Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Friday June 20

That shadchan again bothers me
he called up, and I had
to promise him that I would
make appointments with girls


Matt's Notes

This is Papa's third mention of a "shadchan," or marriage broker, and it's also the third time he's been rather dismissive toward the matchmaking profession. I'm not sure why Papa felt he "had to promise him to make appointments with girls" (I wonder if Papa had a stack of photos and phone numbers in his apartment from the shadchan's previous visits). Was the shadchan an old family friend? Did Papa's attachment to old world traditions make it hard for him to reject his solicitations outright?

In any event, Papa's thoroughly modern belief that romantic, self-made love was superior to arranged marriage demonstrates the sort of evolution in thinking that many Jews of his background and generation experienced in America. I suppose his very insistence on writing in English when he was probably more comfortable in Yiddish similarly reflects the tendency of Diaspora Jews to adapt to their surroundings, though he did write certain words in Yiddish when nothing else would do. To wit, here's how he wrote shadchan in this entry:

1 comment:

  1. He hasn't named the shadchen. The man might be well known to his family and/or community. He might have come from Sniatyn. Papa would have avoided insulting him, because they were such yentes!