Holiday Tales: Sholom Aleichem (Jewish, Judaism)
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One of the world's greatest writers of Yiddish stories known for their humor and pathos, Sholom Aleichem wrote many tales for children, seven of which appear in this collection. Centering around the holidays, the high points of the Jewish year, they include "Benny's Luck," which tells of the amazing good fortune of a young boy and his dreydl.
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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Lisa Pfeffer rated it really liked it Apr 16, Dodo rated it liked it Sep 28, Ben rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Holly Beth rated it liked it Feb 12, She talked to Jewish people, she looked at Jewish texts, she read Spinoza, she even studied Hebrew. This book is a brilliant work of Jewish literature and also an extraordinary work of exploration.
Jewish traditions from Ashkenazic to Zionist
Daniel Deronda , which I read when I was about 17, was tremendously important to me because it made me think I can write about the Jewish experience, but also that I can write about anything I can research. So it inspired me doubly — in my work as a Jewish writer, and in my work on topics not strictly connected to Jewish themes. Eliot showed me that you should write about what you know but also about what you learn. I took this lesson to heart when I chose to write about scientists in Intuition and environmentalists, technocrats and rare-book dealers in The Cookbook Collector.
Eliot is the great explorer of Victorian novelists, and I often think of her as I write. Your early work, such as The Family Markowitz. But as you say, the plots of your most recent novels Intuition and The Cookbook Collector weave their way through a science lab and the computer-tech world respectively.
With the trauma of the pogroms, the Holocaust and the mass migration of Jews fading from memory, what do you see as the 21st century themes of Jewish writing? Those things are indeed fading from memory. In terms of writing about the contemporary Jewish community, there are many rich strands to pick up. Writing about assimilation is very interesting.
Talking about intermarriage or people who return to religious Judaism is interesting — why do some people feel compelled to go farther away and others feel inexorably drawn back to their roots? Themes of identity and the persistence of belief in the modern world are all tremendously rich themes for writers to explore.
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Robert Irwin on Classics of Arabic Literature. Tim Kendall on Sylvia Plath Books. Joanna Walsh on Absurdist Literature. Arifa Akbar on Best Novels of Scott Pack on Forgotten Classics. The comedy and pathos of Purim in a shtetl are reflected in this touching little tale. His narrative accurately reflects the tradition of sending Purim platters or sweets to friends and relatives that is still practiced today. An entire socio-political dynamic surrounded the sending of shalakhmones.
A woman always had to somehow balance the return platter so it should reflect the initial offering. Too little would be insulting; too much would be self-aggrandizing. And one must never ever send back the same plate to the person who sent it. The shalakhmones were delivered by children who earned tips for their service. The daughter of the teacher, or rebbi, is actually collecting and not giving shalakhmones.
She goes from house to house and gathers a few coins to supplement the meager income of the rebbi, who taught little boys in his house. He too earned a meager salary. And Velvel, the shamesh, or sexton, who took take care of the synagogue, and went from door to door early weekday mornings to wake the men up for services, also needs to supplement his small salary. Note that he apologizes for delivering the shalakhmones himself.
Usually, this was done by children; it was not dignified for an adult to go from house to house delivering the Purim sweet platters. But, as we learn, Velvel had lost his only child, a daughter, and so perforce he himself has to go from household to household to offer his Purim sweets and collect something for himself.
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