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Eliahu Toker

TOKER, ELIAHU (1934– ), Argentinean writer, poet, translator, and researcher in Jewish literature and lore. The scope and spirit of his works are oriented both to Jewish traditions of the past, and to the building of a contemporary Jewish-Latin American identity. His eight books of poetry include Lejaim ("To Life," 1974); Piedra de par en par ("Wide Open Stone," 1974); Padretierra ("Fatherearth," 1977); Homenaje a Abraxas ("Homage to Abraxas," 1980); Papá, mamá y otras ciudades ("Dad, Mom and Other Cities," 1988); and Las manos del silencio ("The Hands of Silence," 2003). His translations include valuable anthologies such as the following: from Yiddish – El resplandor de la palabra judía: antología de poesía ídish del siglo XX ("The Radiance of the Jewish Word: Anthology of 20th Century Yiddish Poetry," 1981); Poesía de Avrom Sútzkever ("Poetry by Avrom Sutzkever," 1983); El ídish es también Latinoamérica ("Yiddish is also Latin America," 2003); from Hebrew – El Cantar de los Cantares ("The Song of Songs," 1984); Pirké Avot ("The Sayings of the Fathers," 1988), and anthologies of kabbalistic, talmudic, and rabbinical texts. He also published critical editions of the Argentinean Jewish writers César Tiempo, Carlos M. Grünberg, and Alberto Gerchunoff; collections of Jewish proverbs and jokes; and volumes devoted to the Holocaust and to the victims of the attack on the Buenos Aires Jewish Community building in 1994. His poems have been translated into Yiddish, Hebrew, French, German, and Portuguese. Toker received several awards in Argentina and Mexico. He was also active in Jewish cultural and community life in Argentina, and participated in national and international conferences on Jewish Latin American issues.


D.B. Lockhart, Jewish Writers of Latin America. A Dictionary (1997); R. Di Antonio and N. Glickman, Tradition and Innovation: Reflection on Latin American Jewish Writing (1993); P. Finzi et al., El imaginario judío en la literatura de América Latina: visión y realidad (1992).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.