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Sacrifice and Redemption in To the End of the Land

From: Hebrew Studies
Volume 54, 2013
pp. 319-334 | 10.1353/hbr.2013.0028



David Grossman is commonly considered a genuine spokesman of the Israeli peace camp, expressing its plea for a withdrawal from a militaristic agenda and rhetoric and for a breaking of the vicious circle of wars they bring about. The present essay proposes a reading of To the End of the Land according to which the novel deviates from these political stances as it almost unresistingly accepts a national narrative which does not allow for an alternative to the repetitive military struggle. It argues that the escape journey of the female protagonist, Ora, together with the biological father of her son, Avram, from the terrible news of this son’s death in battle, is in fact also a journey of revival and cure from the catastrophes of a previous war, enabled by the present one. To the End of the Land thus complies with the traditional Zionist version of the myth of the binding of Isaac (Akedah), a version which describes a sacrifice of the sons for the redemption of their fathers.

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