Wiseman, Laura. “Voice of Responsibility: Dahlia Ravikovitch’s ‘Egla ‘Arufa (Felled Heifer).” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.2 (2016): 301-17.
In a cycle of poems, Sugeyot beyahadut bat zemanenu, “Issues in Contemporary Judaism,” Dahlia Ravikovitch protests against human suffering and fatalities that occur during war and conflicts of attrition involving Israel’s indigenous peoples and contiguous populations. Among the poetry, ‘Egla ‘arufa, with its cryptic title and densely encoded contents, requires textual “demystification” for its central message to be heard. First, this article identifies the most crucial pair of Hebrew sources underlying this poem and discusses their intertextual influence and the transition between them for an enriched reading. Second, through textual analysis this study applies a postmodern literary poetic – a “hermeneutic lag” – to a unique dynamic in the dimensions of the writing. In general, I relate to selected poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch as self-portraits, and regard “Felled Heifer” as an abstract figuration of the voice of the speaker: the voice of responsibility.