Susan Perlman | San Francisco

Director of Communications, Missionary

Susan Perlman is one of the co-founders of Jews for Jesus. Susan is the associate executive director of Jews for Jesus and also director of communications for the organization. She also serves as the editor in chief of ISSUES, their evangelistic publication for Jewish seekers. She left a career track in New York City to help launch Jews for Jesus in San Francisco in the early 1970s. See more here.

6. Engaging with a student at Hebrew University, one of hundreds of conversations that took place over the month-long outreach.

The Most Comprehensive Jews for Jesus Campaign Ever Takes Place in Jerusalem
June 4, 2018
Author: Susan Perlman

Jews for Jesus said, “Behold Your God Jerusalem,” in an unprecedented way this past month. With over 200 staff and volunteers participating, the group engaged in over 5,000 conversations with Israelis about Jesus one on one and had over 200,000 check out their social media posts.

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Who is Jesus? Meet the most famous Jew who ever lived.
Author: Susan Perlman

A point by point look at Jesus’ claims, attitudes, actions and how he has affected the world.

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Integrity of Barna Data on Jewish Millennials Called into Question by Some Jewish Leaders. Jews for Jesus Responds:
November 6, 2017
Author: Susan Perlman

The results of a recently released study by the Barna Group, Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America, have been called into question by some Jewish leaders. This reaction is emotional and unfounded.

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Barna Releases New Study on American Jewish Millennials: The Results Offer Some Surprises
October 30, 2017
Author: Susan Perlman

The Barna team found that Millennial Jews in America present quite a paradox.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Newborn
Author: Susan Perlman

But as the months progressed, so did Shifra’s frantic behavior. She would only wear clothing that was blue, said to be an unpleasant color to demons. Noise was also a good safeguard. So bells and clappers sounded incessantly in the home.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Gedalia the Goat
Author: Susan Perlman

Gedalia was a kid (baby goat) with no future—no future, that is, other than being passed on a platter from one guest to the next at the Passover seder of Yossel and Shayna Rabinovitch.

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Jews for Jesus Responds to Evangelical Church in Germany’s (EKD) Renunciation of Jewish Evangelism
November 21, 2016
Author: Susan Perlman

At their annual synod, the EKD, a group of Lutheran, Reformed and United churches that comprise the liberal wing of Protestantism in Germany, passed a resolution renouncing its mission to convert Jews to Christianity.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Heshie’s Dream
Author: Susan Perlman

Heshie thought it was a waste of time to study the Holy Book. Until he was transported to the time of Judah the Maccabee…

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From Loss to Life
Author: Susan Perlman

When I was diagnosed with cancer, my mother said to me, “Why you, Susan?” I remember replying, “Why not me? Would it be better if it were someone else’s daughter?

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Sage Advice
Author: Jews for Jesus

A young man is hurrying home to prepare for Rosh Hashanah when he is accosted by two hooligans, beaten and robbed and left in the alley he had used for a shortcut.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Wise Stranger
Author: Jews For Jesus

In the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos, a wise stranger passes through and confounds the local rabbi.

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Jews for Jesus Libeled in the Jerusalem Online
February 22, 2016
Author: Susan Perlman

Jews for Jesus missionaries are wrongly being charged with links to Arab terrorists according to a Jerusalem Online report. Father Gabriel Naddaf of Nazareth alleges that, by association, Jews for Jesus is in collusion with those who are anti-Zionist. He cites conversations with two Jews for Jesus staff members, both of whom have served as soldiers in the IDF and currently serve in the Israeli reserves.

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A Permanent Egalitarian Prayer Space at the Western Wall
February 12, 2016
Author: Susan Perlman

A recent controversial decision by the Israeli government will affect men and women who pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall

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In Memory of Rose Price
May 18, 2015
Author: Susan Perlman

I discovered quickly, upon our first interaction over thirty years ago, Rose Price was an original.  Anyone who knew her would tell you that. And even if you didn’t know her, you’d know it the moment you heard her story…

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For Such a Time as Purim 2015
March 2, 2015
Topics: anti-semitism, purim
Author: Susan Perlman

Anti-Semitism seems to be at a high right now.  After the horrific Paris attacks and the general anti-Jewish sentiment throughout Europe, perhaps Israel’s Prime Minister (his country has the largest Jewish population in the world) has concerns that are warranted....

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December Conundrum…and Solution
Author: Susan Perlman

Who is the One who can unite us during the Hanukkah/Christmas season?

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Leah’s Dreams
Author: Susan Perlman

Leah’s dreams about the shtetl always came true. Except once.

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If Jesus is the Messiah
May 22, 2014
Author: Susan Perlman

Why all the suffering in the world? Why isn’t there real and lasting peace? Why all the persecutions in the name of Jesus? Why don’t rabbis believe in him? Why doesn’t he say so? There is an answer for each of these questions, if you are interested....

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The Paradox of the Rock
May 6, 2014
Topics: yom haatzmaut
Author: Susan Perlman


The history of modern Israel holds a fascination for me, so when I came upon a television documentary on one of the heroes of early Israel, Mordechai “Motti” Hod, I found myself riveted….”

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Junk Dealer
Author: Susan Perlman

When the junk dealer’s goods appeared to be magically restored, the good citizens of Vaysechvoos was sure Messiah was at the door!

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A Messianic Jewish Look at Sustainability
Author: Susan Perlman

Tending the Garden of Life? “Is the environment a Jewish concern?” asks Rabbi Eric Lankin, chief of institutional advancement and education for the Jewish National Fund. “Under tikkun olam, we have an obligation and need to restore the broken world....

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Who will be in the Super Bowl? The best option…
January 18, 2012
Author: Susan Perlman

Just because the media spotlight is off of Tim Tebow, doesn’t mean that avid football fans who are interested in God, don’t have a story to tell. The NFC/AFC championship games are this coming Sunday. And there are several scenarios that could become reality: There...

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Assimilation or Acculturation?
Author: Susan Perlman

What Hanukkah Has to Show Us If you listen to the Jewish experts, they all seem to agree on one thing: one of the greatest threats to Jewish survival is assimilation.  Some say that assimilation is a result of intermarriage and are quick to point out that the rate of...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: How Gittel Saved the Shtetl
Author: Susan Perlman

Gittel, everyone in Vaysechvoos agreed, was a true beauty. Besides this she was bright, vivacious and as innocent as freshly fallen snow. Why, one glance from her deep, smiling brown eyes was enough to melt the heart of any yeshiva bocher. But that was not to be. One...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Pogrom that Wasn’t
Topics: vaysechvoos, pogrom
Author: Susan Perlman

For those who lived in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos, no event of the year brought as much joyous anticipation as the first seder night. Each house was made spotless and bright. For the days leading up to the holiday, all chometz was removed and all the special...

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A Purim Lesson: Taking Risks
March 6, 2011
Author: Susan Perlman

Purim is all about survival—the survival of the Jewish people. It is as relevant today as is was in the sixth century b.c. when the story of Purim (recorded in the book of Esther) first unfolded. It remains relevant because, as a people, we’ve faced continual...

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In The Little Shtetl Of Vaysechvoos: The Gaon of Vilna
Author: Susan Perlman

All were astir; the Gaon of Vilna was coming to Vaysechvoos! He would be staying in their modest village for one night on his way to Minsk. Who could have imagined that such a prince among Jews would want to visit this muddy little place?” marveled Lazar the...

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A NOTE FROM SUSAN PERLMAN: The Paradox of the Rock
August 1, 2010
Author: Susan Perlman


The history of modern Israel holds a fascination for me, so when I came upon a television documentary on one of the heroes of early Israel, Mordechai “Motti” Hod, I found myself riveted…”

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A Note From Susan Perlman: On the Campaign Trail
July 1, 2010
Author: Susan Perlman


Elli met a group of Israelis in Chinatown. They asked him if he spoke Hebrew. Since he did, they proceeded to ask him a very Jewish question: “Where can we find a good Chinese restaurant?”; Elli, hoping to satisfy a different kind of hunger, then asked them a question: “Who do you think Jesus is?”; So goes a typical day in New York on our summer witnessing campaign!”

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In The Little Shtetl Of Vaysechvoos: Mendel the Merchant
Author: Susan Perlman

When it came to a knowledge of gematria, no one in Vaysechvoos was as skilled as Mendel the Merchant. His father, Yossel, had taught him from early childhood how important it was to have an understanding of the numerical value of the alef bais. Reb Yossel explained to...

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Book Launch! Jews and the Gospel at the end of History: A Tribute to Moishe Rosen
December 1, 2009
Author: Susan Perlman

On December 8, Susan Perlman hosted a special gathering on behalf of Jews for Jesus in celebration of the new book, Jews and the Gospel at the end of History: A Tribute to Moishe Rosen. It was a time for some of Moishe’s friends to come and visit with him, as...

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In The Little Shtetl Of Vaysechvoos: The Missing Rabbi
Author: Susan Perlman

Settling a legal dispute in the shtetl of Vaysechvoos is no easy thing. After all, the czar had made sure that Jews were prohibited from the civil court system, and that was probably a good thing, since what kind of justice would a Jew find in the czar’s Russia?...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Christian Cat?
Author: Susan Perlman

The people of Vaysechvoos were too poor to own pets, but they had a problem and to solve that problem, they welcomed a few stray cats into the shtetl. You see, a multitude of mice had taken up residence there. But the appearance of the cats had hordes of mice...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Eliahu at the Door
Author: Susan Perlman

In Vaysechvoos, as for Jews everywhere, Pesach was a very special occasion. Each house was made spotless and bright. All chometz was removed and all the special Passover dishes and utensils were brought out. The families eagerly awaited the celebration with its...

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Larry Norman, Coffee Shop Evangelist
February 28, 2008
Author: Susan Perlman

Susan Perlman’s tribute to the late Larry Norman. How a chance meeting with a selfless Christian star changed my life. Larry Norman was more than the “father of Christian rock” to me. He was a guy with a guitar slung on his back, who had a big heart...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Healer
Author: Susan Perlman

The tiny, one-room house was dark and musty. Narrow sunbeams poked through the cracks around a small draped window, and near the bed a solitary wick flickered in a little bowl of oil. Ruchelah lay in her bed. She had been infirmed for years, barely able to move or sit...

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The Shalom of God
December 13, 2007
Author: Susan Perlman

Peace! Peace! Peace! Everybody’s for it. Nobody is against it. But what is that very elusive quality we call peace? For it means different things to different people. To some, like Napoleon and Hitler, peace results from killing people—at least it means killing...

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Summer is Here!
May 30, 2007
Author: Susan Perlman
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Media Make Much of Jews Believing in Jesus
September 1, 2006
Author: Susan Perlman

Jews for Jesus and “the media” have a long history. We first put up handbills on the kiosks of San Francisco State University and the University of California Berkeley using the slogan “Jews for Jesus.” The national press confused the number of posters with the number...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Blessed Scarf
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was a little too big for a babushka and a little too small for a waist sash. The dark brown, ancient pattern against the lighter background seemed like something the Turks might have designed. The repeated lines and angular letters looked, at first glance, like the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Stars
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was evening in Vaysechvoos. Young Perchik stared and stared at the sky. The vastness of the black and white speckled blanket that stretched beyond his home was more than even his eleven-year-old imagination could comprehend. “Mama, Mama, what are...

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Naomi Wolf, a Jew Who Has Seen Jesus?
February 23, 2006
Author: Susan Perlman

Naomi Wolf, author of the best-seller, The Beauty Myth, and one of the leading feminist writers in the U.S., was interviewed in Scotland’s Sunday Herald last month and recounted her experience of having a vision of Jesus in holographic form. She said, I actually...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Wise Tailor
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The pogroms in the province were occurring with more frequency, and a friendly gentile let the villagers know that Vaysechvoos was on the list for one of these destructive demonstrations.” “What did we do to deserve such a thing?” cried Zlata the...

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Resolutions That Guard Your Heart
Author: Susan Perlman

We don’t always know how the resolutions we make may one day guard our hearts—or even our bodies—as I discovered at the Israel in the Garden” celebration in San Francisco. It is amazing how many ways people can make their displeasure known when you are...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The New Covenant
Author: Susan Perlman

It was the day before Shabbos in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos and somehow, the ordinary hustle and bustle of preparation for the day of rest had been replaced with a hushed sense of anticipation. Children played quietly. Shopkeepers and patrons agreed on prices...

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Sticks and Stones…
July 7, 2005
Author: Susan Perlman

Our Australia branch was vandalized last week with windows being smashed in the middle of the night. This is the third time in three months. It’s not easy being a Jew for Jesus, but then, who promised easy? Some have said, it goes with the territory”, but...

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Jewish Humor in Not-so-Funny Times
Author: Susan Perlman

A look at the significance of Jewish laughter.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: A Match for the Milkman
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Beryl the Milkman imagined he was the most unfortunate man in all of Vaysechvoos. Certainly,” he concluded, “I’m the loneliest.” And the townspeople agreed. Skinny as a beanpole, Beryl was shy and withdrawn. He was an orphan, and the only...

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What Is Peace?
Author: Susan Perlman

Everyone is for peace. No one is against it. Yet, how do we assess whether or not peace is possible in our day? Perhaps we can begin by asking ourselves, What is that very elusive quality we call peace?” To terrorists or tyrants, getting peace means eliminating...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: For Women Only
Topics: vaysechvoos, siddur
Author: Susan Perlman

The ladies of Vaysechvoos, like women in the shtetlach throughout the Czar’s land, had little education. They were, of course, taught those things necessary to make a home for their families: clothes-making, cooking, cleaning and so on. They were taught to obey...

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Passion Update
March 1, 2004
Author: Susan Perlman

We’ve had so many opportunities to talk to Jewish people about Jesus as a result of Mel Gibson’s controversial film. A few of us got to see the pre-screening of The Passion” at the National Religious Broadcasters convention. Among those in the...

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Guilty or Not Guilty?: The Passion, Collective Guilt and Choice
Author: Susan Perlman

Mel Gibson’s film, the Passion of Christ” provides a contemporary context for the age old question: “Who is responsible for Jesus’ death?””

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Legacy
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Even though the shtetl of Vaysechvoos was little, it was not without a reputation. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the little shtetl had garnered quite the lack of a reputation. It wasn’t that people had never heard of Vaysechvoos. In fact, it...

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Joy at Sukkot
Author: Susan Perlman

Elusive joy For those who wait And know not what they wait for A promise, a path, a person? Unfulfilled joy For those who dream And know not what to dream for Success, satisfaction, a savior savior? Unbridled joy For those who submit And know to whom they humbly...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Moving Sukkah
Author: Susan Perlman

This can’t really be happening, can it? “I don’t understand!” “Is this a joke? How can this be, it’s crazy, I tell you!” The people of Vaysechvoos had seen some strange things before, but this, this could definitely be called...

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I Remember
Author: Susan Perlman

Birth I remember sitting on daddy’s lap my pretty one” he used to say “give daddy a nice big kiss” I’d smile, put my chubby arms around his neck real tight then plant a big messy kiss on his rough cheek I remember the first day of school,...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Magic Suspenders
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Mama, look!! That man is wearing magic suspenders!” “Shah! You know it is forbidden to think such things! We’ll hear nothing of magic or sorcery, Leybush, or you’ll have to answer to your father.” “But Mama,” Leybush...

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Statistically Speaking: What’s New in Jewish Community Demographics
Author: Susan Perlman

It’s been said that, Statistics are like witnesses—they will testify for either side.” Of course, if one conducts a statistical study with a pre-conceived conclusion, that adage is appropriate. However, statistics, properly gathered and interpreted, can be...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Twin Sons
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

As far as most people in Vaysechvoos were concerned, Reuven Meyerov had every reason to be happy. To begin with, he was handsome, so handsome that the shidduch, for him was Golda the matchmaker’s dream. After all, what young woman in the village would have...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: When Bad Things Happen
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos, a young man was hurrying home to prepare for Rosh Hashanah when he was accosted by two hooligans, beaten and robbed and left in the alley he had used for a shortcut. He was angry with the forces that ordained that life should be...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Contest
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was spring in Vaysechvoos, but you wouldn’t know it from the bleak expressions on the faces of the townspeople. Rumor had it that a pogrom had taken place at a shtetl not too far away and that the Cossacks might be heading in the direction of Vaysechvoos....

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Chaya the Kind
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Nobody in Vaysechvoos could remember why they thought Chaya was crazy; they just did. Perhaps it was because she rarely left her house—the only time anyone ever saw her was at shul or on an occasional walk alone—or because she hardly ever said a word to anybody, or...

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Thank God It Doesn’t Depend on Us
November 1, 2001
Author: Susan Perlman

It all began with an e-mail message from Karen, who wanted me to pray for a Jewish woman in her town. The woman, whom I will just call Lois,” was in the terminal stage of cancer. Karen’s pastor and his wife were already involved with Lois and her family;...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Blind Painter
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The citizens of Vaysechvoos were not known for their artistic achievements. But then, among our Jewish people, the precept against the making of images didn’t exactly encourage masterpiece painters. Besides, there was not really anything to see around the shtetl...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Doctor
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The rumors raced around Vaysechvoos like field mice. Could it be? A doctor was making a visit to the little shtetl! Nobody paid more attention to this rumor than Shosha, the wife of Mendel the Tanner. For weeks, their son Avram had lain in bed, suffering from what...

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The BYG Pic
May 1, 2001
Author: Susan Perlman

When it comes to effective witnessing, no tool can replace a trained, compassionate missionary meeting face to face with a Jewish seeker. And if Behold Your God is successful, our missionaries will be busier than ever, opening up the word of God with Jewish people who...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Beryl the Pious
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Interested to know something about the beginnings of the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos? It all began with a new czar who decided that Jews could no longer be allowed to live in cities. These foreigners corrupt our citizens, disrespect our religion and cause disorder!...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Jewish Cossack
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Motke was not a very good Jew. It was not that he followed any other religion. No, Motke was altogether irreligious. His kishkes may have been Jewish, but somehow the rest of him never quite caught on. As soon as he was old enough to care for himself, he wandered away...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Gaon of Vilna
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

All were astir; the Gaon of Vilna was coming to Vaysechvoos! He would be staying in their modest village for one night on his way to Minsk. Who could have imagined that such a prince among Jews would want to visit this muddy little place?” marveled Lazar the...

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Four Startling Facts About the Identity of the Messiah
Author: Susan Perlman

The Jewish prophets gave some very specific information about the Messiah not often discussed in synagogue.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Yoshka the Goy
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Vaysechvoos didn’t have a tavern and it is doubtful that people would have frequented one if it did. Instead, when the days grew short and they had eaten their evening meal, the men of the village would amble over to the old synagogue and occupy one of several...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Shaol the Baghdadi
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Shaoul the Baghdadi arrived in Vaysechvoos on erev Shabbos and everyone took note. Perhaps it was his clothing–the white robe with the corded waistband and black overcoat that fell at his ankles. Or it could have been the high fez cap on his head. Then again his...

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Call Me
Topics: poetry
Author: Susan Perlman

Call me, he whispers. I’m in the book. But he isnt. Its just a line. Call me, she insists. I want to hear from you. But she doesnt. Shes changed her mind. Life can be cruel. Filled with empty words and half hearted promises. Or can one hope for more? Call me, another voice invites. Im waiting. Ive been waiting all your life. Im in the book. Really. And you will seek Me and find me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29 13

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Yossele the Miracle-Worker
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Everyone in Vaysechvoos said that they remembered Yossele. Most didn’t. Nevertheless, Yossele had lived in Vaysechvoos for a time, so each villager could claim an opinion, if not an acquaintance with this rabbi who was called a miracle-worker. Whereas nobody...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Simon the Atheist
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was somewhat out of the ordinary–a distinction that the shtetl of Vaysechvoos would have preferred to do without–but it was true nonetheless. Vaysechvoos had a resident atheist. Actually, Simon the Atheist didn’t live in Vaysechvoos proper; his...

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The Task
Topics: poetry
Author: Susan Perlman

Stumbling and staggering beneath the load The weight and bulk of sacks of grain More than one can bear The slave plods along the path determined To complete the task The ballerina leaps and reaches above the night Grace and playfulness in her dance Spirit free like a...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Natan the Apprentice
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

No one in Vaysechvoos questioned the saying, Many daughters, many blessings and many worries.” After all, the worry of finding suitable husbands was quite an ordeal. But to have too many sons was actually considered a curse. For only one son could go into the...

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Gospel Ads
December 1, 1998
Topics: poetry
Author: Susan Perlman

If there is one time of year when the hearts of Jewish people seem to be softened to spiritual things, it’s during Advent. Perhaps it has to do with the positive message” specials on television, the carols on the radio or the plethora of Christmas theme...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Mendel and the Messiah
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

When it came to a knowledge of gematria, no one in Vaysechvoos was as skilled as Mendel the Merchant. His father, Yossel had taught him from early childhood how important it was to have an understanding of the numerical value of the alef bais. Reb Yossel explained to...

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The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother
Author: Susan Perlman

Book Title: The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother Author: James McBride Date Published: February 7, 2006 Publisher: Riverhead Books Genre: 1. Parent & Adult Child2. Discrimination & Racism3. Race Relations ISBN: 978-1594481925...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The New Covenant
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was the day before Shabbos in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos and somehow, the ordinary hustle and bustle of preparation for the day of rest had been replaced with a hushed sense of anticipation. Children played quietly. Shopkeepers and patrons agreed on prices...

Continue Reading 2 min
In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The New Magistrate
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Everyone in Vaysechvoos was talking about it. After all, who would have expected Misha the Magistrate to go be with his Maker so soon? Yet, one cannot know all the reasons for the strange turns of fate. Why would Misha’s horse throw him down on the road leading...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Great Sage
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Vaysechvoos was buzzing with activity as Hanukkah approached. Every yom tov brought its share of extra chores that everyone complained about but nobody really minded–but this year there was preparation on top of preparation, and the villagers were so excited...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Chaika the Wise
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

There were many theories about the demise of Chaika that were bantered about in Vaysechvoos. Chaika the Wise was very old. How old, no one knew. But there was no one living who could remember her as a young person, even those who were now in their eighties and...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Guardian Angel
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Everyone in Vaysechvoos knew Malkah. It seemed that she was everywhere, all the time. There was never a wedding, a bar mitzvah, a funeral, a yom tov–any event that was celebrated–which Malkah failed to attend. If you looked at her, you would notice nothing...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Kleiner Moishe
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was said of Kleiner Moishe by the people of Vaysechvoos that he had eighty-year-old eyes in a six-year-old face. It was not that his eyes were surrounded by wrinkles or rheumy or clouded–not at all. Actually, his eyes were very large on his small face and...

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Is There Hope for Peace?
Author: Susan Perlman

A biblical view of peace and how to attain it.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Feivel’s Sons
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It all started with the yerushah that Heshie and Mendel received from their father, Feivel the Tanner. While Feivel was not a man of great wealth, he did have three precious jewels–rubies–given to him by his father, and they were to be his gift to his two...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Eliezer the Treacherous
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Eliezer ben Mordecai was the way that he introduced himself at the erev Shabbos service. All of the men of Vaysechvoos were delighted when any visitor came to their synagogue or, for that matter, to the town. After all, many people living in the same district only a...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Pavel the Shabbos Goy
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Chaike, the matchmaker of Vaysechvoos, exclaimed, What a shidduch I could make if he only were one of us.” By “one of us” she meant Jewish. And the person she was talking about who would make such a good match, if he were only Jewish, was Pavel....

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Dry Milk Cows
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Vaysechvoos had its good times and its bad times. It was not a prosperous town but neither was it poor. Most people accepted their fate. They knew that each would have his or her share of simcha and sorrow. And now was one of those seasons of sorrow. The clouds had...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Malka the Choileh
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In Vaysechvoos, it was not unusual for babies to be born dead or die shortly after birth. More didn’t survive their first year, and those who continued into childhood were always fraught with all kinds of illness and subject to accidents. If there weren’t...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Three Dried Peas
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Nahum was not from Vaysechvoos, but he never missed a market day there. This was no small feat because market day was held every third Thursday if it didn’t rain or it didn’t snow, or if there wasn’t a Jewish holiday. Villagers brought their produce...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Gitl the Artist
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Gitl pushed a renegade lock of auburn hair away from her face. She disliked her hair because she felt it set her apart from the other shtetl girls. She didn’t realize that it wouldn’t have made much difference if she’d had glossy black curls instead...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: We Don’t Really Know
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was Erev Yom Kippur in Vaysechvoos and Duvid, son of Chayim-Meyer the bookbinder, was excited. And why shouldn’t he be excited? For the first time in his young life, he would be allowed to daven with his father in the front of the synagogue. No more sitting...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Revolutionary Book
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Berel the Bal Agoloh came back from one of his many trips, and as soon as he got his horses unhitched, fed and in their stalls, he hurried into the house to lay down those things that a Bal Agoloh takes with him on a journey. These included his leather purse, thongs,...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Leah’s Dreams
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Leah, the wife of Mendel and eldest daughter of the Sage, was known in Vaysechvoos as a very pious and wise woman. She was also a seer. She did not inherit her wisdom from her parents nor her foretelling abilities from any book. When Leah had a dream, it meant...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Malkah Moscovitz Matzek
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

No one in Vaysechvoos dreamed that Binkeleh Bubkes, ex-schnorrer turned philanthropist, would ever take a wife. Certainly the sizable fortune he inherited from his brother, Finkel, made him to be quite a catch, as Golda the Matchmaker continually pointed out. But Reb...

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When Jews Were Proselytizers
Author: Susan Perlman

Why most Jewish people no longer seek to convert non-Jews.

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Real Jews
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Nothing in Vaysechvoos goes wrong just a little. If it’s worth a kvetch, it’s worth a moan. If it starts out as a bit of tsuris, it’ll become a disaster. The town meeting was to discuss preparations for the annual visit of the learned scholar, Ezra...

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Israel and Yeshua
March 1, 1995
Author: Susan Perlman

Book Title: Israel and Yeshua Author: Torleif Elgvin Date Published: 1993 Publisher: Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies Reviewer: Susan Perlman Review Date: March 1, 1995 For one brilliant nineteenth-century Jewish rationalist and disciple of Moses...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Mendel the Shtimmer
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

There wasn’t much pride among the people of Vaysechvoos. If they were proud of anything, it was that every man could read Hebrew, every woman could at least read Yiddish and each child could recite the alef bais (alphabet) by the age of five. Most villagers...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Azazel
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The winter was not unusually harsh in Vaysechvoos, yet somehow it was oppressive this particular year. In Plotznik, barely 30 kilometers away, if it was not snowing or raining, the sun would shine. But in Vaysechvoos, every day was overcast. It seemed like all the...

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His Coming Changed The World
October 1, 1994
Author: Susan Perlman

Yeshua made a profound impact on this world. Libraries are filled with books written about Him. Gifted composers were inspired to write music about Him. Works such as Handel’s Messiah and other great masterpieces have been performed and heard by millions. Great...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Rabbi Ezra ben Nahum
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In other Jewish villages, they probably talked a lot about buying and selling and doing business. Since there weren’t any shops in Vaysechvoos, there wasn’t much buying or much selling to talk about. They didn’t even have a weekly market day. But, in...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Kozmirians
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Reb Meyer sighed. All day long he had been dreading the annual visit from the people of Kozmir. They came, this sober delegation from Kozmir; they came in fancy clothes with horses and carriages, for they were much wealthier than the people of Vaysechvoos. They camped...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Four Different Questions
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was Spring and all of Vaysechvoos was preparing for the holidays. The women were busy cleaning their homes, making sure that there was no chometz. The everyday dishes, silverware, pots and pans were carefully packed away and stored in cupboards fastened with cords,...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Nightmare
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

No! No! It could not be, could never be, we can’t allow ourselves to think it true!” “Lebye, wake up! Wake up, it is only a dream.” That is the way Sarah Gitl the wife of the Sage roused her husband. In all their 49 years of blessed marriage...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Infant
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was winter and Shmuel the Cobbler had left Vaysechvoos to make the long journey to Warsaw. He knew the dangers of traveling at that time of year on unfenced roads. However, no one, not even the wisest man in all of Vaysechvoos, the Sage, could have anticipated the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Tante Peshke’s Soup
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Such good news–Reb Shlomo’s Tante Peshke from Bialok was coming to visit! Shlomo the carpenter and his lovely wife Malke waited outside the shul in Vaysechvoos for the carriage to arrive. The crumpled letter from Tante Peshke, Shlomo’s only wealthy...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Mule
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Hammel the bookseller had a problem! It was not a big problem, compared to the lot of his older brother Shloyme, whose three unmarried daughters were, you should pardon the expression, as ugly as freshly plucked chickens. No, Hammel’s problem was a small one,...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: A Vote for God
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

One day in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos a stranger arrived at the rabbi’s doorstep one day anxious to ask him a question. Oh Great Rabbi, there are those philosophers beyond the river who say there is no God, so I’ve come from afar to ask you, do we...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Short Straw
Topics: vaysechvoos, purim
Author: Susan Perlman

Vaysechvoos is not the kind of place that would have a theater. And though theaters existed somewhere else in the world, it was doubtful that many people in Vaysechvoos had ever heard of them. But plays they knew about. At least one drama was presented each year,...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Moon, the Stars, and the Messiah
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Reb Yaakov was known as the Schlimazel of Vaysechvoos. Misfortune seemed to follow him everywhere he traveled. Why, as the Sukkot Holiday approached, he was unable even to build his sukkah without pounding his thumb instead of the nails. It seemed like everything he...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Feud
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It all started out as friendly banter between Shimmon the Butcher and Mendel the Dyer. They would go back and forth, trying to outdo each other in shelting. But as the barbs became more pointed, they began to hurt each other. What had started in friendly rivalry now...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Lightning Bolt
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The sage in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos tells many stories. But none seems to fascinate or perplex the people more than the tale he tells about Rabbi Josiah Ben Farfel: Rabbi Josiah, a gaon and a revered scholar descended from 42 distinguished rabbis, was never...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Leah’s Question
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Leah was, in a way, like the other women of Vaysechvoos. She cooked the same food, wore the same home-sewn clothes from the bolts of material bought from the peddler of Vilna, and she sang the same Sabbath prayers. She enjoyed the gossip that travelers would bring...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: It’s Not My Fault
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Maybe it wasn’t such a nice thing to do, but behind her back the other children called her Innocent Ruchele.” Actually, Ruchele was not so innocent. She was probably not much better nor any worse than the other children of Vaysechvoos. Yet she already had...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Junk Dealer
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Motl the Junk Dealer had first visited Vaysechvoos many years ago. He had come from Lodz in a broken-down cart led by a broken-down horse. Beside him on the cart was a sackful of worthless items that the enterprising Motl had peddled to each of the shopkeepers in...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Perchik the Curious
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Children are as full of questions as a dish of shmaltz herring is full of eggs and, in this, Perchik was no different. From his mouth, the questions wouldn’t stop coming! And such questions–they were well beyond the abilities of an ordinary eight-year-old...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Mystery of the Stars
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was evening in Vaysechvoos. Young Perchik stared and stared at the sky. The vastness of the black and white speckled blanket which stretched beyond his home was more than even his eleven-year-old imagination could comprehend. Mama, Mama, I have an important...

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Hell, Let’s Face It…!
Topics: afterlife, hell, heaven
Author: Susan Perlman

Former New York Yankees manager Joe McCarthy had a dream in which he was in heaven and had assembled before him a baseball team of old time greats—Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, et al. He was ecstatic! Then the phone rang and it was Satan calling to challenge the heavenly...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Malke’s Dream
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Malke knew better than anyone else in Vaysechvoos how to dream. It was one of the discoveries that never failed to surprise and delight Yonkel. Perhaps that is why, after twenty years of living as man and wife, Yonkel still referred to Malke as his bride.”...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Four Extra Questions
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Pesach was approaching and no one in Vaysechvoos was as excited as the Rabinovitch girls. Perhaps it was the multi-colored blanket of flowers that delighted them so. Maybe it was the promise of new clothing and shoes for each of the daughters of Avram and Malkah...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Three Strangers
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Everybody in Vaysechvoos noticed them–the three who showed up just before market time on Friday. And if perchance someone didn’t show up at the platz where market was done, they received the word about the strangest travelers to ever arrive in Vaysechvoos....

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A Quiet Ministry
January 1, 1991
Author: Susan Perlman

ISSUES is an eight- to twelve page high-quality journal that we send to Jewish people who do not yet know our Messiah. It uses artwork, poetry, literature, essays, book reviews and testimonies written in Jewish style to explain that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Savior for...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Stranger’s Scroll
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In Vaysechvoos, simchas didn’t happen every day. There were too few weddings and too many funerals. Yet the townspeople found ways to make up for this by celebrations. One such occasion was approaching quickly, the bar mitzvah of Nahum. This would certainly be a...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Pyoter’s Lunch
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Pyoter wasn’t very smart, even for a gentile. That is what the Jews of Vaysechvoos said. The goyim who lived 10 kilometers east of the village said worse about the boy. Even their Galach called Pyoter an idiot, dumbhead, stupid ox. However he didn’t play...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Mazel the Dog
Author: Susan Perlman

Reb Heshl shook his head and muttered, Shver Mazel.” Mazel was the family dog, so named in the hope that he would bring Reb Heshl’s family some luck. The dog wasn’t really so bad, but he had an annoying habit of burying things in Reb Heshl’s...

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Whose Earth Are We Ruining?
Author: Susan Perlman

“Blessed art thou O Lord our God, King of the universe, who formest light and createst darkness, who makest peace and createst all things; Who in mercy givest light to the earth and to them that dwell thereon, and in thy goodness renewest the creation every day...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Milkman
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Shimmon the Milkman was one of the beloved residents of the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos. He always had a smile, a word of comfort, a kind and pleasant countenance, so that when he delivered the milk of his cows to the villagers, it was more than a mere business...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Friends
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Rebecca and Miriam were the closest of friends from the time they were little girls. In fact, they were like sisters. The close bond was not even challenged when Rebecca married Mordkhe, son of Yitzak the Baker. Said Miriam to Rebecca, Though we are not related by...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Storyteller
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Every shtetl has a storyteller and the one for Vaysechvoos was Simeon. If the tales he wove would be tapestries, they would be made with the yarn of a well-combed imagination and fit to hang in the palace of the Czar. But words cannot hang from walls and Simeon had...

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The Light of Two Faiths
Author: Susan Perlman

“The purpose of the celebration of Hanukkah is to welcome the Messiah. Peace is the Messiah. We light candles of peace to renew our faith in the ultimate triumph of peace over war. And we rededicate ourselves and our efforts to bringing this about.”1  ...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Strange Things
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Mysterious things always seemed to be happening in Vaysechvoos: a cow might stop giving milk or a bird might plummet from the sky for no apparent reason. Can you imagine, a seemingly healthy bird dropping dead in front of you. Stranger things yet were known to have...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Stranger
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The stranger walked with the limp of Malkah the Widow and he saw the world through the clouded eyes of Nahum, whose cataracts had kept him from seeing much of anything these past twelve years. The stranger had a scar on his arm where Yitzhak had been slashed by a...

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If you want life, expect pain
Author: Susan Perlman

A person sensitized by suffering might well ask the question, If God exists and he is loving, why does everything hurt so much?” There are no easy answers that we can give because the “so much” is something that only he or she can know. Nobody can...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Hungarian Peddler
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The people of Vaysechvoos could not be called ignorant; after all, the men studied the Law, Mishnah and Gemara for hours on end. Some could even quote rabbis who had lived in distant times and far away places. Yet the word simple” seemed to fit the people of...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Kid
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Gedalia was only a kid. He wasn’t a kid in the common sense of the word, meaning child” or “offspring.” On the other hand, I suppose one could say that Gedalia was the child of Malka the nanny goat, who provided milk for the largest family in...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Blessed Scarf
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was a little too big for a babushka and a little too small for a waist sash. The dark brown, ancient pattern against the lighter background seemed like something the Turks might have designed. The repeated lines and angular letters looked, at first glance, like the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Magic Suspenders
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Mama, look!! That man is wearing magic suspenders!” “Shah! You know it is forbidden to think such things! We’ll hear nothing of magic or sorcery, Leybush, or you’ll have to answer to your father.” Leah, the tailor’s wife, shifted...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Holy Orator
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The great, great, great grandson of the famous Maggid of Dubnow, Baruch, was making a trip to Vaysechvoos. It was said of this holy orator that what he had to say was so wise, so brilliant, that even the gentiles came to hear him and quoted him in their books. Why he...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Gentile who Saved the Shtetl
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Gittel, everyone in Vaysechvoos agreed, was a true beauty. Besides this she was bright, vivacious and as innocent as freshly fallen snow. Why, one glance from her deep, smiling brown eyes was enough to melt the heart of any yeshiva bocher. But that was not to be. One...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The People of Nishtfetroggen
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

There was a little town just a half day’s journey from Vaysechvoos that was called Nishtfetroggen. One would think that the people of Vaysechvoos would have a lot in common with another village of Jews that was so close by, yet for as long as anyone could...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Chief Schnorrer
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Binkeleh-Bubkes was the chief schnorrer in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos. Others would come and go, but most were seasonal schnorrers;” that is, they would schnor only when business was especially bad or if ill fortune blew more than the usual amount of...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Pauper
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Pelte the Pauper was not lazy or stupid, nor did he suffer any physical ailment which would prevent him from earning a living. It was just that Pelte had no luck with business. People of Vaysechvoos used to say, Ach, poor Pelte. If he could scrape together the kopeks...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Letter
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Lebye Bialok squinted at the envelope for the hundredth time since it had arrived in Vaysechvoos. He squinted till his eyes watered, but he still could not make out who had sent the mysterious letter. Indeed, the letter was a mystery, even to Lebye the Sage. The ink...

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Autumn in the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Autumn in Vaysechvoos was a very comfortable time of year. It was cool enough to wear a warm woolen scarf and an extra sweater under one’s coat. But it wasn’t so cold that one had to wear the big heavy boots and look like a Cossack to keep one’s toes...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Brilliant Young Man
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Rabbi Asa Yitzhak was the cause of much consternation in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos. Not that he was a fool, nor was he unjust in his treatment of the little congregation. No, he was known to be quite loving and compassionate–a fine young man. It was his...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Fair
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

All of Vaysechvoos was bustling with excitement. The people could hardly believe the news. From the rabbi’s door to the farthest sheep meadows the word traveled. Their own very little shtetl of Vaysechvoos had been chosen to host the annual fair! Why, it was the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Shtetl’s Daugher
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The only light in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos that night was a soft, filtered glow from stars almost hidden by a translucent fog. The dark figure placed a basket carefully at the entrance to the shul, leaned tenderly over the blanketed bundle inside and gave it a...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Farmer
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Not far from the outskirts of Vaysechvoos, surrounded by fields, lived the well-to-do farmer Menachem. At least, that’s what his parents had named him. To the rest of the shtetl he was known as Menachem the Miser. Menachem had done very well for himself, renting...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Bookbinder
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Reb Nahum, the bookbinder, was enraged. Master of the Universe!” he cried as he stormed through the forest. “Is it right that Your people should suffer so? Is it?!” The only answer was the sound of Reb Nahum’s pacing footsteps crackling the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Peddler
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The ladies of Vaysechvoos, like women in the shtetlach throughout the Czar’s land, had little education. They were, of course, taught those things necessary to make a home for their husbands: clothes making, cooking, cleaning and so on. They were taught to obey...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Wise Tailor
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The pogroms in the province were occurring with more frequency, and a friendly gentile let the villagers know that Vaysechvoos was on the list for one of these destructive demonstrations.” “What did we do to deserve such a thing?” cried Zlata the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

It was Erev Yom Kippur in Vaysechvoos and Duvid, son of Chayim-Meyer the bookbinder, was excited. And why shouldn’t he be excited? For the first time in his young life, he would be allowed to daven with his father in the front of the synagogue. No more sitting...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Rabbi’s Son
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Shavuos was approaching, and the people of Vaysechvoos were making preparations. The young girls were out in the fields, gathering plants with bright green leaves and selecting gaily colored flowers to adorn their parents’ homes for the harvest holiday. Shlomo...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Fiddler
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Karpl the Fiddler was a very pious Jew. He would play only at poor weddings and took no pay. He made a modest living as a dyer. Purim was the happiest day for him. He would take his fiddle in hand and go from house to house regaling his friends. Everywhere he went...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Newborn
Author: Susan Perlman

Yasef Nisan Abramovitch was the happiest man in Vaysechvoos. And why shouldn’t he be overflowing with joy? His young bride, Shifra, was about to give birth to their first child. Yasef was an old” man of twenty-four when he married the sweet, red-haired...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The New Rabbi
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Something was happening in Vaysechvoos. The butcher was whispering about it to the baker. The baker was whispering about it to the egg man. And the egg man’s wife, Chava, was beside herself with excitement. A new rabbi! A young widower was coming to Vaysechvoos!...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Wealthy Tanner
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Zeidel, son of Peretz, had every, reason to be a happy man. And why shouldn’t he be happy? Zeidel was the wealthiest man in the district. He was a tanner by trade. His great-grandfather had discovered a secret that made leather softer and more durable. Soon,...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Draft
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The shrieks from the shtetl were so piercing that it seemed that they would, like lightning, flatten the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos. You see, nothing struck terror in the hearts of the people more than the news of the draft–the conscription of Jewish boys into...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: A Beautiful Woman
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

People whose experience was limited to Vaysechvoos and environs were not able to picture what it might be like in other parts of the world. For example, there was a considerable amount of discussion and debate about the nature of oranges. Some, like Nahum the Water...

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Hanukkah: Is It Really a Minor Festival?
Author: Susan Perlman

  Rock of Ages, let our song Praise Thy saving power; Thou amidst the raging foes wast our shelt’ring tower. Furious they assailed us, But shine arm availed us, And Thy word broke their sword When our own strength failed us. Maoz Tzur, Rock of Ages, is perhaps...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Hankukkah Play
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Hanukkah, the feast of dedication, was approaching and all the children of Vaysechvoos were excited. All, that is, but one. Heshie was upset. Very upset. All the children were rehearsing for the Hanukkah play that was to be presented in the synagogue. Yes, there would...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Milkman
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Beryl the Milkman imagined he was the most unfortunate man in all of Vaysechvoos. Certainly,” he concluded, “I’m the loneliest.” And the townspeople agreed with him. Skinny as a beanpole, Beryl was shy and withdrawn. He was an orphan, and the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Undertaker
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Vaysechvoos was a town without an official” undertaker, yet when the Malach Ha-Moves did visit the little shtetl, it was Yacov the Shammes who saw to it that all arrangements were made. When a person was dying, Yacov made sure that there were enough people to...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The First Seder Night
Author: Susan Perlman

A rabbi once remarked, Jews who long have drifted from the faith of their fathers…are stirred in their inmost parts when the old familiar Passover sounds chance to fall upon their ears.” For the people of Vaysechvoos, as for Jews everywhere, the first...

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The Hand of God
Topics: poetry, yom hashoah
Author: Susan Perlman

Not a Haman, a Pharoah or a Hitler a holocaust an inquisition a pogrom can prevent the hand of God from protecting His people Israel. Not the scorch of flame, drowning waters or bomb in the market a burning synagogue a bloodied sword a canister of Zyklon B can prevent...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Dyer’s Assistant
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Just off an old road through the forest not far from Vaysechvoos stood a little willow tree, and next to the willow was a shack that Yossel called home. Yossel was the Dyer’s assistant. He was an ugly little man with stooped shoulders and a scraggly beard. One...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Mendel the Bather
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Perel was one of the loveliest girls in Vaysechvoos. Everyone expected that when it came time to marry she would certainly have her pick of the eligible young men of the town. The matchmakers rubbed their hands with glee thinking of the prospect. Perel was not only...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Yakov’s Dream
Author: Susan Perlman

Everyone who lived in the little town of Vaysechvoos would agree that Yakov the shammes was a simple man, a man of few words. A widower for over twenty years, he lived in a humble one room dwelling behind the synagogue. His little room contained a bed with high wooden...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Butcher
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the shtetl of Vaysechvoos, no one had a meaner disposition, a shorter temper or a sharper tongue than Zelde, the butcher’s wife. And when she was angry, how she could curse! The mere mention of her name brought terror to the village. Outdoors, people glanced...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Junk Dealer
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The people of Vaysechvoos had a simple and childlike faith in the Almighty. Occasionally, their innocence would attract some self-seeker from a nearby town who would take advantage of them. And so it was on the day that Motl the junk dealer from the village of Lodz...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Benefactor
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the village of Vaysechvoos, a rich man was one who had a house with an upstairs. He was the man whose wife could purchase her garments from the peddlers who passed from village to village. Henekh, the wool merchant, was one of those wealthier men. He even had a...

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A Dream Shared
Author: Susan Perlman

I realized I couldn’t turn my back on all the injustices around me.” “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon him.” “I have a dream…”...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Secret of the Shabbos Lights
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Velvl Kazchkovsky lived on the outskirts of the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos with his wife, Gittl, and daughter Shandel. Unfortunately, Velvl was not blessed with any sons, yet he was content with the good and pious wife God had given him, not to mention an obedient...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Gambler
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The Klauvitch family had, for as long as many could remember, been the principal milk dispensers in the shtetl of Vaysechvoos. Menachem Klauvitch owned a nice dairy herd, and each day he would take the milk cans and go to the homes of the villagers. It was a hard life...

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I Remember
Author: Susan Perlman

Birth I remember sitting on daddy’s lap my pretty one” he used to say “give daddy a nice big kiss” I’d smile, put my chubby arms around his neck real tight then plant a big messy kiss on his rough cheek I remember the first day of school,...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Yossel’s Dream
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Malkah Moscovitz was loved and admired by all the people of Vaysechvoos. Perhaps it had to do with the shy and winsome smile that she had for everyone who crossed her path. Or, it could have been because she had a generous heart and gave of her time and sustenance to...

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The Shalom of God
Author: Susan Perlman

Peace! Peace! Peace! Everybody’s for it. Nobody is against it. But what is that very elusive quality we call peace? For it means different things to different people. To some, like Napoleon and Hitler, peace results from killing people—at least it means killing...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Village Cat
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Not many dogs live in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos. The reason is simple: after people finish eating, there is not much left over to feed a dog. On the other hand cats are plentiful in that little village, for when you have a cat, well, at the very least, it can...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Beggar
Topics: vaysechvoos, purim
Author: Susan Perlman

Every town had its beggars, and the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos was no exception. As a matter of fact, in Vaysechvoos, being a beggar was considered as respectable an occupation as any other. In a way, those who were in need felt they had permission from the Lord...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Mendel the Merchant
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

The townspeople of Vaysechvoos were all astir. Mendel the Merchant had come all the way from Kiev with all manner of merchandise to interest those who had a few kopeks with which to purchase things. Fine heavy woolens for the cold winters of Vaysechvoos were spread...

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The True Zaddik
Author: Susan Perlman

The Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism, who lived from 1700 to 1760, taught: If a Zaddik (righteous one) wishes to raise a man up from the depths of sin, he must descend to his level. To what can it be compared? To a man trying to lift up someone who has fallen into a...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Butcher
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

Shimmon Shlomovitz was the finest butcher ever to live in the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos. He took great care to have his shop supplied with the finest meats and poultry. He was fair in his prices, and the scale he used to weigh the purchases, well, if it...

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Entering The Covenant
Author: Susan Perlman

Part of being a Jewish male involves entering the covenant through circumcision on the eighth day of life. My father had three daughters and, therefore, never had the opportunity to have a bris” and say the words: “Blessed art thou O Lord, King of the...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Sage
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos, there was a bitter widow named Chaya Mara. Chaya’s lot in life was not a pleasant one. Her husband died young leaving her childless to support herself. Nevertheless, her bitterness toward everyone she met was not proper, even...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos at Passover
Author: Susan Perlman

Around Vaysechvoos, there weren’t many friendly Gentiles, but there was one. He told a Jewish friend that...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Shoemaker’s Son
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the shtetl of Vaysechvoos, Jewish boys are like Jewish boys everywhere. They start their education with a taste of honey from the pages of Chumash (pentateuch) when they are four years sole. By the time they are either, they are already studying Gemara (rabbinical...

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In The Little Shtetl Of Vaysechvoos: The Wise Stranger
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos, there lived a Gaon. Everyone called him Rabbi Ben Reuben, but he wasn’t the rabbi that the synagogue hired, nor was he the rabbi who taught the children. As he himself explained, Some are rabbis to lead congregations. Some...

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Misfortunes
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos, a Jew was hurrying home from his business to prepare for Rosh Hashanah when he was accosted by two hooligans, beaten and robbed. He was angry with the forces that ordained that life should be what it is. So he went to the rabbi of...

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The Extra Chair
September 1, 1979
Author: Susan Perlman

Martha Jacobs and I were assigned to represent Jews for Jesus at a Christian convention in New Orleans . It was our hope that many believers would come to the display we set up and take our evangelistic literature to pass onto their Jewish friends and co-workers. We...

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