Ukraine is rich in great Jewish writers, thinkers and philosophers. One of the most famous of them is Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, who at the age of 15 adopted the pen name Sholom (Sholem) Aleichem. This pen name is translated as “Peace be upon you” and fully reflects the key idea of his legacy.
Sholom Aleichem wrote about the goodness and the world, through the prism of inimitable humor, nontrivial scenes and complex fates. He sought to teach the reader to love the Jewish people and to appreciate the treasures of their spirit.
Sholom Aleichem was one of the first to show the Jewish life as a “Jewish comedy”, and not the tragedy of dispersion, about which most of his predecessors and contemporaries wrote. One wants more to laugh than cry over his stories, even the most tragic ones. And here is their greatest value.
He himself finished his novels like this: “At this, the writer says goodbye to you, laughing kind-heartedly, and wishes you that both Jews and all the people on earth would laugh more than they cry. Laughing is helpful. Doctors advise to laugh…” It is 162th anniversary since his birth these days. And we still laugh and cry while reading Sholom Aleichem, and we will do this for many more years.
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