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Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem Quotes

Sholem AleichemSolomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem  (March 2 1859 – May 13, 1916), was a leading Yiddish author and playwright from Ukraine. The musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on his stories about Tevye the Dairyman, was the first commercially successful English-language stage production about Jewish life in Eastern Europe.Sholem Aleichem’s first venture into writing was an alphabetic glossary of the epithets used by his stepmother. At the age of fifteen, inspired by Robinson Crusoe, he composed a Jewish version of the novel. He adopted the pseudonym Sholem Aleichem, a Yiddish variant of the Hebrew expression shalom aleichem, meaning “peace be with you” and typically used as a greeting.

1. LIFE IS A DREAM FOR THE WISE, A GAME FOR THE FOOL, A COMEDY FOR THE RICH, A TRAGEDY FOR THE POOR.

2. A BACHELOR IS A MAN WHO COMES TO WORK EACH MORNING FROM A DIFFERENT DIRECTION.

3. WHEN YOU DIE, OTHERS WHO THINK THEY KNOW YOU, WILL CONCOCT THINGS ABOUT YOU… BETTER PICK UP A PEN AND WRITE IT YOURSELF, FOR YOU KNOW YOURSELF BEST.

4. IT IS AN OLD CUSTOM AMONGST JEWISH CHILDREN, TO BECOME WAR-LIKE ON THE ‘L’AG BEOMER.’ THEY ARM THEMSELVES FROM HEAD TO FOOT WITH WOODEN SWORDS, POP-GUNS AND BOWS AND ARROWS. THEY TAKE FOOD WITH THEM, AND GO OFF TO WAGE WAR.

5. THE RICH SWELL UP WITH PRIDE, THE POOR FROM HUNGER.

6. GOSSIP IS NATURE’S TELEPHONE.

7. AH, HOW MANY LUXURIES HAS THE GOOD GOD PREPARED FOR HIS JEWISH CHILDREN.

8. THEY SAY THAT CHILDREN BECOME MEN, AND MEN BECOME CHILDREN. MANY GENERATIONS HAVE GROWN UP, BECOME MEN, AND GONE HENCE.

9. YOU CAN TAKE A JEW OUT OF A SHTETL, BUT YOU CANNOT TAKE A SHTETL OUT OF A JEW.

10. REMEMBER, YOU MUST NOT SLEEP AT THE SEDER. IF YOU DO, ELIJAH THE PROPHET WILL COME WITH A BAG ON HIS SHOULDERS. ON THE TWO FIRST NIGHTS OF PASSOVER, ELIJAH THE PROPHET GOES ABOUT LOOKING FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP AT THE SEDER, AND TAKES THEM AWAY IN HIS BAG.

11. A CANTOR, WHEN HE STARTS SINGING, IT’S LIKE RAIN – ONCE IT STARTS, IT’S HARD TO STOP.

12. NO ONE KNOWS WHOM THE SHOE PINCHES – NO ONE.

13. A REAL PLEASURE IS A PLEASURE THAT ONE ENJOYS BY ONE’S SELF, WITHOUT A COMPANION, AND WITHOUT A SINGLE ARGUMENT.

14. TO GO TO THE SYNAGOGUE WITH ONE’S FATHER ON THE PASSOVER EVE – IS THERE IN THE WORLD A GREATER PLEASURE THAN THAT? WHAT IS IT WORTH TO BE DRESSED IN NEW CLOTHES FROM HEAD TO FOOT, AND TO SHOW OFF BEFORE ONE’S FRIENDS? THEN THE PRAYERS THEMSELVES – THE FIRST FESTIVAL EVENING PRAYER AND BLESSING.

15. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN TAUGHT ANYTHING, AND KNOW EVERYTHING, HAVE NEVER BEEN ANYWHERE, AND UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING, HAVE NEVER GIVEN A MOMENT’S THOUGHT TO ANYTHING, AND COMPREHEND EVERYTHING. ‘BLESSED HANDS’ IS THE NAME BESTOWED ON THESE FORTUNATE BEINGS. THE WORLD ENVIES, HONOURS AND RESPECTS THEM.

16. NO MATTER HOW BAD THINGS GET YOU GOT TO GO ON LIVING, EVEN IF IT KILLS YOU.

17. PLAYING NUTS IS A GAME LIKE ANY OTHER, NEITHER BETTER THAN TOPS, NOR WORSE THAN CARDS. THE GAME IS PLAYED IN VARIOUS WAYS. THERE ARE ‘HOLES’ AND ‘BANK’ AND ‘CAPS.’ BUT EVERY GAME FINISHES UP IN THE SAME WAY. ONE BOY LOSES, ANOTHER WINS. AND, AS ALWAYS, HE WHO WINS IS A CLEVER FELLOW, A SMART FELLOW, A GOOD FELLOW.

18. ONE CANNOT LIVE ON POTATOES ALONE. IT IS SAID THAT ONE WANTS BREAD WITH POTATOES. AND WHEN THERE’S NO BREAD, A JEW TAKES HIS STICK, AND GOES THROUGH THE VILLAGE IN SEARCH OF BUSINESS.

19. WHEN HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A CANTOR OR ANY ARTIST TURNING ANYONE DOWN WHEN HE IS STRONGLY URGED TO PERFORM?

20. HERE LIES A PLAIN AND SIMPLE JEW WHO WROTE IN PLAIN AND SIMPLE PROSE.

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