Hadass was a virgin: what did she know about men? Avigdor again wanted to speak but at first the words, trembling on the tip of his tongue, would not come. Otherwise Hadass will have to stay a grass widow.”.

He could pose ten questions and answer all ten with one proof. A violet by the wayside.”.

Now I’m on my way back.”. He looked at her sharply with the regretful shyness of one who has just divulged a secret. The neighborhood women tried to talk her out of it, and the marriage brokers said she was crazy, that she was more likely to make a good match right here in Yanev. I thought yeshiva students didn’t talk about such things.”, “One doesn’t discuss these matters with the young man himself.”, “Well . Avigdor had joked: what sort of secret could it be?

His lapel was rent, according to the custom for mourners, and the lining of his gaberdine showed through. She plucked a flower and tore off the petals one by one. Gossips, I guess, were busy spreading tales. Avigdor always asked many questions: “How does Hadass look? Hadass had already been betrothed once. If a button came off Avigdor’s coat, for example, Anshel would arrive at the yeshiva the next day with needle and thread and sew it back on.

The night was frosty and clear, the sky full of stars. Anshel told Avigdor such a match was bad. Anshel had fallen into good hands.

He couldn’t forget Hadass. She called him an idler, a shlemiel, just another mouth to feed.

The inn was crowded with young men journeying to study with famous rabbis. Avigdor, friendlier than ever, opened his heart to Anshel. You went away without even saying goodbye.”. The bearded young man beckoned to Yentl, then asked where she came from and where she was going.

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. Anshel kept his boots well polished and did not drop his eyes in the presence of women. When the bride-to-be is a widow, there’s no need to wait for a trousseau.

The groom, moreover, was an orphan and no one’s advice had to be asked. Harry is so dumb at this chapter (so typical 15 year old boy). I’m wicked, a transgressor, a Jeroboam ben Nabat, she told herself. He bit his lips, pinched his thigh. “If you don’t like her, why are you getting married?”. And the fact that Avigdor had become betrothed to Feitl’s daughter Peshe, forsaking Anshel, had endeared him all the more to the people of the town.

The women agreed there was something special about Anshel: his sidelocks curled like nobody else’s and he tied his neck scarf differently; his eyes, smiling yet distant, seemed always fixed on some faraway point. “You’re not much of a man,” Avigdor teased. For the first time he saw clearly that this was what he had always wanted: a wife whose mind was not taken up with material things.

After the celebration, Avigdor and Anshel sat down with a volume of the Gemara, but they made little progress, and their conversation was equally slow. On-line books store on Z-Library | B–OK. .


Alter Vishkower and Feitl the Leatherdealer were pleased and compared Avigdor and Anshel to David and Jonathan.


That night Anshel didn’t sleep a wink.

Is she sad?

The three collected here, about a girl who pretends to be a man in order to study the Torah, a frustrated demon, and a writer trying to understand the confusion of a holocaust survivor, illuminate the great themes of human suffering with supernal grace.

How different their talk was from the jabbering of women, she thought, but she was too shy to join in. I knew that Peshe would torment you and at our house you would have some peace. Tuesdays, Anshel ate at Alter Vishkower’s and Hadass waited on her. Though the day had turned cold and windy, they continued to walk until they reached the pine forest, not turning back until dusk when it was time for the Evening Prayer.

Anshel took off the gaberdine and the fringed garment, and threw off her underclothes. Her only justification was that she had taken all these burdens upon herself because her soul thirsted to study Torah. The room filled with shadows.


It was the first time Yentl had ever found herself alone in the company of young men. . . . The past few weeks had aged him. Besides, the groom was an orphan. It seemed strange at first to Avigdor to be disputing holy writ with a woman, yet before long the Torah had reunited them. Avigdor stooped and tore aimlessly at the shriveled grass. Another student, slightly older than the rest, tall and pale, with burning eyes and a black beard, came to her rescue.

.”, “Well, well, well. He told Yentl to lock the doors and drape the windows, then together they pored over the Pentateuch, the Mishnah, the Gemara, and the Commentaries.

On Friday afternoons all of the townspeople went to the baths and every week Anshel had to find a new excuse. .

In his thoughts he likened Anshel (or Yentl) to Bruria, the wife of Reb Meir, and to Yalte, the wife of Reb Nachman. She sat there lightheaded.

“Then you’ll find out soon enough anyway. Stripped of gaberdine and trousers she was once more Yentl, a girl of marriageable age, in love with a young man who was betrothed to another. Shosha is a hauntingly lyrical love story set in Jewish Warsaw on the eve of its annihilation.

If someone ran across him by chance and addressed him, he did not answer. There they went to an inn and took a room for two. . Avigdor’s eyes widened.

But she was in the grip of a power she could not resist. I don’t believe it!”. He was also an expert swimmer and offered to teach Anshel the breast stroke and how to tread water, but she always found excuses for not going down to the river. After the Virtue Dance the bride and groom were led separately to the marriage chamber. Peshe began talking of a divorce.

When Peshe spoke to him he didn’t answer, but stood with bowed head.

“I’m not even sure that the rules pertaining to a deserted woman apply in this case,” said Anshel in the manner of a scholar. Anshel knew she had to find a way to free herself. Avigdor soon began pressing Peshe for a divorce, and, because he did not want to have a child by such a bitch, he acted like Onan, or, as the Gemara translates it: he threshed on the inside and cast his seed without.

The town thought Avigdor wouldn’t grant her one or would demand money at the very least, but he agreed to everything. Yentl told him she was looking for a yeshiva, but wanted a quiet one.

On Tuesday when Anshel arrived for dinner at Alter Vishkower’s house, Hadass remarked: “What do you say about your partner—back in clover, isn’t he?”, “What did you expect—that no one else would want him?”, “It wasn’t my fault.


She let the food burn and the milk boil over; her Sabbath pudding never turned out right, and her challah dough didn’t rise. “You have everything. “On such matters, you must speak to my father.”, She ran from the room, letting the door slam behind her.

The tradeswoman Peshe had no patience for such goings-on. Inside her, a voice repeated over and over: “No!” What becomes of a girl when the wedding’s over? When the other men had departed and the two were left to themselves in the synagogue, Avigdor shyly questioned Anshel about his night with Hadass.

Avigdor stood up suddenly but then sat down.

Avigdor’s wife Peshe was one of the guests but, though she was bedecked with jewels, she still looked ugly in a wig that sat low on her forehead, wearing an enormous fur cape, and with traces of tar on her hands that no amount of washing could ever remove. The bridegroom delivered a Talmudic discourse, and the rest of the company argued the points, while smoking cigarettes and drinking wine, liqueurs, tea with lemon or raspberry jam. By studying the Cabala, had he created a dove? In his confusion Avigdor mixed up the blessings, omitted some and repeated others. Since he was always penniless, Anshel again brought him a daily buckwheat cake. Avigdor was delighted at the prospect of being rid for a few days of the shrew he had at home. It occurred to him that Anshel might want to practice pederasty. Even so he could not believe that such a thing could have happened.

Anshel gratified his curiosity and they whispered together until nightfall. . Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in 1978, is best-remembered for his humane and moving short stories, which drew comparison with those of Maupassant and Chekhov. Packing underclothes, phylacteries, and a few books into a straw suitcase, she started off on foot for Lublin. She grew more and more attached to Avigdor, and could not bring herself to destroy Hadass’ illusory happiness.

She answered all Avigdor’s questions.

Her brain worked away feverishly of its own volition. The food was plentiful and the housewives darned the students’ socks and took care of their laundry.

Most of the students eventually found wives in the town. “I’ve done this only so that you can testify at the courthouse.

The young man pulled at his beard. I can’t go on living with that accursed woman. Isaac Bashevis Singer The forty-seven stories in this collection, selected by Singer himself out of nearly one hundred and fifty, range from the publication of his now-classic first collection, Gimpel the Fool… Yentl’s period was late and she was suddenly afraid . Many times each day Anshel warned herself that what she was about to do was sinful, mad, an act of utter depravity. The yeshiva students said privately that though there was no denying the widow was short and round as a barrel, her mother the daughter of a dairyman, her father half an ignoramus, still the whole family was filthy with money. He glanced sideways at Anshel who was rocking back and forth, beating her breast, bowing her head.

Truth itself is often concealed in such a way that the harder you look for it, the harder it is to find.

While reading the second book in the series, but both parts are very. For a long time neither spoke. Avigdor spoke: “That such a thing should happen to me.

The fields were turning green; storks, back from the warm countries, swooped across the sky in great arcs. Preparing to Read for the selection is on page 399. Had he written an essay? You look starved.”, “Your daughter is a fine girl, and very generous.”, “Reb Alter, there’s something I must say to you.”, “Oh, does she?

The gifts were many and costly. I wish your good fortune were mine—with no loss to you, of course.”, “What sort of troubles do you have? The tailors took her measurements for a new wardrobe and she was forced into all kinds of subterfuge to keep them from discovering she was not a man. Presently, one of the group came over to Yentl and poked her in the shoulder: “You are bashful. Someone of that sort might even take it into his head to depart and leave her deserted. Avigdor grew more and more attached to this boy, five years younger than himself, whose beard hadn’t even begun to sprout.