ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER (1904-1991)
According to some critics, Isaac Bashevis Singer was the greatest Yiddish writer. Isaac Bashevis Singer was born on July 14, 1904 in the town of Radzmymin, Poland. He was raised in a family with heavily laid roots in Jewish Culture. His father was a Rabbi, and his mother was the daughter of an Orthodox Rabbi. His grandfathers on both sides of the family were also Rabbis. His older brother, Israel Joseph was a noted Yiddish writer who wrote such works as "The Brothers Ashkenazi" and" Yoshe Kalb." The family also included a sister, and a younger brother, Mosheh.
At the age of four, the family moved to Warsaw. Singer's father established a Beth Din (Rabbinical Court) in a poor ghetto tenement, which also served as the family residence. He recalls that as a child he listened with fascination when his father dispensed advice on religious or family matters and adjudicated disputes among people from all walks of life who visited his court.
He was equally fascinated by the mystical Jewish folk tales that his parents told him to strengthen his religious faith.
In 1917, Singer and his family moved to the Jewish village of Bilgoraj in Eastern Poland. A town that was rich in Jewish traditions and historical value. He spent four years in Bilgoraj, in what he recalled was "living in Jewish history." In 1920 his father excepted a position as a Rabbi in the Dzikow, Poland. While in Dzikow, Singer persuaded his parents to let him return to Warsaw if he enrolled in the Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary for religious studies. After a year at the Seminary, he moved back to Bilgoraj, where he supported himself by giving Hebrew lessons. In 1923, Isaac moved back to Warsaw where he would remain for twelve years. He...