Sholem asch books and plays
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"He Was A Hugely Dramatic Personality": Anecdotes from Yiddish Writer Sholem Asch
Since his parents disapproved of these secular studies, he moved in with relatives in a nearby village, where he became a Torah instructor and for the first time encountered the lives of Polish peasants. Stimulated by his wide reading in European literature, Asch began writing himself, and in traveled to Warsaw where he received encouragement from Y. Peretz and his advice to work only in Yiddish. These early works reflected the poverty and deprivation the young Asch suffered in company with his Warsaw roommates, fellow writers Avrom Reyzen — and Hersh Dovid Nomberg — Peretz assisted these young men where he could, and was able to gain exemption from military service for Asch. In , he serialized in Der fraynd the first of his major works, A shtetl; its idyllic tone of sensuous vitality immediately placed him in the vanguard of new Yiddish writers.
Lewisohn deemed only one writer great enough to be included in this illustrious company: Sholem Asch. The Polish-born Asch, a prolific author of Yiddish novels, plays, and short stories, was by then getting used to such accolades. In , he had been named honorary president of the Yiddish PEN Club; two years later he celebrated his 50th birthday with fanfare at public celebrations in Warsaw and Vienna, receiving congratulatory cables from Einstein and Chaim Weizmann, then president of the World Zionist Organization. That same year, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize. By the end of the s, however, the tide turned. Rabbis inveighed against him from pulpits. Critics devoted entire books to denouncing him.
This kit provides resources to help teachers tell the story of this play, its uniquely fraught production history, and its historical significance. Lead actor Rudolph Schildkraut, a renowned performer from Austria, stands fourth from the left, in the front; the producer Harry Weinberger stands second from the right; and the playwright, Sholem Asch, is at the extreme right. Yekel owns the brothel underneath the family's home, and Sarah formerly worked as a sex-worker herself, before her marriage to Yekel. Alternately, for teachers with more time to devote to this topic, they may read the entire play, freely available in English translation on Google Books and in the original Yiddish here , digitized by the Yiddish Book Center. Then have students read the scene silently and write down their initial impressions of the characters. Then, have groups work to stage the scene, paying close attention to and foregrounding the emotions of one character assign each group a different character to focus on. Discuss: how does staging this scene alter your perception of the characters and the story?
Born in Poland in , he shot to fame in the s thanks to acclaimed productions of his early plays in Polish, German, and Russian translation. Join us for a weekend program of lectures, readings, and discussions about this remarkable body of work. Lecture 1: Becoming Sholem Asch By David Mazower From radical ex-yeshiva student to provocative dramatist, bestselling novelist, and embattled prophet, Sholem Asch carved out a unique place in Yiddish literature. Theater posters, stage stills, and a wide variety of other images will be combined with unseen photos from family albums, showing the private face of this most public figure. Many of his one-act and full-length plays are set in the shtetl as well. Registration closes October 28, but space is limited, so early registration is advised.
Frajda was Moszek's second wife; his first wife Rude Shmit died in , leaving him with either six or seven children the exact number is unknown. Sholem was the fourth of the ten children that Moszek and Frajda Malka had together . Moszek would spend all week on the road and return home every Friday in time for the Sabbath. He was known to be a very charitable man who would dispense money to the poor  . Born into a Hasidic family, Sholem Asch received a traditional Jewish education.