Blessed Hands: Stories

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2023

A plain fac­to­ry work­er who hides her­self from life dis­cov­ers pos­si­bil­i­ties when a co-work­er invites her to a lec­ture. A hum­ble shoe­mak­er gains con­fi­dence and pride in his work after a yeshi­va stu­dent intro­duces him to the phi­los­o­phy of Spin­oza. An unhap­py house­wife has new emo­tions stirred in her by an intel­lec­tu­al board­er. An African Amer­i­can man works his entire life stand­ing, only to find him­self unable to walk in retire­ment. A Jew­ish fam­i­ly waits in sor­row and anger as their loved ones’ fates are played out on the nation­al news. Frume Halpern brings these slice of life” sto­ries to life in this col­lec­tion fea­tur­ing pro­tag­o­nists on the fringes of Amer­i­can soci­ety: Holo­caust sur­vivors, immi­grants, Jews, African Amer­i­cans, the dis­abled, the sick, and the poor.

Blessed Hands is the first ever com­plete Eng­lish-lan­guage trans­la­tion of Gebentshte hent: dert­sey­lun­gen, along with the orig­i­nal fore­word by Isaac Elchanan Ronch and an after­word by the trans­la­tor. This col­lec­tion con­tains short sto­ries were that were pub­lished over sev­er­al decades in the news­pa­per Morgn fray­hayt [Morn­ing Free­dom] and oth­er Yid­dish-lan­guage publications.

Discussion Questions