Sholom Aleichem Tickets
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Yiddish literatures most beloved author, Sholom Aleichem was one of the very few pre-20th centurys modern writers who spoke for an entire people. Sholom Aleichem, meaning Peace be With You, was the pseudonym of Sholom Yakov Rabinovitz.
He was a popular humorist and Russian Jewish author of Yiddish literature, including novels, short stories, and plays. Among the notable contributions that characterized Sholom Aleichem distinctly are The Jewish Robinson Crusoe, modeled on Daniel Defoe, and The Daughter of Zion, an imitation of a Hebrew novel by Abraham Mapu. In addition, Sholom did much to promote Yiddish writers, and was the first to pen childrens literature in Yiddish.
Sholom Aleichem was born on February 18, 1859 and grew up in Pereyaslav near Kiev, Ukraine, in the Russian Empire. When he was 12, his father failed in business and the family relocated to nearby Pereyaslav. Sholoms father was a religious scholar and the family was trilingual. A year later their relocation, his mother died of cholera and his father remarried.
The young Sholoms father encouraged his writings even through the hard times. Recognizing Sholom Aleichems talent and aptitude, his father enrolled him in a Russian school. He attended a Russian high school where he received a secular education and graduated with honors, but never attended university.
Sholom was drafted into the Russian Army but avoided conscription. Upon being discharged he found employment as tutor to a young girl, Olga Loyeff. Against the wishes of her father, Olga got married to Sholem Aleichem on May 12, 1883. The two had six children. Throughout his entire lifetime, Sholom was not wealthy rather he had a humble, modest disposition.
His quiet voice and stable character was described by many as a man of great wisdom and wit. At just the age of 21, he became the certified rabbi of Louben, the Jewish communitys representative to the government. Sholom Aleichem started publishing stories in Yiddish under his pseudonym, Hebrew for Peace be with you.
In 1887, Sholom relocated to Kiev and wrote more stories, mainly about childhood, and novels, including Sender Blank, Yossele Solovey, and Stempanyu. Sholom Aleichem also went on reading tours. Though he was famous but writing did not pay. Aftr losing his money in 1980, he moved to Odessa, but came back in Kiev in 1893.
By 1903, Sholom had left business altogether to write full time. Following the 1905 revolution and pogroms, he moved to Russia. In Russia, he had the humbling experience of his life under the Czars that led to his special style of laughing through tears humor. Until 1908, he lived in Switzerland, but after the diagnosis of his tuberculosis, he had residences in the more healthful climates of Italy and Germany.
When World War I broke out, Sholom had to move as a Russian alien. He came to America where he lived until his death in 1916. During his exile, Sholom Aleichem continued writing stories, novels, and plays. Upon his arrival in America, crowds greeted him warmly.
In 1909 admirers would hold an international jubilee honoring his 50th birthday and 25th anniversary as a writer. His move to New York in 1914 was financed by its Yiddish cultural community.
In America his two plays, A dramatization of Stempanyu and Samuel Pasternak, had disastrous runs. Though he contributed regularly to the Yiddish press and his stories appeared in translation in The New York World, money remained a problem.
Things got worst when his son, Misha died, leaving him depressed and ill. Through the years of his career, Sholom Aleichem created many memorable characters, including Tevye, Motel The Cantors Son, Menachem-Mendl and many others.
Tevye is a popular character of a milkman in Fiddler on the Roof. He has seven daughters to support. Menachem-Mendel moves from one financial catastrophe to another; Motel, a cantors son is an orphan.
Sholom Aleichems stories revolved around real people and their problems. His works followed universal themes such as poverty, endurance in adversity, conflict between tradition and progress, and nostalgia for a simpler life. However, early Yiddish fiction tended to be sentimental, romances with happy endings.
His all popular characters are carefully treated with gentle humor, also narrating their stories while capturing rich vocabulary and cadences of Yiddish. Seeing his adaptations, you will realize that his stories are set in three major fictional settings: Kasrilevka, a shtetl; Yehupetz, a city; and Boiberick, a country town.