Sha’anan Teachers' College
The English Department
Bernard Malamud: A Contradiction between Personal Philosophy and Living Reality
Submitted by: Leah Hassin
Supervised by: Mrs. Revital Steiner
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a B.Ed. degree
• About the immigrants- historical review
• About the phenomenon
• About Bernard Malamud
• The Jewbird: Mr. Schwartz, the man
• The magic barrel: the matchmaker, the boy
• The Jewish point: אחד בפה אחד בלב מיצר הגרון
הכוח של הנשמה היהודית שתמיד נשארת מקושרת ומחוברת
לכתוב על חכמה ובינה המנותקים מדעת
Bernard Malamud is considered one of the most prominent figures in Jewish American literature, a movement that began in the 1930s and is known for its combination of tragic and comic elements. This paper's aim is to show that the Jewish point hasn't disappeared despite the mistaken American Jewish way to integrate between beliefs and lifestyle. Here I will focus on one of the most powerful personas in the American Jewish map who correlates to this phenomenon. It is the well-known author, Bernard Malamud. The comparison is between his biography to his own written literature, as it turns out from two of his short stories: "The Jewbird" and "Magic Barrel". In that way I mean to show that he had some sort of life philosophy, but he didn't followed it. However, it shows us the power of our holly soul- even modern people has some sort of knowledge and respect to Judaism.
This paper will contain the following chapters:
Chapter one: historical background of Jewish waves of immigration into USA. This is the general background of the circumstance Malamud was born into, and of the education he got. In generally, get to know the author- the biography of Bernard Malamud. Chapter two: The Jewbird- the story's genre, the summary of the story, the main characters and symbols. Analyze of the story via the theme. Chapter three: Magic Barrel - the story's genre, the summary of the story, the main characters and symbols. Analyze of the story via the theme. Chapter four: deals with the Jewish attitude regarding the Jewish flame that always exists. Chapter five: brings the conclusions.
Understanding the historical background of Jews in America is crucial. Jewish immigrants came to the United States in three main waves. Historians call them in names: Sephardic, German and Eastern European. The first group of Sephardic settlers came from Brazil to New Amsterdam (later New York) in 1654. This wave kept most f Jewish elements, as colonial Sephardic synagogues, which adhered to Sephardic ritual customs and administered all aspects of Jewish religious life; yet the immigrants tried to forget their past and the "old world" they came from, so the synagogues did not attempt to govern the economical-mercantile activities of its members. In this manner, colonial shulls (synagogues) set a division between Jewish and worldly domains- in American Jewish life. The reconciliation of modern manners with Jewish tradition would also occupy on later waves of Jewish immigrants at the German and East European, that struggled to build the Reform and Conservative movements in America. The German immigrates came to America around 1840s. the main reason for the escape is the hard time that begun in Germany. They came to USA and brought new ideas about reforming the Judaism. They also created institutes, the American Jewish committee and national council of Jewish women. Eastern European Jewish immigrants begun to come in large numbers after 1880. ……………………………… This massive population transfer radically transformed the character of the American Jewish community. During and after their immigration to the United States, many Jews, in an attempt to lead successful lives in America, distanced...