The Bread Givers
If Reb Smolinksy were to have narrated the story of The Bread Givers his motives for the unusual behavior towards his daughters choice of men may have been a little more understandable for the reader. Reb was a very holy man that knew nothing but the word of the Holy Torah. He lived his life for God in hopes that he would be rewarded with heaven in the afterlife. He believed that if he, the only man of the household, spent his life learning the Holy Torah then his family could also be rewarded with heaven after death if they serviced him. Reb thinks that the women of the house should work and bring home earnings to support him as a holy man. Reb’s daughters began to grow weary of this thought and wanted something more for themselves. Throughout the story Reb runs into several situations that effectively characterize his position on certain aspects of the Smolinsky daughters everyday lives. One that I feel shows his true position the most was the incident when a young man named Morris Lipkin, wrote Reb’s daughter, Fania, a letter composed of a poem. Reb read the letter before Fania had any knowledge of its existence. As she entered the house that evening Reb shook the poem in her face shouting, “Poems of Poverty”, and wants to know whom the young man behind the poem was (Pg. 212, digital version). Fania is upset and exclaims that her father had no right to read the letter. Reb immediately attacks Fania with harsh words towards the young poet. He begins to ask Fania how she will survive with a man that writes poems but does not make money from them. He quickly gets his point across that he does not want his daughters to date men who do not have a well thought out future with plans of making money to provide for them. Reb seems to show no mercy towards the love between the two and does not care about their feelings towards one another. He wants successful men that can help provide for his daughters in hopes of that...
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