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Once Upon A Shtetl

  • Once Upon A Shtetl

Product Description

A fond look back at a treasured slice of the Jewish past. Think of the shtetl and you think of Chaim Shapiro. More than a beloved and colorful chronicler of Jewish life in the towns and villages of Poland and Lithuania, he is a man who lived there and still breathes its air. And he has the precious knack of communicating his experience in prose that crackles with vividness and enthusiasm. In this book we meet great rabbis and rebellious rogues. We enter famous yeshivos whose names still evoke awe and we savor the atmosphere of humble dwellings of people who never knew they were desperately poor. We marvel at the pure faith and reverent conduct of unlearned stevedores who carried their rabbi on their shoulders, rather than let him trudge up the steps to his flat. And the foundations of Jewish life tremble under our feet as we feel the anguish of parents seeing their sons and daughters swarm after the blandishments of the new 'Workers’ Paradise' of Lenin and Stalin -- and the hated Yevsektzia. Most of all though, this is an uplifting book, filled with spirit and learning, hope and humor. Despair is not in the vocabulary of Chaim Shapiro, and he infuses the reader with the vitality and optimism of Jewish life. He absorbed it in places like Lomza, where his parents were renowned for their Torah wisdom, commercial integrity, and human compassion. Shtetl stories are nothing new; they have been a staple of Jewish life for generations. Indeed, this book is not new -- and that is why it is such a valuable contribution to anyone’s bookshelf. It is authentic, riveting, heartwarming. It will leave a lasting glow in the heart of every reader. (stories & history)

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