Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement 2.0 Module 2 Overview Peter >> . . .
about the Holocaust, we must remember and we often forget that basically it's an Eastern European story. That is, it was really not only that the majority of the Jews who were victims lived in the East. But the Germans behaved differently. And consequently the gap really goes back to the 19th century. Jews lived in a very different environment where what we were talking about before, acculturation was possible and took place. It is important for us to appreciate how different Jewish communities were from one another. That is the western assimilated Jew lived a very different life, faced very different issues than the traditional Jewry. And so one can choose his ideal type the Jews of France, you might as well choose the Jews of Holland. And in the east, where Jews to continue to live a very different life. And this lovely book [Image Before my Eyes] is a very good illustration of of Jewish life as we think of it. Traditional Jewish life which was basically we are talking about Poland, Romania, when we talk about the 20th century not so much the Soviet Union. Because the Soviet Union, in a telescoped form the first of course emancipation and then acculturation took place in a, in a very fast. But Jewish life in Romania, in Poland. really survived into the time of the Holocaust and it was precisely this Jewry which was eliminated. 2.1 The Jews of the Russian Empire, Part 1 PETER >> My topic is the Jews of the Russian Empire. As opposed to Russian Jews, I will return to it why I make a distinction. First I will talk about how that the Jewry was created, how it came into being, then I will talk about the characteristics of 19th century Russian Jewry. And then I will talk about the responses of these Jews to prevailing anti-Semitism, and then finally I want to talk about the period of the First World War and the Russian Civil War, which saw a large-scale murder of Jews. But let me first advertise my topic a little bit. The great majority of the Jews of the world lived within the Russian Empire according to the census of 1897. There were 5.2 million Jews living in the Russian Empire. This means that the great majority of people who were killed during the Holocaust came from these people. Furthermore, I imagine that many of you who are sitting here had ancestors who had the wisdom of coming here at the right time. It is also a significant topic because this was the world which was destroyed. I mean, you know, Jews, Jewry, survived. After all, there are Jews. There, Jews in New York and Jews in Israel and Jews in France but the particular Jewish life which existed which really represented the vast majority of Jewry before the first world war that particular way of life is no more. And in
Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement that sense the Nazi's it completes their task. The topic is also important, it seems to me, because many of the ideas came from, this world. I will talk about it in a minute. The Protocols of the Ancient Elders of Zion, which is a very important topic for us, an obvious forgery, but nonetheless it is very important because it brought together the various ideas which the Nazis held, and which the Nazis really believed. So it is it is a very important projection for our understanding of the Nazi mind. And that came out of this Russian world. There is also a direct connection between 19th century early 20th century Russian anti-Semitism and the Nazis. Inasmuch as after the First World War after the Russian Revolution, after the defeat of the Whites, meaning the anti-Bolsheviks, many of these characters actually ended up in Germany and contributed one of the important characters - Rosenberg the Nazi theorist, if we want to call him a theorist. Actually, he was a Baltic German who came out of Russia at this particular moment. So this is why I think it is worthwhile for us to spend some time on this topic even though it might seem to you that I mean after all this is not a course Jewish history, this is supposed to be advertised as the Holocaust, but I still think that it is worthwhile and necessary for us to do this. Well, talk about ancient Russian antiSemitism. With this is something of a misnomer inasmuch as up to the 18th century Russia had practically no Jews. This is not to say that anti-Semitism did not exist. As probably you will agree with me, AntiSemitism is a phenomenon, which can exist without Jews. And in that sense the Russian Orthodox Church entertained such ideas as Jews as Christ killer and what have you. But they had no direct contact with Jews. Jews were not allowed to enter Russia by and large. I mean, there were some exceptions, but it is a recent phenomenon. Well, then what happened? Well what happened, that in the course of the, of the eighteenth century, Poland was divided by Austria. Perhaps [INAUDIBLE] empire, by Prussia and by Russia. And this is the way Russia acquired its Jewry. So what I am saying is that the characteristics of the Russian Jewry actually came into being in Poland. Poland was the seat of Jewry in the pre- French Revolutionary Age. Something like 80% of the Jews of the world lived in the kingdom of Poland in the course of the 18th century. And then Poland fell apart. That Poland fell apart had little to do with the Jews. Obviously, it fell apart because it's disintegrated on its own. This is of course not the time for me to go into detail about the disintegration of the, of the Polish state. But this is the way Russia acquired its Jewry. Well, how come that Poland had so many Jews? Well, because Poland, in the late Middle Ages, showed a degree of tolerance which was greater than the that of other European states. So when we talk about Polish antiSemitism And I think it will be fair to say that in the age following World War I, Poland, with the possible exception of Romania, was the most anti-Semitic state in the world. But it is not inherent in Polish genes I mean there was a time when when Poland demonstrated a considerable degree of tolerance. So what was happening? At the time
a lot of Hebrew vocabulary. MURRAY >> Jews were a people in exile. and it was also a language that the Jews used so that they would know what they were talking about. They move east to Poland. So it was a little bit of a secret language. much later in by the Enlightenment as the language the Jews had to give up in order not to have a secret status. Because they had more contact with the outside world. PETER >> That was some time ago. Remember by the Roman Conquest. Polish or Russian. so women ran the businesses.” the mother tongue. The women were more likely to learn the local languages than men. they enter Europe. but the larger society would not. a lot of words depending. And they brought with themselves their language. The men would all learn to read and write Hebrew. They develop a language connected to the languages of the peoples they were living among. MURRAY >> Right. I don't know whether he is inspired to say a few words about the characteristics of Yiddish. The men studied traditional texts . It's written in Hebrew characters. the language which Murray speaks. the Jews in Poland actually spoke Polish. Other people. especially the people engaged in commerce. It's the language that children speak at home. and then as I mentioned on Monday evening. they worked on them day and night. really came out of the Polish environment. But then what happened was that in various German states the Jews were expelled and they found a home in Poland. which we associate with 19th century Russia. Polish. 2. PETER >> Mostly women.2 The Jews of the Russian Empire. Russian. it brings many other languages together and helps them be used to express personal life. the women made the living. They were exiled from the land of Israel. the intellectualized language. They studied the texts.think of it as nuclear physics. a lot of English words. It was also the language of families. would learn the general language. It's known in Yiddish as the “mamen tsung. all those characteristics. Part 2 What I want to convey is that. And what I have in mind is a separate language. in the United States. Yiddish. And it was thought of. MURRAY >> Slavic. an
.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement when Poland had relatively few Jews. It's the language of families. PETER >> Slavic. MURRAY >> They enter Germany. Basically Germanic Syntax. It's a fusion language. And so.
And the [FOREIGN]. situation. of course. Before Poland was taken apart in the course of three partitions. to the Russian board. local Jewish self-government. broadly the SS from.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement occupational structure. And then in moments of great social upheaval. Nechama Tec's City. was less able to protect the Jewry and the protection of the Jewry fell to the great landlords who were much a much less reliable allies. the state of the establishment of Israel. it was know as the [FOREIGN] for areas in which Jews in Poland lived. And again that's Hebrew. Following the disintegration. the characteristics which the. 1793. so these were the. means to break up. Namely Jews were engaged as middlemen. it was located in Lublin. And all of those minutes and etcetera are in Hebrew. The [FOREIGN]. 1795. we're Pogroms. the figures of course are approximate. However. In the course of the first partition in 1772 Russia acquired a relatively small part of Poland. Poland came to be much less tolerant. Russia
. as I say Poland. something like 100. to her. the greatest massacre took place before the 20th century. which had only approximately 35. but were not agriculturalists. So if for an example at the time. It means community. comes from the word gromit. who considered herself to be an enlightened ruler. the central of power. And this was the age of Catherine the Great. it's. the Jews of Russia. the gradual disintegration of the Polish state. which obviously you have no need to know. And the degree of self-government which existed in early 18th century Poland really was really unparalleled until the. And the this was not particularly disturbing.000 Jews were slaughtered by the Cossacks in the southern Ukraine. which was actually a parliament of Jews from various parts of Poland coming together. And just if you're interested.000 Jews. by the way. And there was a great Cossack rebellion at. PETER >> However the. I imagine all of you know. in the 1650s. of which Poland altogether disappeared. the position of the Jews gradually deteriorated because following the counter reformation. was disintegrating. Pogrom. Something like. of course. MURRAY >> I have to point out that the word [FOREIGN] is Hebrew. from their Polish background. And a Cossack chieftain by the name of Bohdan Khmelnitsky. And here the. of self-government. And then. that's again a Hebrew word. in the course of the 2nd partition. They also had a considerable degree. 1772. to the. at in the middle of the 17th century. where they had a great deal of self-rule. In the. is one of the few words in English language which came from the Russian. But it is characteristic that I cannot think of any other word. And so that was in effect the Jewish Parliament. and the 3rd partition. But. all of you know this word. Maybe vodka which comes out of Russian but English did not take many words from Russians. namely the king. in fact Catherine at this point welcomed Jews as helping the development of of commerce. The [FOREIGN}. as small scale traders.
And so. there was a vast demographic increase of the Jewry. produce more children. we are talking about a preemancipation age society in which we must take into consideration that everybody. And perhaps I mentioned before that at the end of the century there were 5. Meaning that the same opportunities were not there. and these restrictions had something to do with the fear of competition. So. Which also contained a large Jewry. They were for all practical purposes tied to their peasant communities. That is the entire population of the Russian empire greatly expanded. of the. nobody was free to move. toward the end of the century there was an economic development. And the Jewish tradition of occupations made life increasingly hard. everybody's ability to set themselves up where they wanted to was limited. when the peasants were. the Ukraine and in the Baltic states. And the reason perhaps is that the namely birth rates remained stable. the Serfs were liberated. Murray will talk about about character and the Sholam Aleichem characters who. And the Pale of Settlement was ten ex-Polish provinces and 15 provinces. And then what happened in the course of the century. And therefore. Also Jews were commanded to marry even earlier. of the 19th century. the Serbia to Moldova. In the course of the century the economic standing of the Jewry declined. and the first two decades of the century. of competition on the part of the budding Russian commercial class.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement acquired a much larger Jewry. and so. to live outside of the region where they had lived before. And Jews were restricted to live in those provinces which they had lived before. and in 1812. On the other hand we must remember that in the course of 19th century Russia. not at all comparable to what was going on in the west especially. This is the Pale of Settlement. was a very serious restriction. The nobility acquired this right only in 1785. That is. That the same phenomenon took place among non Jews. This was. came. And in 17. Well after the. But even after that they were not free to move. now Russia had approximately one million Jews. And among Jews it declined somewhat earlier because perhaps of of hygiene. Something which existed as long as the Russian Empire existed and it was dissolved only in the course of and after the First World War. death rates declined. now at the beginning of the century. The area came to be overcrowded. in Germany but also in France and the rest of Western Europe. The peasants were tied to the land up to 1861. Russia acquired from Turkey. But the Jewish increase was even greater. what we have here is the vast expansion in the course of the. That is toward.2 million Jews within the Russian empire. after the 2nd partition of Poland and the 3rd partition of Poland restrictions were imposed on the Jewry. unless had special permission. the Pale of Settlement came into existence. And were not allowed. called Luftmensch who
to recreate the Polish state. And that was for all practical purposes for a lifetime. a small scale traders. excluding Jews because of their hostility to the Jews and what the Jews stood for and and what have you. but the Jews would have welcomed such an opportunity. They regarded them as un-assimilatible. the Tsarist state. Now. The Jews are poor and backward because they are not assimilated. They regarded them as dangerous. a year later they took the opposite stance. the Tsarist state vacillated. what were they doing? Well they acted as a. the idea emerged of encouraging Jewish immigration into Siberia. only something like 44% of the inhabitants of the Empire were actually Russians. subversive. they acted as. Namely. That is. it's not clear. 20 as you would expect. what was the attitude of the Tsarist state? The Tsarist state. and then. That is the Russian army before the 1870s was a standing army.how should I put this? The so called [UNKNOWN] system which. The rest of the population provided recruits. Now. Something like. some of the other minorities such as the Polish minority was dangerous because the Poles hoped to. So the. But within these minorities the Jews had a special and unattractive place. from the very beginning. who had no such option and no such possibility. Sumerians or one could go on and on in in enumerating them. 25 years. Their point of view was that the Jews cannot be assimilated because they are poor and backward.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement make their living out of the air. on occasion. would make them abandon their religion and
. infect Siberia with their subversive ideas. From which from which the did I loose the microphone? No. So. as intermediaries between landlords and peasants. vodka. Even though. the bureaucracy took a much more hostile stance toward them than toward other minorities. Namely. was hostile to the Jews. For example. That is they belong to various minorities. The majority of the inhabitants of the Russian state at the end of the. they. the Russian state was the multinational. they had a right to sell alcohol. and everything which they considered to be unpleasant. Well. they made stamps to encourage assimilation. I mean. at the end of the 19th century were not Russians. exploitative. But Nicholas' idea was that taking children as young as 12. and were genuinely subversive. And 25 years meant a lifetime under the prevailing circumstances. Georgians.Jewish boys as young as 12 and sometimes even younger to be conscripted into the army. the bureaucrats of the Tsarist state changed their minds because they were afraid that the Jews would. as opposed to Ukrainians. every 20 households had to provide one recruit. But. the most oppressive. namely. who were 18. But then the Tsarist state. but life was increasingly hard. Latvians. obliged Jews . From which the state benefited. the most unpleasant thing which was introduced by Nicholas the First in 1828 was . The worst thing. As opposed to the Jews. Lithuanians.
Odessa. Nonetheless Odessa which had other minorities. Alexander the Second was murdered in 1881. changed the Jewry. which did not exist elsewhere. and become better involved in in the surrounding society. 1906. in late 19th century. their rabbi.punishment against. Nonetheless the assassination of Alexander created anti-Jewish pogroms. Pretty much meant that he was lost for the family. differentiation among these very large number of Jews. the most egregious how should I put it . There were periodic fights in which the Jews usually lost. But this was the. I don't know whether you can see Odessa up there. their their their leaders.that is Jews who were venerating their saddic. Oddly enough Odessa had the largest number of pogroms. their elders and were less committed to the intellectual aspect of Judaism than emotional response. let us say. against the Jews. Hasidism is is how should I describe it briefly? Hasid means pious . As is a child was taken at age 12 for 25 year service. Intellectually speaking also. For example. a Greek minority. Hasidism appeared. as as exploit. the Russian state was clearly anti-Semitic. the idea that Jews should have. a considerable portion of those poor little children who were taken.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement would become Russian Orthodox. Russian grain was exported through Odessa. I suppose. That is a Jewish life in. Pogroms usually took place at Easter when Jesus' martyrdom was blamed on the Jews. Pogroms took place at that time of social upheavals. And then again they were different from the Jews in Lithuania around [INAUDIBLE] and that had something to do with the local governor. So the Russian state was anti-Semitic. And indeed. the Odessa Jewry was different. the Jewry went through obviously. there was increasing. Jews were blamed as as subversives. the Tsar liberator. Odessa. And it became Russia's most important port. and were lost. series of pogroms at the time of the first Russian revolution in 1905. nearly the most pleasant place for Jews to live. converted and. Now. and who arrested among the five leaders. as exploiters. That is. in [UNKNOWN] provided a degree of security to the Jew. There were period. Currents. And from Germany came Jewish enlightenment and namely the. Odessa provided economic opportunities. intellectual currents. there was only one Jew among the conspirators. And and then this was a. Such as the Tsar. a series of of pogroms. and and. who liberated the Serfs in 1861. in the second half of the century. have taken advantage of the opportunities which are being offered and. So. So. became an important port. we can die social upheaval. changes. there were periods of pogroms. which did not exist elsewhere. Meanwhile. within the Russian empire was quite varied. Namely the governor and series of governors in. And then a great. then the Jews in central part of the Ukraine around [INAUDIBLE]. Again. This was abolished only after the death of Nicholas the First. And consequently. than the. there was a single Jew. anti-Jewish attacks.
. A woman.
and England. Among Jews. it seems to me that there were three. Russia still had plenty of Jews left. The third possibility is the most important and most interesting for us. in which there would be no antiSemitism. that indeed the government used these pogroms to deflect attention from the general genuine miseries of the people of the empire. just come to America. because it Herzl created it. the promise of socialism. what were the poor Jews to do? What were their options? I. Zionist ideas had a fertile soil in among the Jews of the Russian Empire. there would be a much larger number of of pogroms following. which was a very great social upheaval indeed. this was not the case. And it seems to me that Zionism even it. But the interesting thing is that even though so many Jews left the Russian Empire for the West. So. The one was Zionism. On the other hand. Namely. The Tsarist regime did not actually encourage pogrom. as you well know. I think according to modern scholarship. because it was pre-Herzl. and ultimately it came from the west. the Tsarist regime established an atmosphere . So. the soil was there even. whether you know it or not. There was one possibility. But that was one possible option. Something like 2 million of the Jews came to America. the First World War at the time of the Russian Revolution. The promise of the world in which there would be no national prejudice. recreating a Jewish nation which also has a piece of land in which they can call their own.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement 2. and we would all
.3 The Jews of the Russian Empire. because they were reproducing. even though the name did not yet exist. to a lesser extent France and Germany. And consequently the pogromists. As I said before. Because the desire of having a Jewish nation. And we know for example that while it's not only Jews who came to America at that time. The. The tsarist regime did not like any independent actions even if that meant beating of Jews. Was the Tsarists regime responsible for the pogroms? I think that the old scholarship had it. it was a rare occasion that anybody wanted to return to the Tsarist Empire. primarily America. I am sure that many of your ancestors. even though it was not called Zionism. And in that sense the Tsarist regime was responsible for the pogroms even if it did not actually organize them. The second possible option and which seems to me was the best. Nonetheless the number did not decline in Russia. came at this time. where there would be no racial prejudice. namely who would commit these vile acts would not really be punished. many returned. And it found difficulties. which did not exist anywhere in Europe. Part 3 By then of course. but nonetheless obviously they found possibilities of of economic advancement and integration.the Tsarist court made it known that they had a loathing and contempt for the Jews.
Why is that so many Jews ended up in one or another version of socialism? Well. because at the same time. you can see one aspect of Marxism. a utopia. when a degree of industrialization came to some parts of Russia. At the end of the century. That is. there this an interesting interchange here. you can always kill a Jew. especially the socialist leadership. We talked about it this a reoccurring issue for us learning. And on Moscow. because the Communist may have a gun. the Jews desirous of creating their own nation. there was a budding Jewish proletariat. the Jews and communists are the same. because it's only 1% of the Jews made their living out of agriculture. but that's not relevant for us. one reason was that the Jews were. as a worker. mainly the Polish part. So. I mean. of course. if you think that they were living in big cities. And then and here I am on. on more how should I say. most Socialists were not Jewish and most Jews were not Socialists. the Nazis. This association of Jews and socialism. That's one reason. the classless society. than non-Jews. At the end of the century. meaning 99% of them did not. Transcending nationalism. they were living in shtetls.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement love one another. Marxism on the one hand approved of industrialization and coming of Capitalism as something superior than
. Another reason is that a large proportion of the socialists. came out of the Intelligencia. Because of the belief of the anti-Semites. there's no question about that. that a much larger percentage of the Jews were attracted to a Marxist. Socialist. this really is important for us to discuss this association of socialism and Jews. Now. as an intellectual. A society in which nations would dissolve. from that point a few isolate is not so surprising that so many of the leadership of the Socialist movement at the very outset were Jewish. Jews and Marxism. it's by urban. And of course Marxism was an ideology for the working class. That is. But nonetheless. this is our estimate there were something like 600. one should not exaggerate this. they also foresee a rising above national distinction. you can see Marxism as interpreting the history of the world and the predicts the future. it's. Jews later as communism is something very important for our story. Well. And it was well. And when you cannot kill a Communist. And so. Marxism is an elaborate intellectual construct. the Jews became workers. and among the first workers there was a disproportionate number of Jews. And Marxism could provide both. The promise of Marxism. that's not quite the case. and how central that is. there was disproportionate number of Jewish intellectuals. I mean. I don't want to say they were urban. and what have you. That is as economic conditions deteriorated. in the Ural Mountains. Communist idea. thin ice. And so.000 Jewish workers. kind of utopia for intellectuals. a working class was created. but nonetheless. Maybe there is something about the kind of Messianism of Judaism which could be easily reconciled or substituted with the promise of Marxism. and today's. So. the kind of handcraft industry which was possible at the earlier part of the century was not possible any longer when industrialization was happening. That is.
not Russia itself in inter-war Poland the Bund was significant. Instead. they were not allowed. I wanted to add that these divisions in Jewish life remained important in the United States. So. with my next topic? so. the workers. Which was an error on their part. The Bund was Jewish workers' Marxist Socialist organization. everything in the Bund took place in Yiddish. That was the Marxist promise. So. And when the Russian Socialist movement. That is. and the Bund really. because they were unwilling to concede it an organizational autonomy. in Buenos Aries. it also promised transcending Capitalism. which that is among the first to create the working class organization. the Tsarist regime did not establish a Yiddish section to work with these people. That these became almost permanent structures. who wasn't Jewish. and the Bolsheviks that is the followers of Lenin excluded the Bund.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement preceded it. learned Yiddish in order to talk to the Yiddish. the leaders of the Bund wanted to be part of it. over 90%. Maybe are there any questions or comments which you want to make before I go on with my. So. yes. And the whole notion of the Bund as a cultural organization that felt that Jews could make their home in the diasporic world. working class organization. Eleanor Aveling. up to the very end of the century. But Marx's great. On the other hand. that is the moderate Russian socialists. because the. Amusingly enough. you think everything is okay? MURRAY >> I. their language was Yiddish. in the United States under different circumstances for different reasons. Right? An effort to reach people between the Marxis and the Tsarist government. the Jewish Yiddish speaking proletariat and convert them to Marxism. achieved its importance after the Russian revolution abroad. indeed this is an important phenomenon that when the working class movement took an organized form among the first working. the overwhelming majority of the Jews. what they did was they said. And the. on this list. in Israel. Ultimately. everybody had to study Russian.
. divisions within the Jewish community. the Russian Socialist Party was created. it just reflects the difference in what I guess we would call today marketing. Karl Marx's great-granddaughter. socialist organization was the Bund. But the socialists themselves did not accept the Bund. The Mensheviks. I don't know whether you have the Bund on. and that included of course the working classes. I think she was. And then in the. PETER >> Yes. persecuted the leaders of the Bund as socialists and subversive. MURRAY >> You saw some images of Godunov the great Jewish historian who was a member of the Bund in. the Tsarist regime of course. the Jewish workers could be reached only by Yiddish. in Image Before my Eyes.
But what was going on now at the end of the century. right? I mean if you. a Jew was arrested on absolutely trumped up charges for murdering a nice little Christian boy. this association of Jews and socialism. we know the Jews do murder Christian children even though Beilis actually did not. the interesting thing is that a Jury was called together and that Beilis was found innocent. I will of course want to talk a great deal about Nazi ideology. Up to the 1920s. and elaborate on it. this could be sold. And for us therefore. that [UNKNOWN]. need to use the blood of Christian children. the verdict. for the making of the matzo. The Bailey's Case was the reemergence of the idea of blood libel. because obviously. The Czarist court however. the rehearsal to what was to happen a little later. On the other hand. Namely. a Russian peasant probably never saw a Jew. but their argument was. This will be absolutely crucial for us to understand the Hitler's demagogy. Murray talked about it last time. of the 19th century. Something like in the course of various pogroms. but that be as it may. and it was perfectly clear that actually. So. this Christian boy was killed by a criminal gang who had some problems with the. A Russian peasant as opposed to a Ukrainian peasant who saw plenty. it goes back to the 12th century. I should have written his name on on the board. similar to the Dreyfus case in France. But I want to emphasize this point. I mean this was a long history. Namely. it doesn't matter. something like 1. it is essential to. it seems
. There is an important event. it seems to me our primary purpose is to understand how such a thing as the Holocaust could happen. in other instances. Now why the matzo wasn't red. at least to approach the working of the Nazi mind. This of course it has. Hitler's appeal in the 1930s in as much as the Germans were afraid of socialism and Jews and socialists are really much the same. accepting the. girls or boys you know. I want to come back to this and. I will talk about it in a. The but not Russia. Then of course in the 1920s. Now. This was just how do you say. Blood libel meaning that the Jews use. It could be otherwise because that's where the Jews lived. the first Russian Revolution. they were national socialists. and the court accepted this argument. about which I may have mentioned in 1911. in a minute.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement PETER >> That is so much of the Jewish world of course comes out of the Russian Empire of the. And. Yes? Audience Member >> How come Nazis market themselves as socialists? PETER >> Well. it would change very quickly and I will talk about it a. the so-called Bailey's Case. I will. this became a great event in a way similar. with the family. 1905. Jews and communism. that it may be that Beilis was innocent. you see.000 Jews were killed. I don't know? I mean it should have been red. That is. But this.
the Russian state were abolished. where the majority of the Jews lived. there was. and this is where the First World War was fought. the Bolsheviks took power followed by a great civil war which lasted for 3 years. there were anarchist. if you want to use the old calendar. if you want to use the new calendar. the Ukraine. which restricted the Jewish place of living. Now. coincide with the Pale of Settlement. which was fought over the most by the Bolsheviks and their enemies. in a completely disorganized fashion. a very good book by the way. and this was the beginning of the enormously quick transformation of the Jewry of the Russian empire. which was a military counterrevolution. writ. what happened in the course of a decade or two. it's not important. this would have obviously far reaching consequences. And now. it really was something extraordinary. And then the Czarist state collapsed as you know. Both sides suspected the Jews to be on the other side. Fairly recently a new book appeared. Jewish enrollment in institute of higher education. they took place everywhere including in the small shtetl. how it was telescoped. the series of murders took place. This time. Some one many named [UNKNOWN]. which was by the way limited by the. written by Timothy Snyder. on October. what was going on in Western Europe in the course of a century or century and a half in the Soviet Union. creating quite a bit of misery. That was the. Well. This is the. the Whites. the territory. There was something special. Genuinely believed that there is such a thing as Jews committing ritual murder. It would be. Again. the Minister of Justice. And indeed.000 victims. The estimates run between 100 and 200. But. It was here where the. there were
. before we get there. in March 1917. the Bolsheviks took power. The Russians in the war was a very confused event. And here the pogroms which happened were on a much larger scale than ever before. and a liberal provisional government came into being which emancipated the Jews. who argues that there was something special about this region between the boundaries of the Russian part of the Soviet Union and Germany. happened to as I say. which is called Bloodlands. So. the. then we come to the first World War. There are. And it was here where the great famines took place. the First World War and the Second World War was fought in these territories. the extermination camps would be set up. one of the first acts. This was the. Meaning that all those special laws which applied only to Jews. Before the pogroms took place at definite times and at largely in cities. And these years were dreadful from the point of view of the Jewry of the Ukraine. These are. And the Tsarist state then started to evacuate the Jews from regions where they had left in a. on October 24 or 25. Because this is the region where the great massacres. As you know. in the beginning of the 20th century. The first World War takes place in the territory where the Jews lived. the. the Jews were emancipated.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement that the members of the Tsarist court. there were Ukrainian nationalist. or November 7.
Now. because you can see that they lead the Bolshevik party and they were responsible for it. Some of this. some of them came back with the Nazis in the course of the Second World War.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement white counter revolutionaries lead by ex-Tsarist officer core. In my mind. And all of them carried out pogroms with the possible exception of the Bolsheviks. On the other hand. a worker Jew. in as much as the leaders of the White Movement. is a mistake that is That is their unwillingness to. Some of you may have read Babel. Anti-Semitism was really a essential aspect. MURRAY >> [LAUGH] The right thing is to run away? Well. which as I say had many victims. the White counterrevolutionary movement. they were. not all. and came back with the Nazis. stuck between the Great War. So. PETER >> Yes. Their communities are destroyed. I have a question for you about alternatives. rabbi. an average Jew. For them. A Jew comes to a rabbi and says. Now. this is important. my unwillingness to look at the world as it really is. is it possible to have socialism in one country. and describes these events with great vividness. MURRAY >> Well. And of course the Bolsheviks. the Cossacks carried out dreadful dreadful massacres which. what are they supposed to do? PETER >> The right thing to do is to run away. they were presented with the question that if Tsarist regime was okay. I said several of these characters ended up in Germany and joined the Nazis. that's the. who's a wonderful writer who participated in the Civil War. That is the Bolsheviks seriously punished progromists. anti-Semitism was a very important platform of their worldview. then how come that it collapsed? Well. let me stop here. And he
. I. in my description contributed to their ultimate defeat. Namely. Oh. that's the best thing you can do. It's the Cossacks who were doing the actual murder. Here are the Jews. Are there any questions? MURRAY >> The white Russians going to Germany. as I at the outset. What are their options? What is an intellectual Jew. Oh I. Well. the Whites. the joke that was told later on under the Soviet system when it was going to be national rather than international. The Jews. their soldiers. the anti Bolshevik military movement. to see what really was going on around them. Their ability to equate Bolsheviks and Jews was a good point for them with act. And consequently. And so. I don't know why it went off.. it collapsed because of internal subversion. and the local peasantry participated by looting but the it is very the soldiers of the White movement which were really the most efficient most efficient murderers. And who were the subversives? They were the Jews. whether the whites actually gained by the antiSemitism is difficult to say. pogrom affairs.
[LAUGH] 2. you were required to know Hebrew if you were a Jewish male.4 The Yiddish World. Women and men flirted with each other. And unlike Hebrew. So that we know that Yiddish was not only a domestic language used in the family. with a lot of Hebrew. England. There were a great many things translated into Yiddish from the great world of European literature. Sholem Aleichem. Yiddish writer. So they turned to the song of songs. that is. It. parents and children talked to each other.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement thinks for a while. And. and you can look up the history of Yiddish if you were interested. But also what I call the Yiddish world. he says. It was a language in which people conducted business. most of the lecture on . In fact Yiddish had this wonderful. who won the Nobel prize. And there are lovely entries on Yiddish you can find in the Encyclopedia Judaica. there was a great problem when people were trying to write fiction. because Russia inherited them. And one of the things that Sholem Aleichem about whom I'm going to be spending more. it was known as the [UNKNOWN]. when Hebrew revived as a spoken language. especially for women. but it's better to live in another country. because that's where they were allowed to go and no further. but also a literary language. But Yiddish had a whole vocabulary. in the middle of the 19th century. it is possible. I recommend going to the library. And it. but it's also online. yes. Catherine the Great. which was a required knowledge. when they carved up Poland. because they had no vocabulary for love. suppleness. and I think it's available on YouTube. Part 1 MURRAY >> What I want to talk about today is one of the great achievements of the Russian Empire. written in Hebrew letters. which is in the library. In fact. that manuscript is in Oxford. the American. it's first written text in Hebrew letters shows up in the 1200's and it's in. they made love in Yiddish. It was the. it was called as [UNKNOWN]. With Hebrew reserved for intellectual matters and prayer. the mother tongue and it was the language in which Jews conducted their everyday experience. it's Germanic syntax. and the history of Yiddish is complicated. And as Peter said. the. feels very stilted if you read Abraham Mapoo who writes the first modern Hebrew novel. even from the 12th and 13th Century. and I had the honor of hearing it at one of the presentations says that
. Basically. of the Jews of the Russian Empire. the Yiddish folk library. actually decided to publish a series of volumes on the great translations into Yiddish. there's a great talk available by Isaac Bashevis Singer. And it's a. They were speaking Yiddish.when he had started his reputation. And it's actually a piece of Chivalric Romance. a lot of Slavic. a talk he gave a number of times. Yiddish and Yiddish literacy was not true for everyone. And the Jews were living in what was known as the pale of settlement. the Jews became Russian. Polish.
And for example. And so the Jews go to the Rabbi. Over the course of their 800. able to convey shades of meaning. they took that language with them. very full. And there were many. in some ways like English. Buenos Ares is one of the great publishing houses for. It was also something that non-Jews in positions of authority regarded as the secret language of the Jews. of the middle ages. For example if somebody is poor you don't only have the designation is poor. So Yiddish. stupid. So Yiddish is a fusion language. A new governor. and that made it very supple. There are still pockets of Ladino speakers in many places including Mexico. contemporary Yiddish writing. a new broom has been appointed. and has these wonderful songs mixing Spanish and Yiddish. And the Ukrainians looked down on the Jews as backward. like Yiddish. and so established. and seems to be unable to be persuaded in any way to relax things. And it's ironic that one of the great achievements of the Russian Empire was Yiddish. And one of the requirements when the Jews were emancipated in France and in other countries was that they stopped using the secret language of the Jews. And there's a wonderful story by Sholem Aleichem about a certain area in Russia. and it's directly connected to Spanish. in Mexico in Latin America. because it was the language of an oppressed minority. was the work of Sholem Aleichem. including a wonderful intellectual from Vilna. what is striking is that. how little contact there was between the Ukrainians and the Jews. many interesting writers who bring Yiddish and Spanish together. where a new as he would put it. the Jews who came from Europe spoke Yiddish. a kind of balance. novels and fiction. which means he doesn't have any bread in the house. 900 years there.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement Yiddish is such a supple language that there are hundreds of ways to talk about human situations. Again. But. and also a language that the peasants didn't know. very full. from Lithuania. Yiddish was spoken by three quarters of the Jews of the world. PETER >> Well. but another matter you might mention another Jewish language named Ladino. and especially ironic. and very expressive. Very easy to use. as a language. and this governor is very severe and wants to enforce all the rules. it's written in Hebrew letters. who emigrates to Latin America. And when they were thrown out of Spain. there was practically no intermarriage. and in. And this of unhappy situation prevailed that the Jews looked down on the Ukrainians as uncouth.
. speak Yiddish. was very rich. Because this secret language was thought of as giving them an extra advantage. even now. MURRAY >> Well Ladino is the language that the Jews of the Spanish peninsula developed. There was an interesting movie made about them called [FOREIGN] I want to See You as a Bride. They lived in separate worlds. very welcoming of words and ideas. And. uneducated. You can for example say. So the Jews could use it to talk among themselves. that he's so religious that every day is Passover for him.
I should say something about that word. required writers. it had book publishing. right? Magazines. And these newspapers. that make a civilization stick together. destroyed. Not airhead. Yiddish however like the Jews like Ladino is part of a bilingual culture. Again. everybody had a miserable life. someone who lives on air. When we were there there was something called the Stevenson Libre. Part 2 MURRAY >> So again. So that was a civilization whose misery was very great but yet managed to do the things that we know about. not the German but the Yiddish one. which was spread throughout many parts of the world. it's a civilization. The Luftmensh. he's a mensch. And so the story goes about how can the Jews persuade him to let the Jews live. And the Rabbi thinks and minute and in wonderful disputation. You know. it had magazines. is there's this constant interest in the luftmensh. when the peasants did not. The peasants as well as the Jews. whose central home was. some of you already write for good times and you know all of that stuff. When even the nobility did not do. And self-interrogation says there are no languages that Jews don't understand and can't speak. exterminated if you will. intonation is key. So it's a language. journals and these writers were all writing different kinds of things. But. And putting them in the army for 25 years. And it was that civilization. these books. the difference between the two words are enormous. he's a courageous. do much reading of anything. and Peter was right. and it's entered American's parlance. And you know that mensch in German means a person. For the fish wrap. in effect. including collecting 12 year old boys at one point. a busy widespread book publishing system. If you say that this man does not speak a language we can understand. and a whole cultural world comes up when you think about Yiddish. The experience. for whatever it is. when you say that someone is a mensch. that must mean simply that he's a rigid bureaucrat and won't accept bribes to change his way. Jews all had books in their houses. He's not a person. but miserable oppression. air. When you say that someone is a mensch. 2. Uprooted by World War I and destroyed by the Nazis. you mean. Because in Yiddish. And one of the experiences we have in reading Sholem Aleichem and in reading Yiddish literature. but the misery of the Jews was full of regulations. which those of you who know some German know. luftmensch. it's a culture. Now having mentioned the work mensch. LUFTMENSH. civilized human being. It had newspapers.5 The Yiddish World. The Jews are
. means a person who lives on air. mensch is also a word in Yiddish.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement and they say this governor speaks a language we don't understand. some of you know German. Because the rules of the Russian Empire with regard to the Jews involved not only oppression. So one of the questions is how can the Jews respond to this continuing misery to the fact that they had no way of making a living.
like a European high school. And I was amused that here was a psychologist studying something that my experience was that all the people I knew who were Jewish did all the time. a tutor. another Jewish literary family. I mention this because Sholem Aleichem I think it's 1859 to 1916. and then in the 1900s. And he's now a very important presence in. spoke Yiddish. is more like our high school. So. plus community college.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement bilingual at least. So. he gets a job as a. And he goes to a traditional Jewish school. That is. Wherein he lives with his grandfather for a while. Now. eventually added some other languages. How many of you use at home more than one language. So Sholem Aleichem begins as a Russian writer. personally. Sholem Aleichem. Jewish bilingualism. And in fact he gave his daughters a Russian education. his father makes sure that he goes to a Russian high school. Now the Russian government decided that it had to control the Jews. So many people have read him in many languages. Isaac Beshevis Singer. And one of his granddaughters in this country wrote a novel called Up the Down Staircase. like so many Jews in the Russian Empire. But even so. And he was always interested in trying to
. Instead of being well off they return to a little town. And after he does that. because along with these magazines in many Jewish languages there were now the whole business about the Hebrew revival and Sholem Aleichem published in Hebrew. as was the habit. A little bit here and there. they were raised in at least two languages. Many of you maybe even a majority. But his father loses his business. That's like going to college. He doesn't get to a Yeshiva. When we were at Stevenson College. They drifted from one language into the next because different languages have different registers and different ranges of meaning. Her name is Belle Kaufman. Jewish world literature. And then he decided if he wanted to reach the great mass of Jews and make a living writing he had to write in Yiddish. founding the college we had a colleague named Barry McLoughlin who was studying people who didn't know what their mother tongue was. he was translated by his son in law into Hebrew. And eventually he has a job as an official Rabbi of a small town. But he didn't stop writing and publishing in the other languages. And in fact. spoke Russian. So the bilingualism was key. becomes a Hebrew writer. a Russian high school. a traditional Jewish education. let's say. And then. especially starting in the 1920s famous translations of Sholem Aleichem came out in English. But not a Yeshiva. The middle of the 19th century. knew Hebrew. and they just spoke both of them. right? He has. So it's a literary family like I mentioned. and then becomes the greatest of modern Yiddish writers. as a writer he began by writing in Russian because that was what was there. and they even made a movie out of it. he has all of these roles and even so he writes a little bit. it would designate people as Rabbis who would be in charge of Jewish life. And then he switched and he wrote in Hebrew.
but that then becomes a habit. He's constantly writing about young lovers. That is unmatched. then there are the daughters. his stories are about the range of experience of Jewish life. And he lost a lot of money and had various scrapes and problems. right? And Scrooge eventually gets one for Tiny Tim's family. a fabulous monologue and it takes a great writer to make that happen. you know geese are delicacies. here is this woman whose job is to raise geese. I mentioned it’s a first person narration about passing. a cemetery. old lovers. You know all the things that literature is about. And if Hebrew writers in the 1850s have trouble trying to figure out how to get characters flirting. and you can see the New York Times article. went bankrupt a couple of times. There's a wonderful story called geese which is really a monologue about a woman who raises geese for market. The only problem was he was not a great business man. are all
. Ruth Weiss says. in Yiddish writing. Well again. And all of a sudden in the course of her story. Or as. And how you then says. It's the largest funeral in New York's history. There's a kind of oral storytelling in Shalom Aleichem's stories. but as listener. but he somehow speaks to. he's not just a writer. a grave site. But by the end of his life he is the greatest writer in Yiddish. So she. not just as speaker.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement make a living as a business man like his father. it becomes a kind of procession. right? There are the geese. the big event is getting a goose for the Christmas dinner. Shes raising both of them. Now. and. right? They're her export product. his people's deepest needs. in Dickens' Christmas Carol. It’s a fabulous story. When he dies in New York City. it's also what Mikhail Bakhtin called dialogic. his people's most important experiences. And that says something about him. and something happens that's very interesting. making love. for one thing his novels. in Queens. Sholem Aleichem is not only a first person narration in his stories. one of the reasons he can do that is that he is writing literature that feels as if he's talking.000 and 200. And she talks about what it's like to raise them and take care of them and not be able to use them for food for her own family. The problem of daily life. he has no problem. you realize that there's an implicit metaphor. That is. And she talks about how you take care of them and feed them and get them ready for market for slaughter. the problem of marriage. And it. But he's also talking about the misery. the misery of daily experience about how people suffer about how people don't have enough to eat.000 people go to his funeral. somewhere between 100. Why? Well. bringing him in his coffin to a. of the Jews. Yiddish literature is about two Jews talking. About oppression from the government. So that Shalom Aleichem's stories. in that story as she talks about raising geese and taking care of them. Now Nechama as you remember. it's about the narrator. I argue that Yiddish literature is about talking. I couldn't make a living just that so then I get my daughters to pluck their feathers and to get the down. in fact.
in the story. no. you've missed out. and. the classic epic is about heroic experience. Their talking. where we're not only hearing. the schlimazel is the one who spills the soup on the Schlemiel. That there is something about Yiddish. they're warriors. And I think I mentioned now the two Jews talking. or he's somebody else. It's a culture that's distinctively non-heroic and its full of schlemiels. who is the dairy. And in some ways that language became their homeland when they didn't have one. right? That's another example of a Schlemiel. said Woody Allen. Part 3 Schlemiel is someone. they fight. Tevya. And they all talked about how what they had was the Gift of Gab. The epic. the African-Americans. It's up there. I'll come back to that in a minute. about heroes. So it has an element of confessional literature. and Woody Allen is also about talking.
. yes. other people control him. talk. that doesn't have the means of being heroes. if you took the Stevenson Court course. it made Sholem Aleichem famous. and if you didn't. 2. A schlemiel is someone who is the object of experience in so many ways. But Woody Allen has some games. and telling their story. And as you know. How many of you have seen fiddler on the roof? Okay a lot of you. but we're being talked to. I'm going to talk to you about one in a minute in the story. But in Fiddler on the Roof. right? So there's something about the Gift of Gab. There's a wonderful story by Grace Paley. their language. there's one other thing that Jews do. you know.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement about people coming to him. he's Mister Shalom Aleichem. it's alright.6 The Yiddish World. So I'm going to argue that one of the great achievements of the Jews of the Russian empire was their stories. Modern literature has all sorts of connections to the epic. and what did heroes do. the dialogical element. the classic epic. and Woody Allen of course does all of that. He's not a nerd. if you are a great speaker women will fall in love with you. But Yiddish literature is about a culture that's oppressed. that isn't allowed to have heroes. about Sholem Aleichem's methods. I put a C in there instead of. I did. Well. let me tell you about myself. I mentioned the luftmensch. that there's some way in which. Hm? That's the schlimazel? No. the Jews. Tevya. But they also come and tell him about interesting stories. right? And one of his main characters. who can't quite make a living. A schlemiel is not someone who is going to go out and change the world. the problem of transliteration is interesting. but maybe he's classic Woody Allen. He can't quite make a living. They change the reality that we live in. well. And Woody Allen is about how language somehow can overcome even being non heroic. where she meets a number of different ethnic groups. the gift of language. The Irish. exactly. that if the Jews are talking. Then there's the Schlemiel. their culture. So Yiddish has entered a little bit into American.
They have conversations with God. Peter probably knows exactly. Just read one of his stories. He's got lots of daughters and no money. weapons. That without language you know people are always saying let's be real. doesn't matter what they cost. And he understood something about language. When he died. How can he marry them off with no money? They need a dowry. There's a wonderful Yiddish proverb that starts in Hebrew. and Tevye is always asking about that. And drive them around the Tsar's palace. you chose the Jews. buy these two wonderful horses. the Tsar likes your horses. I told you about his funeral. In fact they feel magical. and they are wonderful horses. There are more. why did somebody invent that? So for the Jews it's language and an understanding of language that actually changes reality. and an official comes out and says. You can see he's a modern-dressed person. Soldiers. God chose the Jews. And in fact the. maybe a little out of focus. How many soldiers. The story goes on. he talks with God. who is involved in this. Schlemiel knows he can't change things and yet I would argue. there's some way in which this kind of talking. please don't gather and cry. he takes the milk around to the rich people not only talk with the audience. Now you know when the Tsar
. Tevye has a problem. and now I have to tell you a story. MURRAY >> But why did they. he left a will. was told by the Rabbi. They're very funny. they're wonderfully satiric. this kind of talking changes things. PETER >> This is unlikely that it actually happened. There were some events some conversation in World War II. To go back to my story about the Rabbi and the Russian official who will. Without language maybe there is no reality. [FOREIGN] is one of the great lines from the Bible. And he has discussions with God. I said I should just tell you stories. and the Hebrew says. which is does. who will take no bribes. Why did you pick on us? That's the Yiddish punch line. I had great problems getting ready to give this lecture. Here are some pictures of Sholem Aleichem. and everybody thought Stalin made the right point. He's always asking God. who speaks a language Jews can't understand. when he died. And after all that's what the Jews do all the time. Stalin was very well aware of the importance of words. or let's put it another way.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement he. they're full of joy and he understood that by reading Sholem Aleichem. And one of the things they do is they ask him why he picked on them. Where somebody said that if the Russians didn't do something the Pope would be very upset and Stalin is reported to have said. you know. Then there's a colon. and grandfather. Yiddish is full of phrases like that. [FOREIGN]. people became a community. why did you arrange this is you're God why can't you change things. Let's get past the words. how many divisions does the Pope have? Right? That's war that's epic heroes. and the will said that on the anniversary of his death.
A wonderful story by Sholem Aleichem. So there's a whole sense. Men are to wear. have their heads covered. It used to be The Bar Mitzvah Gift but it’s out of print. he's got I've think six or eight stories by Sholem Aleichem. I will protect you. And it's as if we are in the story and being talked to. that's didn't happen either. and appoints someone who speaks the language the Jews can understand. right? And discusses with the Tsar and says. he says Here I have something. so they're not beautiful for other men. Part 4 But I want now to go to the main even if you will.7 The Yiddish World. so grandfather. when the German commissioner who's protecting him says. Because if you're an oppressed minority. Nehama Tec's father. and then has a conversation with the Tsar about how this new official. And there's more fancy words for it too. a symbol that they worshiped God. an example. And he gives him some money and some jewels. if the Tsar likes my horses. Married women are to cover their heads or to shave their heads. Jews is very important. more stories by Sholem Aleichem. A Treasury of Yiddish Stories. Remember. I hide it. maybe a hardboiled egg. The hat. But there's a wonderful book edited by Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg called A Treasury of Yiddish Stories. many good anthologies. That means you can't quite leave. But you've certainly seen people who understand that you cover your head. an emblem. and it's called On Account of a Hat. I propose that to you as a way of thinking about life. I want you to hold for me. rather than reading written work which is objective out there. but this is a way of talking about the dialogical issues. Meaning I'm you know I'm modern. right? There's only a few things you have at your disposal. And thinking about a kind of writing where the narrator is the listener. and people speak to the narrator. That language for Sholem Aleichem.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement says he likes something. Than anybody else in that anthology. the Kippah is after all. And by the way if you want to find some stories of Sholem Aleichem there are many. changing it through words. because what can a religious Jew have in a non-kosher household? A little tea. understanding what the Rabbi told him. they can be his horses. here are your horses. 2. and grandfather understands that he can't sell them to the Tsar at this point anymore because if the Tsar likes them he takes them. So he gets invited in and grandfather and the Tsar have tea. And the Tsar gets the message and sends him off to a different neighborhood. A hat for. so this is a
. is a way of reframing reality. But rather a literature that we might call intersubjective. Maybe you're not lucky maybe you are lucky you can probably find them in Logos. of course. and the only time they're not to have their heads covered is if they're within sitting or not moving more than four steps. language and Yiddish. says to the official. or he gets him to understand this new official doesn't speak a language that the Jews know.
God took pity on Sholem Shachnah. And on account of a hat is about. Who knows what? But. a great hesitation about it. The holidays are kind of carnival moments. things to do to get ready for Passover. Sholem Shachnah gets somehow a few cents. The story goes as follows. And low and behold. I'm telling you what your story says. Are you listening? We're being talked to. I have nothing to do with it. you know about real estate. And. the first time in his career as a real estate broker and then you see the brilliance of Sholem Aleichem's writing. says well tell me more. But he doesn't have any money and he doesn't have any land. And comes time for the money to change hands. and what is the story. But as you know. it's about Sholem Shachnah. he says he's a real estate broker. real estate is going to pass hands. And has finally with God's help managed to cut himself in. so. festival celebrations. that somebody else did the work and everything is moving along. I guess eventually they give him the finder's fee. Is it up? But I thought it over and decided if a respectable merchant. in a society that's militaristic. a Jew has continued.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement story about a hat. contrived. And says I want to tell you a story about this person. and he sends most of it to his wife. This town. this guy is very interesting. a hat exchange. And he makes such a fuss. and just like everybody who says. start screaming that he was. A deal is made. Sholem Aleichem. Passover one of the great holidays. to an area where people are buying and selling land. right? A literator is somebody who writes fiction right? If he vouches for a story. They come along and cut him out. the real estate broker who can't make a living but he keeps trying. It means. Now he's been on the road. It wouldn't have happened without him.
. as the merchant says. So he goes out. He says. the question is how can he survive? This is a story told by a merchant who comes and visits Mr. you know. a dignitary of [FOREIGN]. What would such a person be doing with a fiction? Here it is in his own words And Mr Sholem Aleichem then says. and connived. He actually worked out a deal. This is a true story that I heard. So. we might say. And Sholem Aleichem. there's finally a deal. A luftmensch named Sholem Shachnah tries to make a living. One day. you can take my word for it. And the first time. And Sholem Aleichem has a. the narrator. the Sholem Aleichem invents. other people wear hats also. Sholem Shachnah. When you ask him what he does. where's justice? The notion of justice. I couldn't make up my mind whether or not I should pass it on to you. And for a long time. They have debts to pay. Sholem Aleichem wrote many stories about getting ready for the holidays. and the important folks are dealing. But Sholem Shachnah worked out a deal. this. it must be true. This true story which the merchant told me does indeed sound like a concocted one. There was quite a to-do. children to feed. who deals in stationary and is surely not literator. and he takes the money. part of the deal.
now we have a dream sequence. You remember these days. Sholem Schackne. and. what do we call it? He's made a killing. So. he's there in the middle of the night. Of course. Sholem Shachnah has to sit down on the bench. wake me up for the train. how convenient it is.
. Sholem Shachnah has a dream sequence. Next to buttons. or actually lying down sleeping. I can only be ironic. Sholem Shachnah gets the porter. right? We use all the military language. but buttons is the. Sholem Shachnah says. He hasn't been asleep for two nights. It's a military hat with a red band and a visor. And on that bench an official is seated. I'll wake you up. The porter says. You know I mean big buttons. he's going to come home. He's a hero. And the merchant explains. you've all slept at the airport. What can we do? Sholem Shachnah looked around for a place to sit down. Because there won't be another train in time to get me home for Passover. Sholem Shachnah wants to take a nap too. it's like airplane travel. And the problem is that the train has a schedule. You've been in waiting rooms like this maybe in airports. And Sholem Shachnah immediately has this fantasy that he may be Purishkevich. he buys some presents. an official has a uniform with many buttons and he has a hat and in Sholem Aleichem's world the official is known as Mr. It’s a military hat this doesn't do it. So. an important person. But the bench is occupied by an official. You know. maybe in train stations. And the blue blazer always has these gold buttons. And the train will now take him home. he wakes up. So. right? I was raised with Yiddish and German. So Sholem Shachnah gets ready to go home. Because the train is there but his hat has fallen off. there's only a miserable spot on a bench. It’s the wrong hat this is the hat of the Mr Buttons. There's no where to sit. you know. you wake me up I'll give you another coin. But he needs a place to sit down so finally he sits down even so he's been up for two nights. and there's one bench. It's a terrible place. So.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement Sholem Shachnah wants to go home for Passover. as the merchant says. that's always why I you know the standard corporate outfit these days is a blue blazer and gray pants. because he's waiting for the train too. and there's a waiting room. I can't help it. The problem is. has to drive to the train station and he arrives in the middle of the night. No problem he's got some money. gives him some money and says. there's a train station and there's nobody there. I say I'm not wearing those. The train is going to come and he's about to fall asleep and he says. Now in Russia. Buttons. a famous anti-Semite. to go home he has to go to the bigger town and take the train. if I miss the train I'm in terrible shape. And in the middle of the night. He falls asleep. And suddenly. So he reaches down and puts on a hat and you've got it. He has been up for two nights in a row. he finds the porter. right? He doesn't need to be a warrior but in the real estate world he's made up.
and Sholem Shachnah looks in the mirror on the side of all of the trains. And you see. home for Passover. why is everybody me Your Excellence? Do they know I made a killing? But. This is a story about passing that almost succeeded and passing that failed about if you will someone
. a traditional Jew. I have to go with him. he says. your excellency. who couldn't pass. When Sholem Shachnahg looks in the mirror he has an identity crisis. my god the porter woke up the wrong guy. right? We all want to pass because then there are opportunities but Sholem Shachnah doesn't know how to pass. everybody now calls him your excellency. Now I didn't wear a hat today I didn't want you to think. so he jumps off to wake himself up. the crowd parts. Suddenly. Woody Allen's joke. his wife says. and Sholem Shachnah he's says he's stealing my bag. these are Jews. Sholem Shachnah/g. because we make a date. third class you can't squeeze in there. He made a killing. clamoring to buy tickets. Now why is this such an interesting story? Well. Why can't he pass? Great writers know about the details of little. Of course you know what that means. because he's wearing the red hat. and there's a bunch of people waiting. right? But sells him a third class ticket. The merchant explains. third class price. Sholem Shachnah is asleep in the train station and the official is going to a home for Passover. He says. the merchant says his wife buried him alive. You want to make God laugh? Make plans. The ticket taker says. And I always wonder if I should add God willing. Second class you can't squeeze in there. That this is a story about someone who had a great opportunity.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement And he gets up. I want a ticket. When Sholem Shachnah does get home. The train is about to leave. First class ticket. Grabs his bag. he said without fail. He made it home. in his town. he has to spend Passover with strangers. He goes right to the ticket window. Well. sure I'll see you there. The conductor comes up to him. He's not the person in the mirror. As he walks up. we've all tasted paradise. He made some money. So you always have this hesitation. Now he goes to the train. Your excellency. because what he sees is the hat. I'm going to propose that this is a story like Nehama Tec's memoir about passing. I'm like everybody else here I want to pass. the hat with the red band in the visor. he takes his bag. He can't be the person in the mirror because he's wearing the official's hat. And he sees that hes wearing the official’s hat and he says. yes what class? He says third class. you are making the telegraph company rich? Without fail? People ask me if we're going to meet next week and I always hesitate. he had sent his wife a telegram saying coming Home for Passover without fail. That this is a story about someone who didn't want to pass. so who knows about this. everyday experience. He'll be a hero. And Sholem Shachnah has to try to explain himself. Without fail. He's not wearing his Jewish hat. Third class he says. Puts him in the first class. Traditional Jews know. we all have wives.
right? Sholem Shachnah. the way in which storytelling. uninterest. PETER >> This is a very. in the telling. if we tell the story of the bad things that have happened. go look at The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. It kind of feels good. but also about people who want to change that place. They're oversubscribed. It is. the Russian Empire. he had to learn Yiddish. what ever it is right? We play roles. and overcomes in. kind of refreshing. and one of the appeals of the story is that it reflects that particular historical moment of Jewish transformation. He doesn't know how to be anything else. he's a schlemiel. which are there but not there. just hearing that story is. but we wouldn't. Right. Because it's an object lesson. changes everything in a world where you're supposed to be. a cigar. But he grows out of. The way in which storytelling makes a community. the possibilities. what it reflects is that. they don't know Yiddish. Who can only do it through language. noisy. what it. and. I don't know if there are any Woody Allen movies. which gives them a big hat. he's a luftmensch.Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement who doesn't know how to play a role. [LAUGH]
. Sholem luftmensch would. We've got some Yiddish classes here. And after this you'll go to the coffee shop and play a different role but not Sharlem Shakna. Peter. well actually he does get the girl. This is a Satire. He reframes the situation. Maybe talking is everything. So again. as Peter says. He has one identity. and you'll feel missing something. a poor Jew. This is a story about what the Jews had to learn not to do anymore. Access to the means of production. There's a wonderful Yiddish proverb which Primo Levi uses actually in the only novel he wrote. you may be. He's a Jew. So I invite you to read Sholem Aleichem and even more. Sholem Aleichem's world is about people who know their place. serious student. and. right? The nerd gets the girl. you're playing the role of bored student. So what I'm telling you about is the narrative. everybody said he didn't know Yiddish yet. It is good to tell about past misery. In the modern world we don't have identities we just play roles. Primo Levi who. miserable because the material conditions are such. He was an Italian Jew. Which is all about a similar kind of problem. imperative of Yiddish culture. learn some Yiddish. Well. Watch out. He knows his place. See you on Wednesday. the schlemiel gets the girl. important folks. through role playing. the great Canadian Jewish novelist. Beware of empires. accosted bysomeone who's a talker. fine story. two Jews talking. the options. we're somehow overcoming. we wouldn't be that way. Thank you Mr Karl Marx. It would not have made sense to place this in the 18th century or in Western Europe. that place and that time. MURRAY >> But if you know Mordecai Richler. The money to be what the merchant says real rattlers. because something happens. changes the situation. Who don't have access to the means of production.
Module 2: Shtetl Life and the Pale of Settlement