Sholem Aleichem: Moshkeleh Ganev, Chapter 1

Sholem Aleichem

Tablet Magazine made available the first chapter of Sholem Aleichem’s “Moshkeleh Ganev” for the first time in English.

Non-Jews called him Moshke. Jews stretched out his name to “Moshkeleh” and then added the nickname ganev, or “thief”—for that’s what he was, a ganev. Which means, he earned his livelihood by thievery. But when it came to stealing, the only thing he stole was horses. In thieves’ lingo, one doesn’t say “I stole a horse.” Rather, when speaking of their work, horse thieves say, “I shot a bird,” or “freed it from the stable…” or “whistled it out of the shed,” or “fiddled it out of a gypsy,” or “whipped it out of a wagoner”…That’s the jargon of horse thieves.

Read the whole chapter at Tablet Magazine

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