A New Rector-Elect at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 

Professor Sarah Stroumsa

On Wednesday, the Senate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem elected Professor Sarah Stroumsa (homepage) as the next Rector (provost) of the Hebrew University. For the first time since its establishment, the Hebrew University has elected a woman to its highest post of academic leadership.

The situation of the Israeli higher education is complicated and constantly on the verge of a crisis. But this election is a reason for celebration for the HU, and is part of an ongoing change in the Israeli society as a whole.

Leah Goldberg, 1946

Professor Leah Goldberg

 On this occasion, I would like to dedicate to Sarah and to the HU community a poem entitled “Rainbow”, written by the poet Leah Goldberg.  Leah Goldberg was an important scholar and a professor at the Hebrew University, and she is most famous as one of the greatest Hebrew writers of modern times. It is a poem for children, which I also regard as a metaphor of academic and other quests. To further celebrate the event (and in the tradition of Ehud Friedgut’s translation contest of a limerick on Konigsberg’s bridges and Euler), I am announcing an open contest for translating the poem into English. Please email me your translations or post them directly here. (You can find a very rough literal translation below.)

 

 

 

בשמיים ראיתי קשת,
היא עמדה ממש מול הרחוב
ורציתי אליה לגשת
ולראות אותה מקרוב.
והתחלתי ללכת, ללכת,
ועליתי על ראש גיבעה.
אך ככל שהרחקתי לכת
הקשת לא קרבה:

 עופי, עופי, יפת כנפיים!
עופי, עופי אל המרום,
אל הקשת אשר בשמיים
ומיסרי לה בירכת שלום.

 היא עמדה במרום רקיע
כמצויירת על עננה,
אז ידעתי שלא אגיע
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