Sholem Aleichem, 1859 – 1916

May 13, 1916 (10th of Iyar, 5676): Sholem Aleichem passed away.  Born Shalom Rabinowitz in the Ukraine, he grew up in the town of Vornokov which served as the model for the fictitious town of Kasrilevke that appears in his writings.  Shalom Aleichem began writing in Hebrew.  In 1883, he began writing in Yiddish which is when he adopted the pen name of Shalom Aleichem.  He used a pen name because he did not want to offend friends and family (including his father) who thought Jews should be writing in Hebrew.  Following the pogroms of 1905, the now famous author moved to the United States.  He died while living in the Bronx at the age of 59.  Shalom Aleichem employed humor and pathos to create a picture of the Shtetl.  He was called “the Jewish Mark Twain”.  His most famous character was Tevye the milkman, who became a worldwide favorite in the hit show and movie, “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Russia issued a stamp in 1959 honoring the 100th anniversary of this great author’s birthday.

Sholem Aleichem - Russia 1959

 

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