Resurrecting a long-vanished diaspora: The Portrayal of the Jewish Shtetl in Dvora Baron’s Sunbeams
Medaon | HATiKVA e.V. – Die Hoffnung Bildungs- und Begegnungsstätte für Jüdische Geschichte und Kultur Sachsen Pulsnitzer Straße 10 | Published : 2017
Regarded as the first modern Hebrew female author, this essay contends that what set Dvora Baron apart from the male-dominated prose of the period, was her probing of the east-European Shtetl, rather than the Zionist project. Through the examination of Baron’s short story “Shavririm”, this essay probes Baron’s vivid depiction of the Shtetl, as well as offering a scathing critique of the community’s treatment of the heroine— an orphaned girl who overcomes emotional and physical hardships to emerge as a noble, triumphant figure. In her corpus, Baron betrayed a subversive strand of writing that focused on the Jewish women’s experience and gendered traumas in a patriarchal society.