Translated by Anna Kamieńska; Commentary by Piotr Matywiecki, Piotr Paziński


Jewish Historical Institute
Publication year

My mother, Anna Kamieńska, was convinced that in order to fully understand the Bible and thereby God’s laws one had to know the Hebrew language. She learned it at the end of her life for a few years under guidance of a good teacher and she managed to master it enough to be able not only to translate fragments of the Talmud but also many Psalms and Ecclesiastes. The translation of this Biblical narrative poetry is being published almost thirty years after her death.

Koheleth, according to Kamieńska, was a prophet of doubt in the meaning of life and the meaning of order. She, a poet herself, saw in his words the record of „a tragedy of a man, thinking, seeking, doubting and insatiable in his search. Maybe, this is why son of David seems so close to us: because of his wisdom which is not a clot of thoughts nor a system; open wisdom, boiling, restless.” And restlessness is what poetry is made of, if it is not to be only a game. A poet-sage was translated by a poet of darkness and faith.

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