Eddy Portnoy, a contributing editor for Tablet Magazine, teaches Yiddish language and literature at Rutgers University. He is the Academic Advisor at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
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Death of a Yiddish Giant

Remembering I.L. Peretz, who died 100 years ago this week

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Mr. Israel

Rafael Halperin—who died last month—was an ordained rabbi, an ambitious businessman, and a middling politician. He was also a professional wrestler.

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Paschal Lampoon

Forget Purim. Passover has a rich comedic tradition all its own, with parodies of the haggadah mocking everything from rabbis and the rich to Mussolini and Hitler.

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Print War

How the relationship between a reporter and his editor shook the Yiddish press

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Sore

When immigrant Lower East Side moms rioted over tonsillectomies

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Silent Minority

How Jewish tradition marginalized the deaf

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Death Toll

Back when the Yiddish press relished covering suicides

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Nosing Around

A look at a pseudoscience that hinged on the shnozz

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Enforcers

In early-20th-century Warsaw, making sure people observed the Sabbath was serious business

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Politics and Poesy

In early 20th-century Poland, poet Shmuel Nadler took off his yarmulke and took up with the Communists

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Divorce Court

Long before Jerry Springer, divorcing couples fought it out before Warsaw’s rabbinical court

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Fine Young Criminal

The story of a yeshiva boy who turned to the gang life and lived to write about it

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Big Man

The Coney Island attraction who made wrestling history

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Manhood, Interrupted

The grisly aftermath of a broken engagement

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Flexing Some Muscle

The boxers and strongmen who turned the image of the Jewish nebbish on its head

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The Futurist

You might not have heard of Naftali Imber, but you’ve heard his most famous work

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The Festive Meal

When Yom Kippur was a time to eat, drink, and be merry

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Jewish Abortion Technician

After a young woman’s 1871 death, the press took aim at an immigrant from Plotsk

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Grudge Match

When bris attendees turn into brawlers

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In the Palm of His Hand

A look at Abraham Hochman, 19th-century Lower East Side clairvoyant