Anna's Shtetl (Judaic Studies Series) by Dr. Lawrence A. Coben

By Dr. Lawrence A. Coben

 [Backad advert replica, Coben, Anna’s Shtetl]  “Using 1000's of interviews, Coben has created a desirable account of Anna’s adolescence within the shtetl in Korsun, Ukraine, telling the tale from her beginning in 1905 via her immigration to the USA in 1919. This biography is mainly infrequent simply because there are only a few firsthand descriptions from this time and position written from a feminine point of view. With amazing readability and aspect, Anna describes the connection among Korsun’s Jews and Christians, either in solid occasions and later, as she and her family members develop into sufferers in different terrifying pogroms. the tale of the lengthy trip that eventually takes them to the USA is a page-turner that retains the reader’s recognition to the very finish. hugely recommended.” – organization of Jewish Libraries Newsletter “The e-book relates the wealthy element of daily shtetl lifestyles and describes not just the atrocities suffered but additionally the kindness and friendship of many non-Jewish neighbors.” – Mass-Pocha  “A photo of existence within the Russian shtetl painted with a truly proficient brush.” – St. Louis Jewish publication pageant evaluate  “Wondrous… what makes Anna’s tale really amazing is her uncanny reminiscence and her skill to bear in mind minute information about events.” – West finish notice   

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With his blond hair and full blond beard, Avrum reminded Anna of the pictures she had seen of a saint, even though his blond mustache was mixed with gray in his old age and was slightly discolored on one side, the mark of a snuff taker. He was a Hasid. The Hasidic branch had been founded as a revolt against excessively scholarly Judaism. It held that the religiously ignorant were no less worthy than the learned, and that although prayer and the keeping of the commandments were proper goals, a pure heart was to be preferred over study.

4 Grandfather Avrum Anna’s Grandmother Beyla married Grandfather Avrum not for love, but for yikhes. Yikhes meant pedigree, the history of a “good” family. A family was judged good by the Jewish community if it could boast a religious scholar (or a philanthropist) in its lineage. The greater the number of generations of such scholars, and the greater their renown, the greater the yikhes. However, a man could acquire his own yikhes if he was a religious scholar or a benefactor. Avrum, chosen by Beyla’s parents through a matchmaker, had his own yikhes, that of a student at a yeshiva, a Hebrew religious college.

Beyla’s husband, Avrum, taught biblical commentary (Gemara), to the more advanced students in a religious school, the local free kheyder called the Talmud Torah, but his salary was small. Beyla bore not only the children, but also the burden of earning enough money to feed and clothe her husband, herself, and their six daughters. Her father left her some money, and she turned herself into a businesswoman, buying wholesale lots of merchandise, mainly foodstuffs from farmers, and selling them to Korsun’s princess.

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