Jacob Dinezon, Best-Selling Yiddish Author, Finally Available in English

In his day, the novelist Jacob Dinezon enjoyed immense popularity with the Yiddish-reading public, and was admired by such contemporaries as Sholem Aleichem and I. L. Peretz. Yet he remains largely forgotten today. Now, for the first time, eleven of Dinezon’s stories have been rendered into English. Curt Leviant writes:

Dinezon was a social realist, accurately depicting small town (shtetl) Jewish life. With a cinematic eye he zeroes in on his characters, deftly telling fascinating stories while at the same time giving an accurate portrait of the mores, attitudes, speech, and foibles of Polish Jews, young and old. Dinezon also played an important historical role in the development of Yiddish as a literary language. In fact, he mentored, advised, and befriended almost every major Jewish writer of his day.

In one of the superb stories, “Mayer Yeke,” we see how a boy’s great fear of the shtetl’s most righteous Jew, Mayer Yeke, turns to love and respect after he witnesses Yeke’s mitzvah [of] assisting the town drunk. “Sholem Yoyne Flask” depicts a mild-mannered tailor transformed by the liquor in his flask into a fiery defender of the town’s poor folk. Then something happens when a surprising discovery is made about his flask.

Read more at St. Louis Jewish Light

More about: Jacob Dinezon, Jewish literature, Shtetl, Translation, Yiddish literature

The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship