Re: Tavern Keepers #general


Ava Cohn <avatom@...>
 

"I would appreciate any comments about the fact there there were so many
tavern keepers..."

My SHENKMAN family were tavern keepers in Volyntsy, Vitebsk gubernia, now
Belarus, near the border of Dvinsk, Lithuania. My grandmother talked about
how non-Jews would frequent the tavern, get drunk and dance all night in
the tavern. Whether it was a bed and breakfast as Howard Margol has
suggested of taverns in Lithuania, I do not know. I can, however, attest to
antisemitism against the tavern keepers. A few years ago, Yuri Dorn sent me
a famous Byelorussian "fairytale" about Jewish tavern keepers, "Lantuch v
shenke" (Ghost in the Tavern). This antisemitic tale, by coincidence just
happens to be about the tavern keeper in Volyntsy, Vitebsk guberniya, my
SHENKMAN family. The tale centers around a ghost that inhabits a tavern
and causes such havoc that the tavern keeper is forced to turn over his
business to a Byelorussian. Lo and behold, once the Jewish entrepreneur
is gone, the ghost departs. As with every endeavor our ancestors were
involved in, antisemitism was never far >from the door. By the way, the
surname SHENKMAN is Yiddish for tavern owner.

Ava Cohn
Long Grove, IL

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