“The Stories Are Interesting, but the Character Is a Hundred Times More Interesting”: Discovering Tevye the Dairyman

July 31 2019

Undoubtedly the best-known figure in all of Yiddish literature—if not in all of Jewish fiction—is Tevye the Dairyman. A creation of Sholem Aleichem, Tevye is a simple Jew whose personal travails serve as a commentary on the Russian Jewish experience. Even before he was reborn as the protagonist of Fiddler on Roof, Tevye was beloved by thousands of readers.

The celebrated teacher and scholar Ruth R. Wisse’s online course on Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye stories is now available. The trailer can be viewed here, and free registration for the class itself can be found at the link below. (Video, two minutes.)

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More about: Jewish literature, Ruth Wisse, Sholem Aleichem, Tevye, Yiddish literature

With Talk of Annexation, Benny Gantz Sends a Message to the U.S.

Jan. 24 2020

On Tuesday, the former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, who is campaigning for a third time to oust Benjamin Netanyahu from the Israeli premiership, announced that if elected he will seek to annex the Jordan Valley. He added the important caveat that he wants to do so “in coordination with the international community”—a promise that, as many have pointed out, is nearly impossible to fulfill. While it is easy to speculate about the political calculations behind this pledge, Jonathan Tobin suggests that it is also intended as a message to American liberals:

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More about: Benny Gantz, Democrats, Israeli Election 2020, Jordan Valley, U.S. Politics