Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Louis Apfelbaum and Hortense Braunstein Apfelbaum Fellowship

Research Topic

Yirah, Law, and the Birth of Modern Hebrew Literature


Tafat Hacohen-Bick teaches Hebrew literature at Achva College and at Ben-Gurion University, and researches literature, religion, and ecocriticism. While at the Katz Center, she will explore how fear (yirah), breaking the law, and the desire to sin are all central, interconnected themes of modern Hebrew literature.

Hacohen-Bick completed her PhD at Ben Gurion University of the Negev with a dissertation titled “‘I Want a River / No Small Temple’: Theology and Poetics in the Poetry of Pinchas Sadeh, Yona Wallach, and Zelda Schneerson.” She has previously been a fellow at the Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters, the Heksherim Research Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and the Israel Democracy Institute.

Selected publications

  • “‘I Want a River / No Small Temple’: Poetics and Theology in the Later Poetry of Yona Wallach," Prooftexts 38.1 (2020)
  • “Messiahs and Distractions: Chatter, Noise and Wandering in Agnon’s ‘A City in Its Fullness,’” Zehuyot – Identities, Journal for Jewish Culture and Identity 9 (2019)



Studying law between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, an age of transition from a world of empires to the modern age of the nation-state and international law.