Skip to main content
13 votes

What does "haidamak" mean?

Haidamaks are haidamaks: Ukrainian peasants and cossacks who formed paramilitary bands and engaged in guerilla warfare against the Polish Catholics and Jews in the Polish-occupied Right-Bank Ukraine ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.5k
6 votes

Why does the fool recite this depressing verse at the wedding in "Satan in Goray"?

While not the specific verse mentioned in the story, there was a Talmudic tradition of injecting some somberness into joyous occasions. As you can see in the below Talmudic excerpt, several examples ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 3,419
6 votes

What does "pilpul" refer to in "Satan in Goray"?

The term pilpul is a term that describes a type of rabbinic scholarship. At different periods in history its contextual meaning has varied somewhat, as have the religious attitudes towards it. The ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 3,419
5 votes

Why does the band follow Rechele to the bathhouse before her wedding?

This has the ring of authentic folk tradition that Singer would have been familiar with, either seeing for himself as a child in Bilgoraj or hearing about secondhand. The band would have been seen as ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 832
5 votes

Why are the peasants referred to as the "children of Ham" in "Satan in Goray"?

The 'curse of Ham' was used for many years to justify slavery (not just in the United States) and while 'the children of Ham' was often used to describe the black race generally, it was also sometimes ...
Barnaby's user avatar
  • 943
4 votes

Why does the band follow Rechele to the bathhouse before her wedding?

This was a tradition in some communities. To quote from this rabbinic response to a question relating to this: The custom that the girls in the family, and the friends, escort the bride to her first ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 3,419
1 vote

Why are these biblical scenes mentioned in italics and title case in "Satan in Goray"?

The names given are not the descriptions of the scenes, but the titles of the representations. As such, they are italicized.
Mary's user avatar
  • 6,055
1 vote

What does "haidamak" mean?

In Romanian the word haidamac means thug, or less pejoratively, burly man. It comes from Turkish. Romanian dictionary
user9816's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible