vaysechvoos

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, the carefully folded…

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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 something. She didn’t remember every…

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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 Binkel was more of a listener than a talker, a kind but shy…

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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 ben Nahum. The townspeople were all excited that this…

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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 chanted their prayers by heart, and when it came…

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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 clouds had gathered around the little shtetl to stare down…

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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 the summer and autumn a market day was conducted every other week….

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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 outside the shtetl preferring to pay to put up…

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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, so as not to be opened during the eight days of…

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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 she had never heard such a…

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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 blinding blizzard that befell the cobbler….

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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 relative, was clutched in his hand. My dearest great-nephew,” it read, “I have decided to…

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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, almost insignificant you could argue, in light of all the other…

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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 have a definite proof that the…

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Short Straw
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, though hardly in a manner elaborate enough to…

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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 did went sour. When it came to providing for his family…

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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 became filled with the acrimony of men…

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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 perplexed by questions on religion. He always had a…

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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 from other villages, and smiled at the old…

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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 the reputation that she would never, ever, but never accept…

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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 Vaysechvoos. To Eleazer the Butcher he sold…

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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 boy of Vaysechvoos to ask–so much so, that more often than not…

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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 question!” announced Perchik as he burst into the kitchen where his mother was…

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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.” “Malke keeps our marriage filled with wonder. Maybe that…

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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 Rabinovitch. But most likely it was because Pesach made…

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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. Of course, none of the villagers wanted to be too obvious as they…

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