Zix Zexy Ztories

  • Review
By – August 6, 2013

Meet Keller, a grad­u­ate stu­dent in Jew­ish his­to­ry, who is teach­ing in a syn­a­gogue when a for­mer pro­fes­sor of Greek and rene­gade Reform rab­bi approach­es with an invi­ta­tion to a par­ty. Pro­fes­sor Wal­ter Klein­saltz is an enig­ma, a rab­bi who calls him­self an athe­ist but who fig­ures that, on the out­side chance God does exist, he wouldn’t mind the rab­bi con­duct­ing three reli­gious hol­i­day ser­vices a year. Now he wants to intro­duce the young stu­dent to Helen, and their meet­ings are charged with resis­tance and attrac­tion, all arranged in a nut-crack­ing” game…going where? 

Joseph Gins­burgh, a young archi­tect who is watch­ing a movie pre­sen­ta­tion when a young woman late­com­er cross­es the screen, cast­ing the shad­ow of half a neck­lace. The oth­er half belonged to his moth­er, who was wear­ing it when she said good­bye to him before he was shel­tered by a Dutch farmer dur­ing the Holo­caust. How will he find the woman and what is the his­to­ry of her half-possession? 

And we will be baf­fled by Shmu­lik Gafni, famous schol­ar and Yid­dish pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Israel, who is mar­ried but has a lin­guis­tic fas­ci­na­tion with a Pol­ish shikse, a fact that spreads rumors galore.

Or per­haps you might try to unrav­el the rid­dle of two com­pet­ing friends who meet a woman named Bun­ny; it’s a tale all tied up with fear of pogroms in Amer­i­ca. Imag­ine meet­ing a Yid­dish artist who dies but leaves behind some head­less spoons and vis­i­ta­tions as revenge for her non-Jew­ish lie and years of unen­durable pain. These are just a few of the Jew­ish short sto­ries reflect­ing mod­ern cul­ture, rela­tion­ships, sex, and humor told with panache and a play­ful spir­it that is absolute­ly delightful.

Deb­o­rah Schoen­e­man, is a for­mer Eng­lish teacher/​Writing Across the Cur­ricu­lum Cen­ter Coor­di­na­tor at North Shore Hebrew Acad­e­my High School and coed­i­tor of Mod­ern Amer­i­can Lit­er­a­ture: A Library of Lit­er­ary Crit­i­cism, Vol. VI, pub­lished in 1997.

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