Ear­li­er this week, Jere­my Dauber wrote about tour­ing with his recent­ly pub­lished biog­ra­phy, The Worlds of Sholem Ale­ichem (Schock­en Books/​Nextbook Press). Want to win a copy? Click here. He has been blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

Every­one likes lists, right? Who doesn’t like lists? Okay, fine, you in the back, maybe. But like lists. And Buz­zfeed seems to be doing pret­ty well by them. So in that spir­it, I’ve decid­ed to pro­vide, as a pub­lic ser­vice, a list of ten of the top sto­ries Sholem Ale­ichem ever wrote.

The one prob­lem is that pick­ing ten sto­ries out of the daz­zling range of works by this remark­ably tal­ent­ed and huge­ly pro­lif­ic writer is bound to cre­ate dis­cord and dis­agree­ment among the Sholem Ale­ichem cognoscen­ti. Sure, over a thir­ty-plus year peri­od of writ­ing you’re bound to come up with some dogs – and Sholem Aleichem’s pace, born of (at var­i­ous points) finan­cial neces­si­ty, ide­o­log­i­cal enthu­si­asm, youth­ful exu­ber­ance, or fam­i­ly and per­son­al stress, didn’t ren­der him immune to the more-than-every-once-in-a-while bow-wow – but there are so many fan­tas­tic sto­ries, so many tales you envy some­one a first read­ing, that it’s hard to know where to begin. But here are ten cork­ers, anyway.

1. Cha­va.” The finest of the Tevye sto­ries, which are the finest sto­ries of Sholem Aleichem’s whole oeuvre.

2. The Enchant­ed Tai­lor.” It’s not a folk tale; it’s not a ghost sto­ry; but it’s not not those things, either.

3. On Account of a Hat.” See the pre­vi­ous blog post.

4. Lon­dons.” Our first encounter with Menakhem-Mendl, the noto­ri­ous­ly opti­mistic (and inex­pert) busi­ness­man, and one of Sholem Aleichem’s most famous cre­ations. His wife Sheyne-Sheyn­dl has equal­ly good lines, if not better.

5. The Man from Buenos Aires.” A nasty lit­tle encounter on a rail­road with a man who is not who he seems to be…or maybe he is.

6. Drey­fus in Kas­rilevke.” How do Jews talk pol­i­tics? This is one way.

7. From the Fair. Sholem Ale­ichem nev­er com­plet­ed his auto­bi­og­ra­phy; but what we do have is a now-large­ly hid­den trea­sure (which is, not entire­ly coin­ci­den­tal­ly, a lead­ing motif in lots of his works, includ­ing this one).

8. The Guest.” A hol­i­day sto­ry and a sto­ry about chil­dren – two of Sholem Aleichem’s spe­cial­ties – wrapped in one. A third spe­cial­ty: the twist ending.

9. A Tale of A Thou­sand and One Nights.” Set not in some fan­ta­sy land, but in Jew­ish East­ern Europe in the throes of World War I, the tales of sur­vival the story’s Scheherazade relates chill to the bone.

10. Haman and Mordechai.” A bizarre lit­tle effort about what hap­pens when the two Bib­li­cal char­ac­ters – the real ones – appear in Yiddishland.

All of these, except the last, are avail­able in trans­la­tion. Hap­py reading!

Jere­my Dauber is a pro­fes­sor of Yid­dish lit­er­a­ture at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, where he also serves as direc­tor of its Insti­tute for Israel and Jew­ish Stud­ies and teach­es in the Amer­i­can Stud­ies pro­gram. His newest book, The Worlds of Sholem Ale­ichem (Schock­en Books/​Nexbook Press), is now avail­able. Win a copy here.

Jere­my Dauber is a pro­fes­sor of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture and Amer­i­can stud­ies at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty. His books include Jew­ish Com­e­dy and The Worlds of Sholem Ale­ichem, both final­ists for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award, and, most recent­ly, Amer­i­can Comics: A His­to­ry. He lives in New York City.