Meir B. Elijah of Norwich

Pick any of these questions to answer for your thinksheet. One half to one full page, double spaced typed.

1.  Miriamne Krummel suggests that “Perhaps because of the suffering of the medieval Jews in thirteenth-century England, Meir’s acrostics and his poetry signify a resistance to the erasure of his English identity.  ‘Put a curse on my enemy’ immortalizes the more painful past for the Jews of Norwich.”  (10).  What do you make of this suggestion?  Do you see Meir’s poem as attempting to immortalize the past? How do you see the speaker's relationship to England?

2. How is God viewed in Meir’s poem?  What is the relationship between the speaker and God? 

3.  How does Meir use the Hebrew Bible to create his poem?   Do you think there is a particular way of drawing upon the sacred text that characterizes his writing?

4. A well-known quote from contemporary Latina feminist Cherríe Moraga is the following: "Oppression does not make for hearts as big as all outdoors. Oppression makes us big and small. Expressive and silenced. Deep and dead." (From Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism, eds., Elly Bulkin, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Barbara Smith, 1984, page 150). Does Moraga's observation provide any insights into Meir's poem?