Written on: 02/12/2003 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
Beautiful as the Moon, Radiant as the Stars: Jewish Women in Yiddish Stories: An Anthology
Sandra Bark (editor)
Warner, Nov 2003, $14.95, 336 pp.
BEAUTIFUL AS THE MOON, RADIANT AS THE STARS: JEWISH WOMEN IN YIDDISH STORIES: AN ANTHOLOGY is a superb look at what it means to be a Jewish woman especially in a westernized society but also in places like Tsar Russia. Many of the stories were originally written in Yiddish and are transliterated into English so some of the idiomatic meaning may be lost, but the overall intent is captured and the prose smooth. The contributions were published in late 19th- and early 20th-century Europe, Russia, the United States and Israel with most found in 1920s and 1930s Yiddish newspapers and magazines.
Each of the short stories is well written and endearing as the topics remain strong today. Subjects like love for family, community and torah, and identity and assimilation remain powerful discussion topics even today. The commonalty besides being interesting is that all share (regardless of the authors' age, marital status, or social class) the belief that the Jewish female is key to the religion's survival. This is a superb anthology that though it provides a deep look into the early twentieth century Jewish life, the stories ring true for any person living in the information technology age.
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