Sholem Aleichem

Aleichem, Sholem (shōˈləm älāˈkhəm) [key] [Heb., = Peace be upon you!], pseud. of Sholem Rabinowitz räbˌĭnôˈvĭts, rəbĭnˈəvĭts, 1859–1916, Yiddish author, b. Russia. One of the great Yiddish writers, he is best known for his humorous tales of life among the poverty-ridden and oppressed Russian Jews of the late 19th and early 20th cent. His works include five novels, many plays, and some 300 short stories. English translations include The Adventures of Menahem-Mendl (1979), In the Storm (1984), and Tevya the Dairyman (1988). In the last years of his life Sholem Aleichem lived in the United States; he died in New York City where, through his work, he helped to found the Yiddish Art Theater. Many of his works have been adapted for the stage, most notably the musical Fiddler on the Roof (1964). His autobiographical writings include From the Fair (1985).

See biography by J. Dauber (2013); studies by D. Miron (1973) and V. Aarons (1985); J. Dorman, dir, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness (documentary, 2011).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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