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Adirondack Mendel's Aufruf: Welcome to Chelm's Pond based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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. When I was con­tacted and offered Adiron­dack Mendel's Aufruf: Wel­come to Chelm's Pond by San­dor Schu­man 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.