The concept of Heimweh conveys a set of emotions and images that have been described in different ways in different languages. This article intends to analyze the Heimweh experienced by Galician intellectual Jewry during the process of linguistic and cultural change that took place from 1867 until the mid-1880s. This will be discussed while focusing on the urban intelligentsia circles in Lemberg (Lviv), which had a tremendous influence on some Galician Jewish intellectuals during that period. I will analyze the nature of a clash of identities that eventually brought some of the urban intelligentsia in Lemberg to consider themselves as living a “spiritual” or “linguistic exile” (Sprachexil), regardless of whether they had migrated or not. Longing for the homeland as a nostalgic destination, whether they referred to it as Heimat or Ojczyzna, and whether they called it Lemberg or Lwów, was longing to be part of a group holding a distinct Kultur or Kultura, a set of values, culture and language, which coexisted with their Jewish identity.

issue 20 / December 2021 by Maya Shabbat