One Story, One Hour: Israel Joshua Singer’s Novel “Yoshe Kalb”

Top Pick September 26, 2019 Newton Free
“Yoshe Kalb” by Israel Joshua Singer (Courtesy image)
“Yoshe Kalb” by Israel Joshua Singer (Courtesy image)

As the High Holidays approach, we begin a journey of introspection. We cleanse our souls through remorse. This year we invite you to begin the journey with the help of Israel Joshua Singer’s novel “Yoshe Kalb.” In the story, a 14-year-old spoiled Hasidic boy is married off and falls in love with his mother-in-law. Disaster ensues and withering remorse.

Published in 1932, the novel became a smashing success in both Warsaw and New York, where it was turned into a successful Broadway play. As anti-Semitism tightened its grip on the Jews in Central Europe, Jews flocked to a novel about Hasidic decadence, sin and repentance. Why? Can repentance go too far? Should remorse turn into action? Political action?

While readers loved the book, critics panned it, finding it bleak, ugly and dangerous. The intensity of its emotions are hard to match. A boy becomes a wanderer in search of a clean soul.

Join us for the discussion led by Dr. Susanne Klingenstein. All are welcome.

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Fact Sheet
Thursday, September 26, 2019, 7:45 pm - 9:15 pm
Temple Emanuel
385 Ward St
Newton, MA 02459

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