Dr. Dvir Tzur

Use of representations of ancient Jewish Mysticism as a tool for border crossing by contemporary Israeli authors

Currently I am a post-doctoral fellow at the Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University. My PhD dissertation, completed in 2012 at the Hebrew University under the supervision of Professor Hannan Hever and Professor Sidra Ezrahi, deals with the poetics of home and the field in S. Yizhar’s (Yizhar Smilansky’s) novels “Preliminaries” and “Zalhavim”.

My current research seeks to see how contemporary Israeli authors used representations of ancient Jewish Mysticism as a tool for border crossing. Novels such as “Life as a Fable” By Pinhas Sadeh, “Summer in the Street of the Prophets” by David Shahar, “Adam Resurrected” by Yoram Kaniuk, “And moon in the Valley of Ajalon” by Amalia Kahana Carmon, and “Mr. Mani” by A.B. Yehoshua all make vast use of references to Jewish mysticism from different periods in order to delineate the border and at the same time to create a possibility of blurring and erasing it. The use of mysticism thus becomes an existential-personal tool which bears ideological and political meanings and consequences. It raises the question of borders in a place where the border is not clearly marked, and offers new ways of identity construction in a complex reality.

Selected Publications


Between Home and the Field, Between Man and his Place – The Poetics of Space and Place in S. Yizhar’s Late Novels, Magness Press, 2015.


  • “‘A Vision of The Birth of the New Jew in his New Land’ – On the Relationships Between Pioneers and Natives in some of S. Yizhar’s Stories” (Forthcoming, Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature).
  • “Zichron Kol Hadorot, Hamehalech Al Shtaim” (Memory of All Generations, Walking on Two Legs), Zehuiot, 3, pp. 45-60.

Edited books:

  • Giorgio Agamben – “State of Exception”, academic editing and translating together with Dr. Manuela Consonni, Van Leer Institute.
  • “Cross Cultural encounters”, Student’s Guide and Reader, together with Dr. Omri Herzog, the Open University.