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This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks


Bruce Drake
 

This week’s offering is a collection of Yizkor book excerpts about practical jokes. Every society has its pranksters, so why not the shtetls of Europe? Some of these border on the side of cruel humor when it came to the victims, such as Reb Mendel in the first excerpt. But “it turns out that the city's clowns also have a Jewish heart, and when they realized that their prank agitated R' Mendel's soul, they decided to let him go him and find another victim for their practical jokes.” Not so much for poor, pious Chaya Shlia who, when fooled into thinking that she heard G-d speak to her, “returned home crushed and in agony.” Pranks on others were more in the general tradition of youthful mischief-making, like removing the wooden steps from the door of a person’s house, so that in the morning the members of the household would not be able to leave their home. 
 
 
Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD
 
Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel