Translation is an art as taxing as any of the fine arts practiced by humankind. The translator is caught between the need to render the original in a readable and polished version of the target language and the obligation not to depart too far from the original, which might have fine nuances not easily transferred from one language to another. The problem is so well known that generations of students have given their years to studying languages so as not to lose those drops of the original distillation that are inevitably spilled in the process of transfer. The translator cannot retreat from the confrontation and must do the best he can. In translating Israel W eissbrem's work one is faced with a complicating factor: The author was writing in a language that was in the process of revivification after a long era during which it had been able to cope with the demands made upon its resources. The literary demands up until then were largely of the philosophical and theological order with which the extant lexicographical inventory could cope. Then, in the nineteenth century, belles lettres, poetry, the novel, and the essay made demands that necessitated updating the Hebrew language into a vernacular that could muster an inventory of phrases for every life setting.
Preface -- Introduction -- Between the Times -- Contents -- The Lottery and the Inheritance -- Glossary -- About the Book.