It was a miracle my father wasn’t beaten up by his peasant customers, since after any heavy rain, the boots could fall apart.
Jewish gangsters had their own folklore, songs and distinct Yiddish slang.
it’s hard to imagine our ancestors extolling the “raw simplicity” of shtetl life — or forking over $65 for a hoodie.
Because smoking is permitted on the holiday but lighting them isn’t, Jews would offer their lit cigarettes to Jewish passers-by.
I always found the shtetl foods — chicken necks and smoked fish — disgusting. Until now.
“Shtetl Love Song” belongs to the genre of homespun shtetl literature, which began with Mendele Mocher Sforim’s autobiography, “Shloyme Ben Khayems.”
Ljova and the Kontraband performed a beautiful Yiddish song from western Ukraine in an NPR “Tiny Desk Concert.”
At first glance, this drab town 160 miles south of Kiev seems nearly identical to the settlements that dot the poverty-stricken district of Vinnitsa. Shrouded in a seemingly permanent cloud of smoke from wood fires Bershad, population 13,000, features two rickety bridges over the Dokhna River.
The Jews of Uchanie, my father’s shtetl in Lublin province, used to say about the Jews of Wojslawice just down the road, that they were meshumodim. Turncoats. What worse epithet could you hurl at a fellow Jew?
As Jews, we must speak out. We are no strangers to the life-saving benefits of immigration no less than we are strangers to the reality of what happens when immigration is no longer an option.