Simchas-Toyre in Keidan

Every year at this time I turn to a story about Keidan, specifically about how the Simchas Toyre holiday was celebrated in the town. My grandfather published this set of vignettes and memories in 1940, as part of the Keidaner Association of New York’s 40th-anniversary commemoration. I spent some years translating it from the Yiddish, and I still think it’s worth sharing, particularly if you’re new here and/or are looking to experience the “tam” (yiddish for taste or feel) of our ancestral community. I used to characterize it as a kind of “Lake Wobegone meets the Shtetl” story, before Garrison Keillor’s fictional hometown vanished into the cultural ether. I don’t know how much fictionalizing went into this account of Keidan’s holiday season, but since the author was my zeyde, I’m willing to put aside all doubt and just enjoy it. I hope others do as well.

About Andrew

Retired journalist, Keidan descendent.
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