'The Slave' by Isaac B Singer
Dear friends and book lovers,
For the month of June, we will read 'The Slave' by Isaac B Singer.
The Slave is a novel originally written in Yiddish that tells the story of Jacob, a scholar sold into slavery in the aftermath of the Khmelnytsky massacres, who falls in love with a gentile woman. Through the eyes of Jacob, the book recounts the history of Jewish settlement in Poland at the end of the 17th century. While most of the book's protagonists are Jews, the book is also a criticism of Orthodox Jewish society.
The book was published in Protected content , a time in Jewish history in which the magnitude of the Holocaust was beginning to surface. The book's setting during the aftermath of the Khmelnytsky massacres could be seen as a historical parallel to what many American Jews were thinking and feeling during the early Protected content
The book contains criticism of the hypocrisy inherent in a narrow-minded interpretation of Judaism. The Jews of Pilitz in The Slave make a point of keeping commandments between man and God, but many treat Sarah and Jacob in ways that does not square well with Jewish ideals. The character of Gershon is especially cruel and often gets his way simply by bullying others, yet he keeps a strictly kosher home.
Also prominent in the story is the theme of vegetarianism. Singer himself was a passionate vegetarian and Jacob's attitude towards animals during his captivity and his explanation at the end of the novel of his vegetarian philosophy could be seen as Singer writing autobiographically
Curious to find out more ? Read the book and join us for another one of our interesting discussions !
Even if you don't manage to read the book entirely, you remain more than welcome to take part in our talks !
Looking forward to welcoming you all at my home again for another wonderful discussion.
Should the weather turn out to be really lovely the days prior to our gathering, I will send all attendees on the list a proposal to meet in a nice outdoor setting (Park of Bois de la Cambre) so we can enjoy the sunshine ànd discuss books at the same time.
Welcome on board !
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