• Madison White

A Story a Day #31: Sholom Aleichem




March 13th, 2020

"Modern Children"

Sholom Aleichem


A Russian father is worried because business is not doing well. He is going to meet with a man named Lazer-Wolf (what a name) and he thinks the meeting will be about buying his milch cow. They meet up and at first there is a miscommunication because the narrator thinks he is talking about buying his cow when he is actually talking about marrying his daughter, Tzeitl. The man is widowed and well-off and could provide her with everything she could want. At first, the narrator is against it but then eventually ends up agreeing to arrange the marriage. Later, the narrator runs into his daughter who appears very upset. She does not want to marry this man and her father says she does not have to. Soon after, a young tailor comes to visit the narrator and asks for Tzeitl's hand in marriage. While he is not as well off as the other man, he is financially sound. The father is conflicted and worried about being on Lazer-Wolf's bad side. His grandmother comes to town and says that his daughter will live a happy life with the tailor, and sure enough, they do.


Ironically, this story reminds me a lot of old musicals. There are many that revolve around women being told to marry a certain man only to fall in love with another. In fact, this story very much reminded me of Fiddler on the Roof, which after a quick Google search, is based on this series of stories.


Personally, the pacing of the story was rather slow and I didn't feel particularly invested in any of the characters. Perhaps this would have been different had I read all the stories and would've gotten to know more about them. Instead, they seem fairly one dimensional despite this being one of he longer short stories I've read.


In other news, this story marks the halfway point of this challenge. I'm very proud of myself for continuing on this journey with (almost) perfect consistency. I've definitely read some stories that I've really loved and that will last with me for a long time.

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