Tag: 19th-century

The Jewish ghetto in literature

An intriguing collection of essays throws a new light into the dark world of the Jewish ghettos of Eastern Europe as seen by a cavalcade of  Jewish writers including Heinrich Heine and Joseph Roth, and numerous others who have been all but forgotten. Ghetto Writing: Traditional and Eastern Jewry in German-Jewish Literature from Heine to…

The de Solas: A Distinguished Sephardic Lineage

When Abraham de Sola arrived in Montreal in 1846 to serve as spiritual leader of the city’s Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, he carried a letter from his father, David de Sola, rabbi of London’s Bevis Marks synagogue, beseeching the community to look after him because he was only 19 years old. Abraham de Sola was…

Patai’s history of Hungarian Jews

The Jews of Hungary: History, Culture, Psychology (Wayne State University Press) by Raphael Patai is a monumental 720-page treatise that traces the history of the Jews of the Carpathian basin from their origin in Roman times to their near-obliteration in 1944 and beyond, right up to the present moment. Patai, who died recently at 86, was…

Consolation: New Glimpses of Old Toronto

If you’re a Toronto lover like me, you’re bound to enjoy and marvel over Michael Redhill’s novel Consolation (Anchor Canada), which delivers a gripping human story, elegantly and poetically told, and a grittily realistic literary portrait of 1850s Toronto that is so well executed that it shines. In alternating chapters, Consolation artfully knits together two…