On the weekend of 19 and 20 February 2022, we invite you to the lecture “The Willow in Jewish Culture and at the Border of Cultures” by Dr Marek Tuszewicki and to an open meeting for the individual exchange of stories for the Esther’s Willow project.
“Few representatives of the plant world play such an important role in human cultures as willows. For centuries, these trees have radiated uniqueness and caused people to interpret their properties in a magical way. In Hebrew they were labelled with the word arava (pl. arawim). In Psalm 137 we read about the willows where the exiles to Babylon hung their harps, sat in the shade of the trees, wept and remembered their homeland. Many languages speak of weeping willows or weeping willows, which in the popular imagination made them mediators between the world of the living and that of the dead. A similar situation existed in Eastern Europe. The Slavic population there and the Jews living among them used the branches of the trees in numerous rituals. The willow tree – known as a verbe in Yiddish – not only connected worlds, but also people from different communities.” /dr Marek Tuszewicki, author of the book Frog under the Tongue. Folk Medicine of Ashkenazi Jews at the Turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries./
Esther’s Willow – events commemorating the 79th anniversary of the Chrzanów ghetto destruction.
dr Marek Tuszewicki – historian, assistant professor at the Institute of Jewish Studies at Jagiellonian University, translator of Jewish literature. He is interested in Ashkenazi folk culture and Hasidism, especially their reactions to the changes brought about by modernisation. Author of a monograph on Jewish folk medicine Żaba pod językiem (Kraków 2015). He has also published in “Jewish History Quarterly” and “Medycyna Nowoczesna”, co-edited the volume Polish Themes and Contexts of Jewish Literature (together with Eugenia Prokop-Janiec, Kraków 2014) and the volume dedicated to the literary part of the Ringelblum archive (together with Agnieszka Żółkiewska).