Dr. Ynon Wygoda

Head of the project "The Star and its Universe: Franz Rosenzweig between Past and Future"
Research Fellow 2021-2022
Lakritz Fellowship

Ynon Wygoda is the Olga and William Lakritz post-doctoral fellow at the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History. His academic focus lies on the intersection of continental philosophy and Modern Jewish thought. He earned his doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the notion of silence and ineffability in the works of Franz Rosenzweig and Vladimir Jankélévitch and is currently interested in new philosophical readings of the book of Job. Before joining the Franz Rosenzweig Center he held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Martin Buber Society and previously taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the Paideia Institute in Stockholm, and served as a visiting professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome


Postdoc Project: 

My project for the Lakrtiz Fellowship is to inquire after the political stakes of the Buber-Rosenzweig translation and its tacit political agenda to render the familiar unfamiliar. Rather than employing translation to extend the domain of the known and the accessible over what had been considered previously incomprehensible and foreign Buber and Rosenzweig proposed to inverse its effect and become what Rosenzweig called the “speech organ for the foreign voice.” Over the course of my fellowship in 2021-22, I intend to do carry out this inquiry in three steps: The first is to trace the particular enjeux of the project within the German-speaking context from which it emerged. The second is to research the surprising reception and significance of their translation within the Hebrew speaking cultural and political context, given that the roles of the foreign and familiar languages within this new framing was reversed. For this purpose, I will center on the inspirational role and presence of the Buber Rosenzweig translation in the exegetical writings of Nechama Leibowitz which were geared towards the greater Hebrew speaking public. In so doing I wish to advance the claim that Leibowitz is to be valued for her theoretical contributions to the Buber-Rosenzweig legacy, alongside her acclaimed insights into the field of biblical commentary and her renown as an educational figure.  Lastly, after establishing the deep-seated ties between Leibowitz’s writings and the political principles underscoring the Buber-Rosenzweigian Schrift I will attempt to shed light on the active role Leibowitz played in the final phases of the project by invitation from Buber, particularly in what pertains to the book of Job, through hitherto unpublished archival materials. Beyond the historical interest of the issue, this final part will also enable me to investigate the changes effectuated by Buber in his translation practices as he carried over the project from Heppenheim to Jerusalem and thus better understand his own perception of the continuation and ruptures in the decades-long enterprise with which he has become identified.