My student Janet just sent me this, and I am, to use the great Yiddish word, kvelling. Which means revelling in praise. And yikhes, for those of you who haven’t read the book – shame on you – means a kind of pedigree.
I’ve finished “Finding the Jewish Shakespeare”, and I just wanted to let you know how much I savored and enjoyed it. I’m not Jewish, nor do I go to the theatre much, but I love that period in history and am fascinated by that wave of migration into America, particularly into New York. The Tenement Museum is a sacred space for me. Talk about stories!
I see your great-grandfather as first and foremost a teacher. That he taught using didactic plays and lectures to his audience has a great deal to do with his personality, but also I think is a function of the scale on which he was working. As you say, he was trying to teach his people. This was a man leading an entire culture through a second exodus. More than 20,000 in his funeral procession says that he was heard. Thank you for writing this book and capturing this piece of history.
And Jacob Gordin would have recognized the yikhes in his great-granddaughter; you are a teacher down to your DNA! Thank you for the great insights you’ve given me. I think you know how powerful it is when you connect to the truth.