Adirondack Mendel’s Aufruf: Welcome to Chelm’s Pond by Sandor Schuman is a fictional book, taking place in upstate New York which reprises some of the old Jewish tales of the fools of Chelm.
The authoris giving away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Rafflecoptter form at the end of the post.
- 119 pages
- Publisher: This Too Shall Pass Press
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0988628503
My rating for Welcome to Chelm’s Pond – 5
When I was contacted and offered Adirondack Mendel’s Aufruf: Welcome to Chelm’s Pond by Sandor Schuman (website | Facebook) I immediately jumped on the chance. I remember the tales of these fabulous fools from my childhood. I remember my grandfather telling me these folklore stories (which I’m sure he grew up on) and I remember how much I enjoyed them as well.
But it seems that Mr. Schuman knew that already before contacting me, after all he stated upfront that “a Jewish story is one that a non-Jew wouldn’t understand, and a Jewish person has already heard”. Of course non-Jews would enjoy these stories as well but maybe not as much since self-deprecation is a staple in Jewish folklore.
The Wise Men of Chelm are a bunch of popular Jewish folklore stories. Chelm is a town in Poland (about 65 KM southeast of Lublin) and were passed down through the generations verbally or through books in Yiddish. Many of the stories feature the men doing absolutely foolish things. Like many of the stories the title “Wise Men” is said in irony which is a common feature in European folklore.
The moment I read the first paragraph I knew I’d like the book as it kept in line with the Eastern European tradition of the stories, they were persuaded to leave Poland by a shrewd real-estate agent who promised them that:
“every acre is two, you can till the soil with a teaspoon, and there are not only four seasons, but there are a five”.
The tales of Chelm are usually outlandish stories of stupidity or naiveté and Mr. Schuman does a wonderful job bringing them across the Atlantic. On one of the stories, about choosing a mother-in-law, I was laughing so hard I had to call my wife.
This book is a fast read and includes a very handy Yiddish and slang glossary as well as a study guide (available for free download). The book is full of wonderful illustrations which capture not only characters, but also the spirit of the stories whether in Europe or New York.
Bloomie is the ambitious proprietor of The Broiled Beet – serving the finest in Adirondack-Ashkenazick fusion cuisine – and the loveliest, kindest, and sincerest sheyne meydl in all of Chelm’s Pond. Adirondack Mendel is the renowned adventurer, woodsman, mountain man, and Adirondack guide who always tells the truth even if he has to lie to do it. When they are brought together by Aufruf, the talking dog (who used to do spy work for Colin Powell, from whom he learned a bissel Yiddish), they fall in love.
Guided by the learned, honored, and beloved Rabbi Chayim Shmayim, the oldest and wisest khokhem in Chelm’s Pond, the results raise serious questions about the nature of God and the meaning of prayer, but in an extraordinary way that could happen only in Chelm’s Pond.
Giveaway ends: June 03, 2013
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Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free .
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