Books: The New Wandering Jew

A GUEST FOR THE NIGHT by S. Y. Agnon, translated from the Hebrew by Misha Louvish. 485 pages. Schocken Books. $6.95.

That ancient exile the Wandering Jew has never been harder to track. He may travel less from country to country; but, hung up in a no man's land between a fixed Talmudic past and a restless, skeptical present, he suffers from a different kind of Diaspora.

As foremost chronicler of this new Wandering Jew—this spiritually displaced person—Shmuel Yosef Agnon, 79, won a Nobel Prize in 1966. An unhurried Jewish anecdotist, a patient sketcher of modest, baffled characters, a leisurely Talmudic dialectician, Agnon...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!