Living Schlemiels – Stranger than Fiction

One of the things I have never discussed on this blog is the topic of the “living schlemiel.”  To be sure, the most well-known books on the schlemiel – Ruth Wisse’s The Schlemiel as Modern Hero and Sanford Pinsker’s The Schlemiel as Metaphor – do not address this topic.  Their concern is the schlemiel in […]

Can the Wisdom of the Fool Do Humanity Any Good?

In my last blog- – I argued that the “messianic activist,” as Scholem understood him, could be read as a “schlemiel activist.”  Both the traditional schlemiel (“the man of faith”) and the schlemiel activist are caught up in dreams.  But the difference is that the dreams of one do not affect reality while the dreams […]

Here, in America Everyday is Purim!

In Booking Passage: Exile and Homecoming in the Jewish Imagination, Sidrah Dekoven Ezrahi begins a section entitled “America is for Children” with the following claim: “Purim is for children, so is America.” This claim can be found in Ezrahi’s commentary on Sholom Aleichem’s Motl, the Cantors Son.  To be sure, her text is inspired by the […]