By Ruth R. Wisse (ed.)

ISBN-10: 0814318495

ISBN-13: 9780814318492

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Additional info for A Shtetl and other Yiddish novellas

Sample text

In the street outside they met Yekl the carpenter and surrounded him, their bruised faces suffused with joy. He too smiled wanly at the sight of the young warriors and nodded his head approvingly: there were times when a bit of terror-tactics could do no harm. That same evening the butchers joined up with the teamsters in the synagogue courtyard and swore they would break the bones of every union man they found. The shtetl was in a panic; how would it all end? But the very next time the teamsters made their regularly scheduled run to Warsaw—no one knew how it happened or who was responsible—they came back with empty wagons and faces so badly bruised they were hardly recognizable.

Suddenly, someone pounded on the table: "Friends! Let's take an oath! " "You've only had to deal with factory owners," said Itchele, jumping into the fray, waving a mug of beer in his hand, "isn't that so? But I've had different luck from the rest of you. For the whole two months that I spent working at Shmuel-Toybes I was a full partner . . " "Oh, come off it," a voice protested, preferring the earlier subject, "the leather manufacturers are in a class by themselves. Take my boss for instance.

Reb Oyzer began, drawing his hand down his face from the forehead to the tip of his beard. " replied Yekl with a shrug. "They tell me you're the leader. And they say you're no fool. Do you really think this is the right way to do things? " "It makes no difference whether you deserve it or not. This is the way it's done in Warsaw and everywhere else in the world. " "All right, so a strike is a strike. " "No, that's not what I mean . . I mean why do you have to use force? Did you know that they threatened my goyim with iron bars!

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A Shtetl and other Yiddish novellas by Ruth R. Wisse (ed.)


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