorim mefarperim]  it is possible to find a quality shared by the hero longing for a human touch and the loneliness of nameless people longing for the presence of an unidentified being. The objects of passion may differ but the emotional charge in both cases is similar. In the poem "When Night Approaches" the lover sets off on a spiritual quest to learn the secret hidden in the beauty of the object of his passion, while in the poem "Black Flags Are Flapping" unidentified people set off to find what lies hidden beyond the great dark gate. In both poems there is an attempt to introduce movement into the static condition of the hero who is unable to free himself from the anxieties that bind him to a dark reality. This state of stasis describing the numbness of the passive lover's heart is also reflected in the hero who awaits the opening of the dark gate. He hopes that the mysterious entity hiding beyond the dark gate will ignite the spark of life that was extinguished during the endless period of waiting.

The mysterious being in the poem "When Night Approaches" is revealed as the personification of night that accompanies the lyric hero on his way. The hero joins Night, fearing that he will not have the strength to reveal the complexity of his inner world to his beloved, and projects his erotic feelings onto it:

When Night comes to your window

Go out and bare yourself to him

Softly, drop by drop he will darken

Around your tranquil grace,

Touching the tip of your breasts.

In the five lines of the first verse the poet brings his different levels of consciousness into accord as form the tortured world of the lyric hero: at the first level- the turmoil of the lover when he sees his beloved in the window and the paralyzing anxiety that seizes him when he tries to approach her and withdraws; and at the second level-  the hero's loss of a personal identity so that in order to touch her naked body he must use Night as his proxy. Beyond these two levels the hero acknowledges the truth, his understanding that Night is free while he, the hero, is fettered. Night is active while he is passive. When he says "With him I stand, astray" he hopes Night will find him and set him free because only with Night can he find the strength to ask his beloved to recognize the complexity of his life. Not that this association is of any comfort to him. He realizes that he has already lost his freedom. His friendship with Night is a trap for the hero and he no longer has the strength to disengage himself from the grip of dark Night.

The same sort of stasis is described in the poem, "Black Flags Are Flapping," illuminated through two central images: flags flapping in the wind and a bird that is prevented from flying because its wings are ensnared. The meeting of the black flags flapping in the wind with the ensnared wings tells us nothing about the source of the lethal force, its nature unknown to the speaker in the poem. That is why standing before the gate is perhaps like standing beyond a grotesque uncertainty, the almost hopeful possibility that beyond the big dark gate lies release from life and release from death at a single point of time within the poem. Could this knowledge bring salvation to the speakers, "stealthily" making their way "like unschooled children" toward the great unknown?

"Like unschooled children

Filled with dread

We'll stand

And watch the great

Dark gate

Swing open."

The threshold experience is endless, like the feeling of anticipation balanced between personal prayer and personal experience. Although the worshipper may pray on Yom Kippur in the anticipation that heaven's gates will open to permit absolution, uncertainty and apprehension resound in the loss of independence expressed in Kafka's parable of "The Gate before the Law." For Vogel this is not merely a gate to culture but to a world in which the speaker will be left all alone to face the sphinxlike enigmas and images. And as in Kafka's parable too, the enigma's culmination in the existence of a transcendent being leaves the speaker in Vogel's poem helpless before the fact that there will be no change in a reality filled with suffering. Helpless, but not wingless; helpless but not defeated. He strides towards the great dark gate in the faith that beyond it, lie physical and spiritual spaces connected in ways he hopes to perceive once the dark gate has been opened.

Ayal Adler's music further illuminates the connections between the spiritual and the physical,[7] between absence and knowledge of existence. Like Vogel, Adler illuminates unfathomable existence with a suggestion of endless duration,[8] and in the spirit of Vogel, charges infinity with darkly mysterious tone clusters.[9] Unlike Vogel, Adler emphasizes the sublime aspect of the threshold experience, apparently because through it he seeks to display the will of the heroes to be liberated from the threatening hold of mysterious existence, even if the way is paved with difficulties.

Such is the spiritual journey Adler expresses musically in the four stages I shall divide into four harmonic, melodic and rhythmic sketches in which we see manifest the connection between the physical-metaphorical spaces and the existential uncertainty of the hero who seeks to free himself from the hidden presence.

The first and second sketches will be described before I present the musical score.

The first sketch is made up of sixteen measures introduction of sorts that opens with a sustained low C# on bassoon, joined by a piccolo, clarinet, violin and cello that augment the sonority to form a multi-layered G# chord (with D in the bass position) played on piano. The multi-layered structure of the chord may be interpreted as a protracted spatio-temporal representation that evokes a feeling of timelessness. The C# on bassoon in concert with the other notes creates a discordant texture prefiguring the air of gloom in the poems to follow.

In measure13 of this sketch, the dense texture undergoes a change. The multi-layered chord gives way to the recitative of the single note. The asymmetrical division of beats into quadruplets, quintuplets and triplet reflects turmoil or discontent, while the obsessive return to the G sounds like an inexorable of presage of doom. The ground tone in the melodic contour plays a dynamic role in this altered musical texture where the tonal field augments the volume and intensifies the protraction of note, thereby symbolizing timelessness. The single note is heard as the tonic of the scale when it modulates harmonically into an F# semi-cadence. In this way a connection is forged between two musical images, one symbolizing emotional turmoil and the other, the integral continuum of eternity.

In the second sketch, (measures16-40) Adler expands the dialog between melodic and harmonic spaces. The melodic space makes use of diverse rhythmic effects to depict the hero's feelings for his beloved and himself: a keen syncopation disturbs the stability and rhythmic steadiness, passing through the measure where the poet hides behind Night. There is probably a touch of irony in Adler's use of syncopation to accompany the words "Your tranquil grace." The syncopation negates his belove's perfection and generates more turmoil in the lover.

Another important rhythmic effect is produced through the use of a polyrhythmic texture between the flute and violin and the sustained chord played on the piano. This emphasizes the polarization in the poet: at one end, his sense of hopelessness, hesitancy and despair, and at the other, his aspiration to be joined with eternal life in order to restore his pride.

In the third sketch (Example 4, measures 26-28) the erotic conflict in the game is intensified, quivering between a 9th and the diminished or augmented 2nds. The interval leaps of a 9th behind the words "Touching the tip of your breasts" (Example 1) reveal a suppressed eroticism in juxtaposition to the diminished fifths with the words "Your tranquil grace."

In the fourth sketch, the poem "Black Flags Are Flapping" Adler uses an augmented 7th for the static image of the black waves and a diminished 2nd to indicate the immobility of the birds that can't fly. Such eloquence within this broad pattern reveals an intention to convey a sense of failure, because it is identical to the broad pattern signifying the failure of intimacy as in the poem "When Night Approaches" (measures 10-15). Here Adler offers a conceptual association between the lover and those who are about to enter through the great dark gate.

It would seem that in measures 28-29 (the fifth sketch) Adler develops an approach that is different from Vogel's vis-à-vis the modern hero as someone awaiting redemption. He conveys this in the shift from the piano to the percussion instruments – the gong and the crotales. The piano which was the driving force of the ensemble now gives way to instruments that will serve as messengers so to speak, bearing the prayers of the worshipper on Yom Kippur to the gates of heaven. Within the framework of Jewish liturgy these instruments are alien to the normal vocal texture. At the same time in Adler's music the granite timbre of the gong and the delicate celestial sound of the bells testify to the fellowship of all humanity, and not just to Jewish believers. The place of the traditional instrument, the Jewish shofar meant to effect an intimate encounter between the worshipper and his God, is taken by percussive sounds and the tinkling of the crotales bells which amplify the experience of timelessness.

This acoustic statement lends a new interpretation to the merging of the speaker in Vogel's poem with the Unknown, both open and closed to every human being. The Unknown is not threatening. It is rather an object of longing that quickens the emotional life of the worshipper who prays for an end to suffering, or is Adler perhaps trying to say that for modern man, mystical experience gives rise to a sense of emptiness and failure which in turn fortifies his spiritual capacity to cope with it?


The Ideal of Inspiration in The Invisible Carmel

Zelda (1914-1984) created a poetic language all her own that ranged from her religious faith to the poetry which from a perspective of time and experience might be seen as testing her own faith in light of suffering. Hers was a singular balance between grief and metaphysical promise. In this, her poetry is not far removed from the post-WWII European existentialism that reached Israel in the 50s and 60s, with an essential mysticism thinly veiling quotidian existence, and a life-affirming wisdom despite the harshness of her experience. Poets like Nathan Zach, Yehuda Amichai, Daliah Rabikowitz, Pinchas Sadeh at times employed a high linguistic register, devoid of lofty nationalistic symbols and closer in grammar to direct spoken language. Zelda whose first book of poems was published in the early 70s, is pure in its simplicity and enigmatic in its religious intimations. The reader is jolted both culturally and emotionally by Zelda's intimation that misfortune discloses Divine justice and simultaneously, the compassion within the poems themselves. Concealed in her poetry are biographical details and personal experiences that accommodate the realm of the sublime. Hints of divine intervention and providence and also of its absence encounter the loving kindness that shine through her poetic world. According to Hamutal Bar Yosef, Zelda imparts a configuration of emotions stemming from childhood trauma to her lyrical self.[10] Thus, according to Zvia Ginor, in the wake of this experience of death and pain, Zelda finds a transition between life and "the other domain".[11]

The question remains whether it was her natural vitality that inspired her during those difficult moments leading to death and even to doubting her own sense of blessed transcendence. To my mind, in all four poems that make up the piece one sees how the mystical images that symbolize the approach of the heroine to Godhood touch on the symbols through which visualizes her inward fears when she feels strange and alienated from herself and society, and perhaps, cautiously, from Godhood through which she draws the power of sanctity.[12]

Manifest here is the poetic principle described in the Kabbalah as an emanation of Divine light from the sefira of ein-sof to the lower sefirot. Through this act of emanation, Kabbalists sought to explain the hierarchy of the Divine system. In which each of the sefirot is an independent entity that absorbs the Divine light and transmits it to the lower sefirot. As Yosef ben Shlomo clarifies in his introduction to Sha'arei Ora by the Kabbalist Joseph ben Abraham Gikatila, the light of ein-sof emanates through each of the sefirot and together they complete the sefirotic whole, surmounted be ein-sof.[13]

Just as in Kabbalah the Divine light imparts chesed, the loving kindness of its sanctity to the sefirot  below ein-sof, so too in Zelda's poetry the feeling of transcendence and sanctity are intended to counteract death and the void. These two contradictory directions, Divine effluence and cognizance of the void, manifest in a single threshold experience without one annulling the other, as it were. Each imparts something to its complement and lends symbolic meaning to the concept "Carmel", one through an evolving relationship between earthiness and spirituality in the poem "The Invisible Carmel" and the other, in the relationship that evolves between the joy and imminence of ein-sof  and the sorrow and grievance in "The Invisible Carmel" and "You Are Silent to Me".

In the last verse of "The Invisible Carmel" the heroine presents the evolving relationship between the earthly and spiritual realms through the metaphorical meanings that arise from the concept of death and those that arise from the concept of Carmel.

When I die

And pass into another realm –

So will the invisible Carmel that is

All mine

All joy in essence

Pine needles and pinecones flowers and stones

Imprinted on my flesh

From the invisible Carmel

With the lane of trees going down to the sea.

How are we to understand the kinship between the feeling of death in the opening, "When I die/And pass to another realm" and "All joy in essence" envisioned from the "lane of trees going down to the sea"  Is this realm detached from "the invisible Carmel"? The connotations of effluence and flourishing in the Book of Jeremiah (2:7)  in the use of the word "Carmel"  – And I brought you into a land of fruitful fields [Machon Mamre translation] or the eroticism of Song of Songs, 7:6 where the lover imagines the beauty of the beloved, "Thy head upon thee is like Carmel" enhance the symbolic essence of the Carmel, real to the point of mysticism. In Bar Yosef's view this symbolizes the Divine Light that pervades the sefira of ein-sof and flows out to the sefirot that are imbued with it.[14]

Both sides, the connection to another realm and the inability to experience joy to the fullest derive from her "moment of return" to that latent, near-super-human childhood experience.

And the return

To the stern visage of Jerusalem skies

Preeminent over all –

Is this an element of mortality?

And this "moment of return" which stirs the invisible Carmel into an element of immortality is preeminent in its importance to Zelda the poet, a re-interpretation of over all" the chaotic threshold experience in the direction of "joy in essence". The poem seems to shelter in the super-natural. There is no heartbreaking question mark in the poem to cast doubt on the enduring existence of "the preeminent over all", except for a merely rhetorical one which allows the poet, in all humility, to minimize a grievance that might otherwise seem heretical from a biblical perspective. The speaker appears to be evoking Job when asked "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (Job 38:4), or as she prefers to say, "Could this be an element of immortality?" The intensity of this double take at real life here is heartbreaking, and she seems willing to forgo an answer to her contemplative question about the meeting of earthliness and spirituality.

The phrase "joy in essence" in "You Are Silent to Me" is expressive of grief over a beloved who has died prematurely as well as a reproof against an inexplicable calamity. From the start, the poem "You are silent to me/ From out of the hidden world" creates a paradoxical apostrophe  wherein the unresponsive addressee is the thematic key of the entire poem. His silence serves to heighten her plea, and he is put to shame by his very absence, wordlessly and soundlessly. Death emerges in the poem as existing in a hidden world, the invisible realm of the Carmel "swallowing everywhere you walked alive", and finally the speaker takes hold of grief as a mystical element – "There was nothing there I could not call/ a candle"- that enables her to connect to the invisible realm. This apostrophe denotes an imaginary nonverbal, non-literal grasp of the difference between living waters and broken cisterns.

Upon your silence I set

The sounds of the alef-bet

Upon the ayin, emptiness,

I set the birds that come to drink,

And snakes, yes, even snakes

These words may allude to verse 2:13 in the Book of Jeremiah: "For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." In this verse the prophet describes the nation's betrayal of God. The tone of "You Are Silent to Me", particularly its final line, seems to intimate a diminishing of faith in Divine Providence. The poet's projected feelings burst through to a wider sphere of associations and attest to human helplessness in the 20th century amid spiritual breakdown and an erosion of values.

This dialectic in Zelda's poem is heightened by the piece's "polyphonic correlations", helping to illuminate the metaphorical structure and acoustic resonance of the syntax. The structure – exposition, poem, interlude and coda – comprises surface-level dissonance, rhythmic agitation, intervallic leaps and passaggios in the melodic line[15] thus generating a dialogue between equanimity and emotional turmoil.

"Polyphonic correlations" is here extended to mean "virtual polyphony" as used in Betty Olivero's research on Luciano Berio's "Sequenzas".[16] Although Olivero focuses on Berio's work there, the term is equally applicable to other modern compositions.[17]

According to Olivero, monody is transposed in virtual polyphony either through interval or rhythm, in a game where pitch is fixed or alternately, structures are created between simultaneous events and shared or fluid sequences.[18] The concept of virtual polyphony is important, because polyphony is juxtaposed in this context with real, traditional polyphony, and it too, like the real kind, gives freedom to monody. Virtual polyphony joins the sublime with grief and emptiness, juxtaposing the Kabbalistic concept of ein-sof with the identity crisis modern individuals face in relation to the ayin.  Lief illustrates this encounter through the tonal organization of three discrete musical events:

The first event is represented by a linear chromatic organization with intervallic leaps. This organization may point to a spiritual movement as the heroine experiences both intimacy with nature and sacredness and simultaneously, estrangement.

The chromatic linearity creates a melisma surrounding the words mahut – "essence" and osher – "joy." The leaps of register – an augmented seventh (middle C# to high C) and a 9th (middle D flat to high E) – as the "invisible Carmel" passes into another realm – produce dissonance and tension with the main instruments of this event, first and foremost, the vibraphone, sounding large intervals throughout the phrase, and in contrast, in the next, a single chord  sustained, while the two other instruments – violin and bass, create a true echo of the vocal line  (measures 12-13), amplifying the mystical feelings conveyed by the word acheret, "another (realm)". A tight balance is thus created between the poem and the ensemble and between intimacy and estrangement, with an added rhythmic element (the polyphonic texture of measure 15) which intensifies the turmoil of the heroine who is tossed between the two essences. All the instruments take part in the polyrhythmic texture except for the vibraphone sustaining the chord and the vision of the Carmel described in the melodic line. Within the vocal context, Lief creates an echo effect, as of the violin (B flat, G, A and a crab inversion).

The first event opens into the second event where the heroine confronts the experience of grief.

Here Lief's orchestrations of "The Invisible Carmel" and "You Are Silent to Me" create a metaphoric association between the two poems. The vibraphone which supplied the harmonic support in the first event is succeeded in the second by the static beat of the tom toms.  The orchestration with tom toms prepares the listener for the heroine's sense of grief at losing her beloved. At the same time, Lief creates the ;arge intervallic leaps with the 9th and 7ths around the words shotek and elai "silent" and "to me" as though emitting a scream through the painful silence of the heroine. This silence is reinforced by the sharp dissonance between low B and middle B flat, a departure from the classical 'sigh'-motif – a descending tetrachord – used in elegies and laments. Through the scream the heroine evinces her spiritual power in a flash of transcendence even as she experiences pain and grief. Here the threshold experience rises to its climax – the spiritual joy that imbued her as she experienced natural beauty does not abandon her in the moment of crisis, nor does she resign herself to Divine authority.

The heroine's encounter with death and loss here leads to a new state of consciousness. In this event, unlike the previous two, she challenged Divine authority.

In the third musical event, Lief's chromatic harmony mingles the heroine's audacious surge of faith with doubt in Divine authority. Here, too, Lief counterbalances the vocal and instrumental dimensions in three stages to convey the spiritual breakdown the poet suffers in "You Are Silent to Me": in the first, he foregrounds the bass and holds it in tense counterpoise with the powerful beats of the timpani. With intervallic leaps and brisk dynamic shifts, pianissimo to forte, blurring into a prolonged decrescendo and retreating from the foreground to accompany the vocal line. In the second stage there is a melodic line built around an obsessional homing in on the note E which issues in syncopation or long duration. The repetition of a single note reveals a different approach to the concept of silence. In Example 2, Lief interprets the silence of the lyrical text as a scream. In Example 3, the silence it carries the emotional prospect of death, venom and constrained anger. At first she seems to accept the judgment: Ani mechasa et shtikatcha be otiot, "Upon your silence I set/the sounds of the alef-bet", except that here Lief releases the single note into a melodic line that rises and falls in 2nds that accompany the line, ani mechasa et ha ayin betziporim she ba'ot lishtot/ uvenchashim  ken binchashim, "Upon the ayin, emptiness,/I set the birds that come to drink,/ And snakes, yes, even snakes." In the acoustic texture of the piece as a whole, the melodic line carries the spoken theme of grief and repressed rage.

In the third event Lief accentuates the ideological rift of the rhythmic profile by shifting cadences and octaves (measures 45-48), which estrange the turmoil from the apparent mixed feelings in the heroine's world.

The rhetorical rhythm contributes to the virtual polyphony through which the threshold experience may be examined. There are two rhythmic systems at play here, each of which symbolizes a discrete emotive texture. Moreover, the same polyrhythmic pattern (measures 15 and 22) gains a double significance: Like the letters, it both symbolizes and undermines the familiar hierarchy (measure 22) as well as the dynamic flow. This double meaning leads to a diversity of emotional and vibrational changes. The placement of rhythmic patterns in relation to one another expresses the breakdown of experiential wholeness to the point of death and doubt.

The connection between the rhythmic figures and repetitive patterns conveys a lack of psychic wholeness and the triumph of death over the heroine. Both are set in opposition to an acoustic pattern comprised of intervallic leaps and a chromatic flow that expresses transcendence. The virtual polyphony is created both by means of acoustic juxtaposition and by using different conceptual variations on the same motif to convey the heroine's proximity to ayin on the one hand, and to ein-sof on the other. These juxtaposed realms of consciousness create an abstract and affective unit of musical and poetic composition.

"Entapped Bird"

Yair Hurwitz (1941-1988) was a contemporary of poets Meir Wieseltier and Yona Wallach, whose style and diction, like theirs, owes much to the English, American and European Avant-garde poets of the Beat Generation and the Age of Rock n Roll. Theirs was a poetics that externalized the sense of absolute freedom in contrast with the general tendency to ignore existential angst and the new order that arose in the wake of WWII. The daring language of these poets was instrumental in liberating the Hebrew literature of the 1970s from religious connotations and the socio-cultural orientation of their literary predecessors. Hurwitz developed a unique poetic avant-garde diction the echoed the world of Bilaik and the broad rhythms, to quote Benjamin Harshav, of Uri Zvi Greenberg's avant-garde poetry, in response to his  sense of ayin or emptiness.[19] These feelings come to light in Hurwitz's awareness of the end as starting point culminating in in his final book, a concise cycle of poems called Tzippor Kchulah, (Entrapped Bird).[20]

Hurwitz' poetry, like that of Vogel and Zelda, internalizes/embraces Rabbinic and Kabbalistic language to highlight the crisis of modern-secular Hebrew. Like Vogel and Zelda too, Hurwitz offers succor in his poetry for bereavement by contemplating worlds associated with sacred and mystical language as a source of inspiration, a mimetic act in the face of homelessness.

Reflections Spread Their Wings

As noted earlier, Hurwitz's last collection, Entrapped Bird, published just before he died, concerns the spiritual, cultural and mystical attributes of a certain bird whose horizons diminish as problems beset the body that bears it aloft. This bird has always known how to fly, but may never have touched the ground. Yet that is precisely its strength, As a symbol of Hurwitz's poetic life, the bird becomes entangled with a bird companion, his soul, a bird that holds an olive leaf in its beak and heralds the creation of a new humanity, spreading its wings and carried over the sea to distant lands, symbolizes the Self uniting with the Divine.[21]

If we examine each of these elements – poetry, regeneration and flight- we will find that they have something in common. The bird invites the reader and the poet with him to burst the bounds of the staid and familiar, the canons of culture, and the limitations of physical pain. At first glance the human body seems unable to fulfill the wishes of the bird it carries in its bosom. Spiritual and cultural forces unfold and are lifted through the poem to a realm of freedom represented by physical-metaphorical space.

Into this space where the bird may soar and experience its freedom, Hurwitz casts a narrow world that crushes the liberated nature of the bird, a world he describes as a darkened room where the bird's wings are pinned to its sides. It is a world devoid of inspiration represented by an empty wilderness that hampers flight and conceals subterranean depths that swallow Hurwitz' poetic spirit which is identified with the tragic fate of the captive bird.

At this junction of conscious freedom and the realization of life's end, a poem is born wherein elements of light are discovered in elements of darkness. The elements of light containing a creative force and the elements of darkness containing a destructive force reflect each other and the poem, like the bird, and defer to this balance between a sense of the sublime and the sense of an ending in the midst of temporal life. By means of this mutual reflection the central drama of the poems is enacted: the poems draw their constructive elements from the elements of life itself, that is, the elements of the ending of life.

The soft melody sung by the bird suspended between life and death rises like an indirect echo of Kabbalistic images that describe the sefirotic system as a world of mirrored reflections and infinite regress. The distinctiveness of each sefira derives from the light that emanates from the sefira above or beneath it and each sefira reflects the Divine light which it reflects back to the sefira closest to that which is called ein-sof. This is the central concept in Moses Cordovero's speculative philosophy: The inner aspects of the Shechinah, the last sefira of the hierarchy, are enhanced by the emanations of light from the lower sefirot and their absorption by adjacent sefirot.

Gershom Scholem addresses Cordovero's thoughts on reflected light in a chapter about the Shechinah as detailed in Kabbalah:

The process of eternal emanation in which the dialectical life of creative Godhead (unlike the process described in the Zohar) is sundered, is a dialectic that is defined in the principle of 'Their end is fixed in thir beginning and their beginning is fixed in their end'  … It is not the last sefira alone that reflects the light, but rather, each and every sefira reflects it, according to Cordovero.[22]

Like Cordovero, Hurwitz evolves a world of imagery that ultimately derives from the theory of reflected light in which two worlds – the real and the metaphorical or virtual – ultimately blend together as one.

The concept of reflected light, suggested in Menachem Perry's review of Hurwitz's collection, is a "heavenward direction" that reflects a sense of liberation from the "flawed and darkened prison" characterizing consciousness of the end. [23] This dialectic forms the matrix wherein the music is created and the poem is born. Through it, Hurwitz is able to burst the bounds of the cultural canon, escape the confines of his affliction and win freedom. In "Entrapped Bird" we have the bird, freedom, vast reaches of aerial space, a heavenward movement, wind, light, breath and song; and opposite them we have the confines of a flawed and darkened, low-lying prison, the afflicted body.

Yet these differences are evened out in the end. The body is not the Self since the Self is spirit, soul, dream, beauty, poetry. But if I am not my Self – then who is feeling the pain? And spirit is spirit, the evanescence of physical reality as against the silent stone. And if spirit is non-corporeal, bodiless, it is devoid of physical reality, in other words, dead, dead as stone. But so is the opposition of spirit and the bird as stone. The non-captive bird is held captive by the spirit in an empty hand. Art is the hand-writing of the human spirit, of spirit, which is nothingness

To a great extent, Perry's words shed light on the principle of reflection in Hurwitz' poetry where the beginning touches the end, whereas the end yearns for the flight of creation with riddles and images. The end touches the beginning in a crossover between life and poetry – where poetry rises to challenge the death verdict, as in the image "to soar ever higher, gliding without intention," the metonymy he employs to convey this struggle. In this state the bird cannot spread its wings:

"Your wings are pinned to your sides" and its eyes " With a preference for the specter of the dream":

I watch you

See the way your wings are pinned to your sides,

Worn out as though from motion

And your vigilant eyes, darker now,

With a preference for the specter of the dream.

The poem "Winds Blow" is set in a room with little air, making it difficult for the bird to fly, yet open to the vastness of space. The bird feels strangely revived but the air flowing into the room acquires an ironic twist with poet's growing awareness of the limited time he has left to hope for a new life. There seems to be a new message here, like the report the dove brings back to Noah that the waters have subsided, only, in this case the report has "the sound of a death-quest".  In the tragic end when the bird who is "sick of wakefulness, still murmuring your song," there is a hint of life refusing fated death. The hint is already present in the first poem of the cycle when the bird's call, "Yair, Yair", can be taken both as an ominous portent and a cry of submission. The bounds that have been set by the body's time reflect bird-time, the tortured book of the bird's genesis, and perhaps the freedom to have its end in genesis.

In your call I hear the sound of a death-quest

You whom I sent to see if the waters subsided

Sick of wakefulness, still murmuring your song.

The mythical scene projects a model of avant-garde renewal from the vast reaches of Israeli time. According to Lilach Lachman, this scene in the poem quickens the certainty of life that imbues the poem with meaning.[24] Lachman adds that the hero's certainty of life intensifies with his sense of merging with the bird and what it symbolizes. In fact, she says, he is subsumed in the bird when he feels he is dreaming the bird's dream (In Your Dream) or that perhaps he is losing his actual presence and turning into spirit. But even this will not prevent him from crashing to the ground, "held captive in an empty hand".  The poet's vital need to merge with the bird becomes clear in view of the danger he faces of an emotional crash or withdrawal from a cruel world.

In dreams you have seen a dream of a dream

A double image in a double mirror

And in your dream there is a piece of land

Like a bird held captive in a spirit hand

From the confines of the cruel reality where he feels himself held captive he turns to the heaven's gate for salvation from his suffering through an experience of union with God (in the poem "Open a Gate for Me"). But his attempt fails to bridge the gap between earthly presence – "Your feet on the ground"- and heavenly existence – "And your head in the clouds" – and to convey it in poetry. In this poem the lyrical hero's conscious state of mind undergoes a change. He has lost his faith that art will provide salvation from death. This pessimistic feeling is reflected in the words of the bird:

My life I'll spend in the sky,

Said the bird,

And here on earth I'll know my death.

Earth will open a gate for me,

Added the bird,

And there will be nothing after that but the locking up

In this last line we see the double significance of the concept of Ne'ila, literally, the symbolic locking of the gates of heaven at the conclusion of the Yom Kippur prayers: a cutting off from physical reality and the transcendence of purification through prayer. This double meaning runs through all the poems in the Entrapped Bird Cycle[25] and its musical setting by Menachem Wiesenberg. Wiesenberg develops the meaning through the use of three musical images that reflect the mystical dimension of the poet's consciousness of freedom and the mimetic dimension that characterizes his consciousness of the end. Each of the three images reveals a different musical approach and each of them offers a different rhetorical option.


The first approach: The formulaic arpeggio of the opening serves as a kind of theoretical and aesthetic prelude .

The second approach: The pentatonic harmony Wiesenberg uses to develop the mutual relationship between the real world and the virtual world, and metaphorically, it touches on the way in which mimetic reality is reflected in the spiritual world of the poet.

The third approach: The spiritual and structural meaning Wiesenberg applies to Silence [shetek] and the way this affects the acoustic dimension through which he structures the idea of reflection.

The first image (Example 6):  a formulaic arpeggio played on the violin built on a single organ stop – G; whether it functions as the root of an 11th chord (minus 5th or 7th), belongs to another chord, or has no harmonic function. The repetition is structured on a 32nd note beat, in perfect fourths, that lend the music an air of somnambulism without changing or developing it further. This somnambulist state reflects Hurwitz's fixation or perhaps the theoretical standpoints of both Hurwitz and Wiesenberg  as to what I have called consciousness of the end. Wiesenberg structures the same formulaic arpeggio in the interlude as it appears in measured 37-47. This formula is the starting point of the pentatonic harmony and also its end point, thereby intensifying the piece's air of somnambulism in the encounter between the consciousness of freedom and the consciousness of the end.

The arpeggio pattern alludes to the reflective technique used by Ravel in the third movement, "Une Barque sure L'Ocean" of his piano composition, Miroirs. In it Ravel uses an arpeggio pattern that mimics the reflections of water currents, and is supported by harmonic progressions that are logical yet disruptive of traditional harmonic progressions.[26] In Wiesenberg's prelude, he enlists all the energy of the points of imitation played on the piano and the clash of harmonic progressions to create a complex network of reflections, a harmonic and melodic weave that powerfully reflects the emotional experience I attribute to the hero's sense of ending.

After the prelude comes a new artistic exposition of sorts. Having lost a sense of his own existence the hero recharges it with life-giving energy through meaningful poetry. This transition produces a strong aesthetic effect. Wiesenberg proceeds from the arpeggio figure to the second image built on the pentatonic scale.

In the pentatonic section, the singer has the central role. She sings about winds that blow into the room changing the quality of the air. At this point Wiesenberg introduces metrical and syntactic changes in the phrase that opens and closes on the same note (F#) and a rhythm that expresses the mind in flight and flow.

Consequently we can see how pentatonic harmony expresses the idea in the image of winds blowing outside the room. Perhaps this points to thought transfer: The pentatonic scale which normally has a folkish sound takes on an essentially classical style in Wiesenberg's music. This is a well-known process, but the choice here reinforces the tension which characterizes threshold experience .

In the poem "Open a Gate for Me" Wiesenberg joins thematic and syntactic elements that express the idea of reflection. The poem is structured in the form of a prayer without specifying the features of Liturgical poetry. In the special prayer of the bird to continue creating and not to succumb to death, Wiesenberg sets silence as a figure through which the bird reflects the hero's desire to burst the bounds of the body and the limitations of cruel reality. The silence is a figure with a spiritual and perhaps even mystical force. This is so because in the absence of rhythm and melody, movement connects the past with the present and the sense of space with the sense of time. The silence plays an important role in the world of the poet, who prays for the gates of heaven will open.

My emphasis on silence in this composition is largely indebted to Georg Rochberg's book The  Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer View of Twentieth-Century Music on the hidden dimension of acoustic space: "It is as though a hole were torn in the fabric of sound and there, as concrete as sound itself, acoustical space suddenly becomes perceptible, i.e., we hear it as part of the structure of the music itself." I would go further and claim that acoustic space becomes part of the flow of time and movement through space in the poems "Winds Blow" and "In Your Dream". The flow of time joins together mystical and mimetic ideas on emotion as the motion of the psyche in the lyrical Self.

Since it is audible and therefore structural, it does not cause the cessation of movement. On the contrary, movement contains silence as a temporal element. Silence may replace pitch; but movement continues, the silence now a structural element  in the meter or the rhythmic phrase, articulating in a special way the character of meter and phrase.[27]

The silence in this poem emphasizes the anguish of the poet's prayer, in his desire to reach the gates of heaven but is blocked by a sense of his approaching end which prevents him from ascending there. Wiesenberg makes of silence a figure that underscores both his suffering and his will to break through. The silence is accompanies by a long sforzando that amplifies the hero's inner struggle . If we examine this figure in light of Rochberg's words, we will find that Wiesenberg has transformed the silence into an abstract acoustic element through which he stresses the meeting point of the sense of ending and the realization of freedom that gives rise to poetry and creates life.

The meeting point manifests in the agitated rhythmic pattern that accompanies the words, "Earth will open a gate for me" into which Wiesenberg pours complex movement over the voiceless silence. A complex movement on the oboe cradles the vibrations with a soothing effect that is eventually resolved through chords played on the piano.  In joining agitated movement to movement that seeks stability the composer seems to be saying, "This visionary tension is not in vain." It is the very tension that sustains the enduringness of poetry in every age and human condition.


The meeting of poetry and music or composer and poet as presented in this article has gone beyond a discussion of musical settings of poetry and instead I have discussed the mutual relationship between compositional traditions and Hebrew words. The meeting of word and notes with all their implications, the spiritual affinity of musicians to poets in composing for instruments can be seen as a meeting of worlds, with the words blossoming on the stems of the compositions. Then we should reflect cautiously on their musical features.  Poetic insights and aural comprehension rely on a number of cultural codes, both Hebrew and Israeli and universal and local. The way in which David Vogel expressed his intimate voice through personal experience, the poetic world of Zelda who did not take on the literary criteria of Yona Wallach, Amichai and Wieseltier, and Yair Hurwitz who was a member of the avant-garde circle of the 70s  but unlike his contemporaries, created a special language of his own – would all seem to point to their foremost virtues, breaking through tangible reality in which each of them feels threatened and estranged, while the hidden spirit drawing them towards an abyss is illuminated with the light of ein-sof. This attraction is what creates the contraditions of the threshold experience – the meeting between the feeling of emptiness and despair, and the poem which lifts the veil and breaks through the boundaries on the transcendent pathways of language. The literary interpretations of Ayal Adler, Yinam Lief and Menachem Wiesenberg treat the dialectical relationship manifest in the poetic texts using musical languages generated in Israel from the creation of the State to the languages of today in testing the limits of tonal expression using the instruments at their disposal. The composers are keenly aware of the counterpoint between spirit and matter, and the relationship between I believe that these inner struggles were shared with a great many twentieth century artists.

(Translation: Betsy Rosenberg)

[1] The four poems were chosen from Penai, Bnei Brak: ha-kibbutz ha-meuchad, 1967; Hacarmel Hei-nireh, Bnei Brak: ha-kibbutz ha-meuchad, 1971; Al Tirha, Tel Aviv: Bnei Brak, 1974.

[2] Gershom Scholem,  On the Kabllah and Its Symbolism, Pirkei Yesode Behavanat Hakabbalah U'semaleha, Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 1977, English version translated by Ralph Manheim, Schocken Books,  1960.

[3] Ibid., p.12

[4] MichaeL Gluzman et al., "David Vogel (1891-1944) and the Emergence of Hebrew Modernism", Prooftexts 13/1. Special edition (1993):160.

[5] Nathan Zach, "In the footsteps of a Forgotten Poet: on David Vogel." Lamerchav (Massa), 23.9.1954.

[6] Dan Pagis, Introduction to David Vogel: The Complete Poems, (Kol ha-shirim) Bnei Brak, ha-kibbutz ha-me'uchad, 1975, p.39.

[7] On the connection between spiritual and physical space illuminated in Ayal Adler's work we find echoes in other works such as Mysterioso, as Yossi Pelles writes in his review "Ayal Adler and Eran Al-Bar" where Pelles contrasts the chord density suggestive  of infinity and musical figures that convey emotional turmoil. See: In "The Dark Gate," as in another composition of Adler's, "Merchavim" (Spaces) I find similar expressions of infinity.

[8] The metaphorical idea of duration reflecting infinity, characterized by dense chords or tone clusters is based on the metaphorical connection between Quatrain II (1977) by the Japanese composer Takemitsu and Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1941), particularly the sixth movement. See Timothy Koozin, "Spiritual-temporal Imagery in the Music of Olivier Messiaen" (2009), 21. The same prolonged chord density is found in Morton Feldman's opera Neither (1997). See: Nimrod Sahar, "Now that Everything Is So Simple, There Is So Much Left To Do: about Neither– neither an opera nor anything like it-  by Morton Feldman and Samuel Beckett', in Peimot, A  Journal of Music and Culture 2(2013):84-85. By this, I do not mean to suggest in any way that Adler was influenced by these two composers, only to show that the prolonged rhythmic figure signifies something similar in a variety of compositions.

[9] The organization of the two images in this piece is explained in the booklet Adler added to his score for the performance by a string ensemble. "The music creates a sense of murkiness, gloom and mystery and conveys a quietly powerful sensuality, sometimes tense and impulsive." See: String Ensemble, Tel Aviv: Israel Music Institute, IMI-CD-16, 2010 pp.31-32.

[10] The traumatic event  that left a mark on her and in her work was the murder of an uncle by the Czarist regime. See: Hamutal Bar-Yosef, On Zelda's Poetry, Bnei Brak: Hotza'at ha-kibbutz ha-me'uchad , 1988, p.32.

[11] Zvia Ginor, "Ha Carmel Ha -nir'eh", Keshet 1971, V.52, p.168; Mordechai Gelman, "Petach kachol al Ha-carmel Ha i-nir-eh", Ha'aretz (Literature) 3.9.71, p.14

[12] I decided to focus here on "Ha Carmel Ha i-nir'eh" ("The Invisible Carmel") and "Ve ata shotek eli" ("You Are Silent to Me"). The other  two poems, "Zippor kesuma", (("An Enchanted Bird") and "Girashti milibi" ("I Banished from My Heart") accord with the same poetic view.

[13] Yosef ben-Shlomo, Introduction to Joseph Ben Abraham Gitakila's Sha'arei Ora, Jerusalem: Bialik, 1970, pp.16-17.

[14] Bar Yosef, Al Shirat Zelda, pp.165-169. Here, Bar Yosef addresses only the element of sanctity that hovers over Zelda's poetry, not the darker element inherent to  Zelda's complex personality.

[15] About the spiritual meanings with which Lief endows his acoustic tones and textural coloration see: Noam Ben Zeev, "Mitachat le shichvot ha tzeva", Ha'aretz, 27.11.2007.

[16] Betty Olivero, The Composer, the instrument and the performer in four Sequenzas for solo instruments", Olivero's doctoral essay, Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University, 2000, pp.13-15.

[17] The idea refers to the affinity between Lief's work and Berio's although the latter's work has no direct influence on Lief's except in respect to a few important aesthetic aspects that  characterize the music of Lief and other contemporary composers, both in Israel and abroad.

[18] "The thing that really interests me is that what characterizes non-Western music cultures is the linear development , not a vertical approach toward music. What characterizes Western development is the vertical. Maybe I try in my music to find a combination, to use some material- some and not always- as a window into the past, and to try to find a combination- some kind of modus vivendi, if you like- of a kind of melos like that, but with a highly controlled approach to harmony." See: Robert Jay Fleisher, Twenty Israeli Composers: Voices of Culture, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1997, p.266.

[19] Helit Yeshurun, "Bo iti kedei lashuv le atzmecha: re'ayon im Yair Hurwitz" ("Come with me and return to yourself: Interview with Yair Hurwitz"): Hadarim 7, 1988:162.

[20] Yair Hurwitz, Tzippor Kchlah, Bnei Brak: Hotza'at ha-kibbutz ha-m'uchad, 1987.

[21] Tali Argov maintains that from out of his awareness of the end, the lyrical hero burgeons forth new life which connects with the sacred moment or Divine spark. This, she explains, is the experience of the self merging with the sefira of tiferet which according to several Kabbalistic traditions signifies beauty and the flight of a bird. Tiferet is the sixth sefira in the hierarchy, and it pours Divine influence  into the other sefirot near the Shechinah that connect heaven and earth. See: Tali Argov, Tzippor Boded al Gag ("Lone Bird on A Rooftop"),  Jerusalem: Carmel Press, 2007, pp.234-236.

[22] Scholem, Pirkei Yesod, note 82, p.299.

[23] Menachem Perry, "A journey in the spirit of writing", Ha-sifriya ha-chadasha: Tur ishi, 29.7.2008.

(A Journey In The Spirit in writing)

[24] Lilach Lachman; "Bird of the End of Days", Siman Kri'a 20, 1990:341.

[25] Emanuel Rubin, "Four Compositions by Menachem Wiesenberg". Music and Dance Department Faculty (Publication Series, 2005). Emanuel Rubin is referring to the spiritual tensions in the Wiesenberg's "Entrapped Bird" but is focused only on the tensed relations between the heavenly existence and the earthly presence. I believe Wiesenberg's music expresses spiritual complexity which is beyond this duality. This complexity is embodied in the rhetorical and aesthetic aspects of the idea of the reflection, in music and in philosophy.

[26] Siglind Bruhn, Images and Ideas in Modern French Piano Music, New York: Stuyvesant, Pendragon Press, pp.77-80, 1997.

[27] George Rochberg, The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer's View of Twentieth Century Music,  Michigan: The University of Micigan Press, 1984, p.77


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