Saturday, April 21, 2007

Monday Apr 21

Attended Benefit performance
of the Chalutzial. --

Jack Zichlinsky that all
boys of the camp are either
keeping company or getting

Am I to be left behind,
I met Miss Schneiderman
and look her home, Why does
she think of me so much.

Earlier in the evening I
met Miss Schein a new
aquaintance she is a fine type


Matt's Notes

I've got limited time to post today, but hopefully I can revisit this entry later. Here's what I've got so far:

-- The "Chalutzial" benefit Papa attended was, as one would expect, a Zionist fundraiser. Chalutzim (or halutzim) translates as "pioneers" in Hebrew and referred, in Papa's day, to early Jewish settlers of Palestine. I think the word implies a certain virility and preparedness, too -- it's meant to evoke images of young, rugged people swinging pickaxes and building roads in the unforgiving desert sun. Such images would have appealed to Papa, who has demonstrated on several occasions his desire to challenge the popular perception of Jews as lacking in physical strength and competence.

-- It's terribly sad to see him worry over how his other friends are "keeping company or getting engaged" while he remains intensely lonely, but interesting in its way. Even as he utters the thought, he's fresh from an encounter with Miss Schneiderman, who desires in vain keep company with him, and Miss Schein, "a fine type" who sounds like a genuine prospect.

I think we see in this entry both the up and down sides of Papa's idealistic nature. On the one hand, it allows him to support and have faith in the prospects of his brethren to make a new life in a far-off, hazardous place; on the other, it drives him to unfavorably compare his relationships with the flesh-and-blood women around him to his unattainable standards for perfect romance. He knows this about himself, as we've seen, but it doesn't make him feel any less lonely or hopeless.

Luckily, Papa, this is you:

No comments:

Post a Comment