Re: Research Query: Source of a Yiddish Joke

Sholem Aleichem wrote an ironic allegorical story about an abject stray, "Rabtshik: a yidisher hunt" (1901). It can be found in "Mayses far yidishe kinder," Book 1, which is v.8 of the standard Folksfond edition of the complete works. An English translation by Leonard Woolf, "Rabchik, A Jewish Dog," appeared in eds. Howe and Greenberg, "Yiddish Stories Old and New" (1974), and subsequently in "Roger Caras' Treasury of Great Dog Stories" (1987).

Ronald Robboy

Re: Research Query: Source of a Yiddish Joke

A more complex description of the relationship between Jews and dogs is found in Agnon's Only Yesterday, where a dog and the Jews who abhor him are equal subjects of the book's terrifying black humor. Similarly, Avot de-Rabbi Natan 6 states that Rabbi Akiva's wealthy father-in-law, Kalba Savua, was known by that name because anyone who entered his house as hungry as a dog (kelev) would leave satisfied (savea). Here the dog is referred to contemptuously but with a positive association.

Elayne Grossbard

Re: QUERY: Film-based assignment for a history class

I teach a course entitled Hollywood and History with sections dedicated to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. I would discourage an assigmment in which you ask students to discuss accuracy. This could lead to picking apart details that are not necessarily important to the story arc. Robert Rosenstone suggests a better approach: help students understand what filmmakers must do to create a historical movie. For example, they compress, alter, create dialogue, invent characters. All of which are necessary.


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