Books and Movies Reviews

The Magic Barrel

The Magic Barrel
He found his characters in real Jewish community. That is why the tone and style of “The Magic Barrel” are so unmistakable and truthful. Through two main characters author involves us in a specific business going on between Leo Finkle, a lonely rabbinical student, and Pinye Salzman, a matchmaker. In order to get a good congregation Leo supposed to be married. How a man, who was studying for six years and who never was in a company of woman, easily can find a wife? The same way as his parents did. He went to the matchmaker. It was not so easy for Leo to appeal to Salzman, because he hoped to find the wife by himself. He wanted to be in love before he gets married. But he resorted to help. It was a firs time when he turned his mind over. Pine Salzman, the marriage broker, represented the old generation, and respected the old Jewish tradition. Marriage is a very important part of a Jew’s life, and the family is more important than the girl herself is. He does not think about love. It is possible to imagine how Leo was disappointed when Salzmen introduced the girls to him. “Sophie P. Widow. Father promises eight thousand dollars. Has wonderful wholesale business. Also realestate.” “Lily H. Regular. Father is successful dentist thirty-five years. Interested in professional man. Wonderful opportunity.” Moreover, “She is a partikiler. She wants the best.” Leo’s interest to Lily was aroused, and he began seriously to consider calling on her. Finally they met. She provoked him to say the strange, but a very capacious and valuable phrase: “I think, that I came to God not because I loved Him, but because I did not.” But Lily didn’t dream about him, she dreamed about an invented hero. After this date he turned his mind over again. He felt that he could not love a girl. Although Leo returned to his regular routine, he was in panic and depression from one thought: nobody loves him and he does not love anybody either. There was no br…

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