Yosl Rakover Speaks To God

NYR's first production, brought to the stage by co-founders David Mandelbaum and Amy Coleman. First performed at The Actors' Temple in 2007, it went on to be featured at The First and Second Montreal International Yiddish Theater Festivals, and has been performed in Rome, Israel, UNC and Cornell Universities.

For twenty years the story of Yosl Rakover was believed to be an eyewitness account of the ghetto’s last hours, and the true story of a pious Jew whose fate it was to die fighting the beasts that destroyed his world. In the hours before his death he reconsiders his relationship with G-d and concludes that although his relationship with G-d has changed, his faith in Him remains, and his love for Him burns as strongly as ever. The story was actually written in 1946, by Tzvi Kolitz, a young Palestinian who as a delegate to the World Zionist Congress traveled extensively to speak on behalf of the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. His clandestine purpose was to recruit fighters for the Irgun, of which he was a member. While in Argentina, he was asked to write an article for a Yiddish paper in Buenas Aires for their special Yom kippur edition. The result was Yosl Rakover Speaks to G-d. Through a set of bizzare circumstances the story was republished in an Israeli Yiddish journal without his name on it, and was assumed to be real. It has since been recognized as one of the classics of Holocaust literature, been translated into many languages, and been the subject of essays by theologians and philosophers. Adapted for the stage and performed by David Mandelbaum, directed by Amy Coleman, it makes for powerful and compelling theater. In Yiddish with English Supertitles.

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