FILED UNDER SOMETHINGISRAELI >> Arts & Entertainment
Like many mythological figures, the biblical Samson crosses national boundaries to find his place as part of the general arsenal of world superheroes.
His character has inspired many artists, and has been the subject of works of art in all genres, including Rembrandt's paintings, Handel's Oratorio, Camille Saint-Saens' opera, John Milton and Lea Goldberg's poetry, a play by 18th century mystic Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato and a novel by Zeev Jabotinsky.
He is also the subject of "Lion's Honey," Israeli author David Grossman's latest work.
The essay was written as part of an international literary project focusing on myths. Other authors to participate in the project are Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson and Karen Armstrong. In it, Grossman dives Samson's torn and tormented soul, a man inside a child's body that yearns for love but lives in rejection and loneliness.
Grossman also leaves the reader to infer about Israel's national psychosis.
"There is something about Samson that unleashes one of our strongest codes – anger, like his attitude towards the power he was suddenly afforded, that felt like an artificial prop planted in him without knowing how to use it," said Grossman in an interview in his house in Jerusalem.
"This could be a key to understanding us Israelis. In 1945 we rose from ashes and dust, and in three years we became the greatest superpower in the Middle East.
"This created a mutation of aggressiveness. Power requires checks and balances, and when power is not natural to you, you are destined to use it in an exaggerated and excessive fashion. Instead of treating it as a tool, it turns to a value in itself, and this is where the danger lies."
Reproduced with permission: Ynetnews