Shalom Aleichem

(Shalom Rabinovitz)
(1859–1916)
   Yiddish writer. Shalom aleichem (‘peace be unto you’) is the standard greeting in Hebrew, usually shortened in Israel to ‘Shalom’. It was used as the pen-name for the most popular Jewish writer of all time. His tales and sketches in Yiddish depicted with humour and pathos the contemporary life of the Jews in the Russian Pale of Settlement. The world of Shalom Aleichem has vanished, though millions had a nostalgic glimpse of it in the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Born in the Ukraine, Rabinovitz took his pseudonym to disguise his identity from his father and other Maskilim, who loved Hebrew and despised Yiddish literature. He was a prolific writer of story cycles, sketches, novels, plays, critical articles, poems, children’s stories and festival tales. In 1888 he founded an annual, Di Yiddishe Folksbibliotek, with the deliberate aim of raising the standard of Yiddish literature and educating the taste of the Yiddish-reading public, who were addicted to lurid romances. However, it lasted for only two numbers.
   Throughout his life he experienced sharp reversals of financial fortune. His childhood circumstances changed from comfort to poverty when his father lost most of his money. Later, he inherited wealth from his father-in-law (who had opposed his daughter’s marriage) but lost it again and had to flee abroad to escape from his creditors. He was never able to make much money from his writing, though newspaper owners and publishers did. He made two trips to the United States hoping in vain for better luck, and it was there that he died. Thousands of New York Jews turned out for the funeral. Like Dickens, whom he greatly admired, Shalom Aleichem created a galaxy of remarkable characters, whose episodic adventures (or misadventures) appeared in instalments over a number of years. Tevye the Dairyman - poor and sorely tried yet loquacious and resilient, pious yet arguing with God - lasted for over twenty years (1894–1916). The ups-and-downs of Menachem Mendl - the ever-hopeful small speculator who never gets rich, with his common-sense and caustic wife, Sheine Shendel, picking up the pieces - were spread over a similar span. Along with them appeared what today would be called a syndicated column, featuring ‘Shalom Aleichem’ himself as a semi-invented character spouting opinions, fantasies, absurd experiences, letters and monologues. His early novels - Sender-Blank (1888), Stempenyu (1889), Yosele Solovey (1890), and others - broke away from the romantic conventions of the time and adjusted the European novel to the realities of Jewish life. In later years he returned to serialized novels, for instance, Blondzhende Shtern (1909) and the autobiographical Funem Yarid (1913–16). His two stage comedies from this period, Di Goldgreber and Dos Groyse Gevins, reflect the longing of the poor Jew to gain riches and security. Like Dickens, too, Shalom Aleichem attracted large audiences to public recitals of his works. Since his death, Shalom Aleichem’s standing as a writer has continued to grow, even in the Soviet Union, and many of his books have been translated. It is realized that under the guise of humour, he accurately reflected the hardship and tragedy of Russian-Jewish existence, together with the unbroken spirit and sheer talent for survival of his people.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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  • SHALOM ALEICHEM — (Sholem Aleykhem; narrative persona and subsequent pseudonym of Sholem Rabinovitsh (Rabinovitz); 1859–1916), Yiddish prose writer and humorist born on February 18, 1859 (old style; March 2, new style), in Pereyaslav (today: Pereyaslav… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Shalom aleichem — (or sholom aleichem) (Hebrew שלום עליכם Unicode|shālôm ʻalêḵem ; Yiddish שלום־עליכם şolem aleyxem ) is a greeting version in Hebrew, literally meaning Peace be upon you. The appropriate response is Aleichem shalom, or Upon you be peace. This form …   Wikipedia

  • Shalom aleichem — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Shalom aleichem (o sholom aleichem) (Hebreo שלום עליכם shālôm ʻalêḵem; Yiddish שלום־עליכם şolem aleyxem) es una expresión de saludo en hebreo, que significa literalmente la paz sea contigo . La respuesta apropiada es …   Wikipedia Español

  • Shalom Aleichem — (o Sholom aleichem) (Hebreo שלום עליכם shālôm ʻalêḵem; Yiddish שלום־עליכם şolem aleyxem) es una expresión de saludo en Hebreo, que significa La paz sea contigo . La respuesta apropiada es Aleichem shalom . Este saludo es común en el Medio Oriente …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Shalom Aleichem — Scholem Alejchem, Foto und Unterschrift in einem Band (Tewje der Milchiger) der New Yorker Werkausgabe Scholem Alejchem (auch: Scholem Alechem / Schalom Alechem / Shalom Aleichem / Schulem Aleichem usw. = hebräisch Friede sei mit euch,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shalom Aleichem — Cholem Aleikhem Contes de Cholem Aleikhem avec portrait de l auteur et signature Cholem Aleikhem (en yiddish et hébreu: שלום עליכם, en russe: Шолом Алейхем) nom de plume de Cholem Naumovich Rabinovich ; (1859 – 1916) est un humoriste et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • shalom aleichem — interjection see shalom alechem * * * Seph. /shah lawm ah le khem /; Ashk. /shaw leuhm ah lay khem, ah lay khem , shah lohm /, Hebrew. peace to you: a conventional Jewish greeting, the reply being aleichem shalom …   Useful english dictionary

  • shalom aleichem — Seph. /shah lawm ah le khem /; Ashk. /shaw leuhm ah lay khem, ah lay khem , shah lohm /, Hebrew. peace to you: a conventional Jewish greeting, the reply being aleichem shalom. * * * …   Universalium

  • shalom aleichem — foreign term Etymology: Hebrew shālōm ‘alēkhem peace to you used as a traditional Jewish greeting …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Shalom Aleichem — Solomon Rabinowitz, pseudonym; based on the Hebrew greeting shalom alekhem peace be with you …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

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