More Stories from My Father's Court

More Stories from My Father's Court

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0374527989

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A delightful addition to the cherished autobiographical work of the Nobel Laureate

A sequel to I. B. Singer's classic memoir In My Father's Court, these stories, published serially in the Daily Forward, depict the beth din in his father's home on Krochmalna Street in Warsaw. A unique institution, the beth din was a combined court of law, synagogue, scholarly institution, and psychologist's office where people sought out the advice and counsel of a neighborhood rabbi.

The twenty-seven stories gathered here show this world as it appeared to a young boy. From the earthy to the ethereal, these stories provide an intimate and powerful evocation of a bygone world.




















entirely different. The owner of the apartment had been arrested. I saw him coming down, a tall man with a long face and a long neck, wearing a shirt without a collar. Strangely, a pair of brand-new boots bound by a string was hanging from his shoulders. The new boots fascinated me more than the fact of his arrest. One boot dangled over his chest, the other over his back. Was he going to stay in jail for years? Did he know in advance that he would be imprisoned? And if so, why didn’t he run away?

happened?” Mother asked. “Has the Radziminer Rebbe come up with another miracle?” Father explained that the rabbi’s wife had gotten married. She had found a wealthy older man. “It can’t be!” “Mordecai the trustee himself told me.” Mother’s thin lips began to move. I knew she was about to make a pointed, stinging remark, but instead she covered her mouth with her hand. “I’d better be quiet,” she said, suppressing her desire to speak slander. At a bris, where my father was given the honor of

of terrible tricks on him. Woe, I myself was not totally innocent of this sin. I would make fun of fools. But isn’t a fool also a human being with a defect? Can a fool make himself wise? And why does an ox deserve to be slaughtered? Can an ox transform itself into a human being? The shouts and catcalls directed at Zanvele the toomtoom continued throughout Father’s entire reading of the marriage contract and the wedding ceremony, too. Even the men who had been called in to complete the minyan

wizard from Madagascar who had cast a spell on her. In the storybooks I had read I had come across many such tales. Even then I felt that the world was full of great mysteries. I don’t know how much time passed, perhaps four or five days, perhaps a week, when suddenly I heard a heavy banging on the staircase. I pricked up my ears. Mother listened attentively, too. Someone was knocking on the door. I opened and saw the lame bride. God Almighty! She had become years older. She was bent over,

sailed across the ocean at night? How could he sleep after having committed such a grievous wrong? How can one sully one’s soul in such a manner? Ah, woe, how great is the evil impulse! Later, Mother came into the courtroom and told Father the entire story. He turned pale and for a long while could not say a word. Finally, he remarked, “Well, what can one expect? That’s what happens when one does not believe in the Creator!” He turned and looked at the Holy Ark, which was always covered with a

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