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‎11 Tammuz 5784 | ‎17/07/2024

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A Country Passover, by Sholem Aleichem

A Country Passover, by Sholem Aleichem

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – Passover is this week, and so I’m going to read you a Passover story by Sholem Aleichem.  It is about two boys, a Jew and a Christian, who live in a small village in 19th century Russia and are neighbors and good friends.

But first, I would like to give you a little background to help you understand the reaction of the adults–both Christian and Jewish–to the boys’ escapade.

In Eastern Europe Passover was often a time when Jewish communities were victims of pogroms–violent attacks which often resulted in massacres or, at the very least, destruction of Jewish homes and synagogues.  What set them off, especially at this time of the year, were blood libels–the false accusations that Jews used Christian blood in the making of matzah.  If a Christian child went missing or was found or presumed to be dead, the Jews would be accused and mobs would attack and destroy Jewish towns and neighborhoods, even without any evidence that Jews were involved. If the child was later found to be safe and sound, needless to say there was no restitution made to the Jewish community.

This version of A Country Passover is from the book Yiddish Stories for Young People, compiled and edited by Itche Goldberg and published in 1987 by Kinderbuch Publishers.

We hope you like this story, and all of us here at Radio Sefarad wish all of you Khag Sameakh, a zisn Pesakh, Happy Passover.