Mythopoesis, Mysticism, Messianism, and Modernity in Aaron Zeitlin's Metatron

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This article presents an analysis of Aaron Zeitlin's Metatron: Apokaliptishe poeme, published in Warsaw in 1922. Written at the height of the Yiddish avant-garde, the book-length poem represents the highpoint of Zeitlin's "neo-kabbalistic" phase. Focusing on the mythopoesis and mystical messianism in the composition, I situate Zeitlin's thought in the context of Uri Tsvi Greenberg's Mefisto as well as Hillel Zeitlin's messianism and ruminations on duality and evil. Paul Tillich's writings about the divine-demonic provide another lens. Uncovering Zeitlin's kabbalistic sources reveals the depth of his mythopoetic imagination, which I locate amidst divergent attitudes to myth in Yiddish literature in the early 1920s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-94
Number of pages67
JournalJournal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aaron Zeitlin
  • duality
  • messianism
  • Metatron
  • myth
  • poetry
  • Yiddish

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