Rus Articles Journal

Who called himself the portrayer of ordinary life of the Jewish people? Shol - Aleykhem

my first acquaintance to works of the Jewish writer by Shol - Aleykhem happened in student`s years from viewing of the performance “Tevye Is the Milk Seller“. I cannot still understand what forced the audience to laugh and cry at the same time - Bohdan Stupka`s game as the main character or a plot of the story of the famous Jewish writer?

Shol - Aleykhem called the Jewish Mark Twain. And after their acquaintance Mark Twain named himself the American Shol - Aleykhem.

Solomon Rabinovich (his real name) spent young years in the city of Pereyaslav (nowadays Pereyaslav - Khmelnytsky, Kiev region) where he got an education in the Russian gymnasium and worked as the teacher of Russian in private houses. Nearly two years it trained in language Olga (Golde) Loyeva, the daughter of the rich landowner. Between them the love flashed, and the young couple dreamed of a wedding, but the father of the bride was categorically against marriage with the poor teacher. Lovers had to leave hard feelings, but their secret correspondence continued several years, and all of them - got married, having lived together all life and having grown up six children.

“World to you!“ - such pseudonym the beginning writer took at the beginning of the literary activity, having written the story “Jewish Robinson Crusoe“. After the first literary attempts there was a question: in what language to write - Hebrew or Yiddish? The few understood Hebrew (Hebrew language) and used only in narrow scientific circles. Yiddish was called “the Jewish slang“ or “evreysko in those days - German“: it arose in Germany in the Middle Ages and for 70% consisted of the German words. After some thoughts, Solomon began to write into Yiddish: in this language most of Jews in imperial Russia talked. The writer began to use actively this language in literature: the most part of its works is written into Yiddish. He made the first attempt to systematize color of language in youth, writing down “lexicon“ of the stepmother whose speech was similar to “verbal elements“.

After in 1885 the family came into a huge fortune from the father-in-law, they moved to Kiev. But, having the greatest talent in literature, the writer had no abilities to business at all. Affairs were not got on, stock market games brought only loss, personal money it spent for financing of editions of young authors - and very quickly from wealth remained one reminiscence. On the contrary, its popularity increased in literature.

On own means it printed also the works. Became history of the world literature “Menakhe - Mendel“, “Boy Motl“, “Tevye - a milk jug“, “Stempenya“, “Iosif“, “Godl“ and others. Words were an epigraph to its story “At a Fair“: “To what novels, if life - the novel?“ All heroes of its works are “little“ simple people with the troubles and pleasures. Many friends of the writer learned in heroes of his works of. He considered as the main task education of the simple people.

The most known work by Shol - Aleykhem - “Tevye - the milk seller“. Tevye, the father of seven daughters, got used to earn money for life a hard work. While children were small - and problems were small: to support yes to dress. But daughters grew up, and differently there were their destinies: one daughter died, the second went to Siberia on penal servitude with darling, the third became a widow/widower, the fourth adopted Christianity that under the Jewish laws was equated to death. Alarms for children and death of the wife strongly knocked down strengths of the old Jew. One more is added to all troubles: it is ordered to Jewish community to leave the settlement in which they lived. Tevye reflects on the universe, trying to understand for what his family is fated to suffer very much: “Why God created one people Jews, and others - non Jews? And if He created both those, and others, then why they have to hate each other?“

the Destiny of the literary hero who was forced to leave a home waited also for a family of the writer: chernosotenets began the Jewish riots, and in 1905 the family Rabinovichey emigrated. In the beginning they moved from place to place in Europe, but, eventually, appeared in America, having lodged in New - York. Subsequently in the works he named the favourite city of Kiev Egupts, comparing to Egypt when in bible days Jews also suffered from slavery and humiliations.

In the years of World War I, despite tuberculosis, Shol - Aleykhem continues to be engaged actively in literary and public work, acts with lectures and public readings, writes the novel “Wandering Stars“, anti-war stories and lampoons. He died in New - York after a long illness in 1916. At a funeral there were about two hundred thousand people.

In 1906 he wrote the friend: “I read … the fairy tales about Kasrilovka, Mazepovka, Berdichev and so forth, the public dies of laughing“. There is such laughter through tears. World to you!