By Ruth R. Wisse (ed.)
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Extra info for A Shtetl and other Yiddish novellas
And how! The cafes are full. " "Sure. Lots of strikes. " Probing steadily, Yekl was able to find out everything about his beloved Warsaw. " A SHTETL 35 But in his usual manner, Itchele the bootmaker broke up the serious talk. " So the crowd obligingly pushed its way into Motl's place, past the tin sign on which a teapot, a slice of lemon in a glass, and a teaspoon had all been painted in the same shade of yellow. Before long the street resounded with song: O, Brothers and sisters of toil and privation All ye who are scattered in every nation.
They began to spar playfully, wrestling and comparing their flexed muscles. Just then the young wives walked by on their way to the synagogue, all decked out and carrying ivory-bound prayerbooks carefully wrapped in white kerchiefs. The fellows ogled and shouted, the women blushed and lowered their eyes, scurrying past as if through fire. As the horseplay reached its height, Yekl the carpenter sauntered up, dressed, like the others, in his best jacket, his face still pale but head erect, and his black eyes fixed on the crowd like someone always ready for new developments.
Yekl scolded, and tried to restore order: there was a proclamation to be read! But no one was listening. They were enjoying the fun. Besides, they knew all about "Union" without being told. " At last Yekl gave up. "Go home, fellas, and get some sleep. " 4° YIDDISH NOVELLAS Before long the shtetl was thrown into even greater turmoil by the arrival of a second character very much like the first, but with the added distinction of a thick walking stick that he carried at all times. His stay was brief, and right after his departure some of the youths began to let their hair grow and to sport the blue shirts that were the trademark of the Jewish Labor Bund.