Kadia Molodowsky’s “God of Mercy"

Resource Kit by
Josh Lambert

Module Content

Introduction

Introduction

Kadia Molodowsky’s “God of Mercy” ("El khanun") is a moving, fascinating, and challenging Yiddish poem written in 1945. It has been translated multiple times and adapted for use in a Hollywood movie. Molodowsky, a leading poet of her generation, lived in Warsaw, where she taught Yiddish and Hebrew from 1921-1935, before settling in New York. The poem was written with full knowledge of the events of the Holocaust, by a writer whose intellectual and cultural development took place in Eastern Europe but who had observed the horrors from a safe remove. This resource kit includes materials that will help teachers tease out the complexities in the poem and the various ways in which it has been received and adapted.