Artistic Knowledge

Photograph of Tamar Marvin
by Tamar Marvin, PhD
posted on February 20, 2019
Motl, the Cantor’s Son, was Sholem Aleichem’s last literary creation; the unfinished two-volume collection of stories about the character begins with his shtetl boyhood and tells the story of his coming to America. It is a symbolic journey depicting the changes experienced by a generation of Eastern European Jews, and by the author himself in later life. In order to represent the break with tradition that Motl encounters in New York City, Sholem Aleichem makes him an aspiring artist, a salient detail highlighted by Dan Miron, a preeminent scholar of modern Jewish literature. Read more...

Give and Take

Headshot of Rabbi Adam Greenwald
by Rabbi Adam Greenwald
posted on February 5, 2019
I learned this story from Rabbi Ed Feinstein, the greatest of rabbinic storytellers.  Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy man whose greatest joy was to sleep in synagogue. Each Shabbat he would find a comfortable place on a pew in the back, settle in, and let the songs of thanksgiving and praise that surrounded him lull him into a deep and restful slumber.  Read more...