Monday, October 10, 2005

Oh those days of yore

I hate to rain on the nostalgia parade going on today at Cross Currents (Jewish), but it wasn't so great in the old days. Remember the wars? The sickness? The early deaths? In the anecdotes Jonathan Rosenblum trots out, he make no mention of the suffering, nor does he display even a hint of skeptism, preferring to take the fabulous stories at face value. I am sorry, but if you were to take a time machine back to old Lita, you wouldn't find "fish trembling in the rivers." You'd find lots of poor, hungry, unhappy, uneducated Jews. Anyone trembling would likely be shaking from the cold, and not from the awe of heaven.

Moreover, if people could abandon their families and jobs to spend a whole month in Kelm, a practice Rosenblum celebrates, it only means that they were unemployed, or on the outs with their wives.

I can understand being homesick for situation you've experienced yourself. I did it myself today. But Rosenblum's shtetle-envy is something else.