Sholem Aleichem: Mythologist of the Mundane
On the Jewish holidays, every adult becomes a child again. The joys of owning a precious ethrog, making a flag for Simhat Torah, gambling on Hanukkah, parading around town in a Purim costume, inviting a guest home for the seder—all these turn an ordinary day into a carnival. But by daring to dream the implausible dream, by entering the deep past with its miracles and promises, the adult-child also becomes vulnerable to disappointment and despair. This is the stuff of Sholem Aleichem’s Holiday Tales, which redefined the meaning of Jewish myth for modern times.