Manuscripts/Mixed Material [S. A. Friedlander]
Jos. Vogel S. A. FRIEDLANDER
Madison Jewish Center
Mr. Friedlander is about 70 years old. He was born in Brezowitz, Hungary, where he attended Hebrew school, and where he heard some of the stories he tells, and came to this country when he was fifteen. He has attended various synagogues in New York, and owes most of his tales to the latter source. The fact that his stories are in large proportion about Chassidim (Polish Jews) he attributes to the richness of the lore treating of the Chassidic sects, lore that spread to all European countries and followed to America.
Mr. Friedlander accompanied his telling of stories with gesture and jistrionic effects, indicating the dignity of the Rabbi and the mumility of the disciple, or vice versa as the occasion demanded. He spoke both in Jewish and English. It was impossible for him to give any idea of the exact sources of these stories, except that they were to be heard, among Jews, particularly the orthodox, before and after prayers in the synagogue, or after study of the Talmud, as an aid to relaxation. The Dowry
In Galicia lived a widow and her daughter. The daughter was betrothed to a merchant, who kept postponing the marriage because the widow could not provide the dowry which her husband, when he was alive, had promised. As she had no prospect of raising this dowry, the widow in desperation went to the house of her brother, a wealthy man, and pleaded with him to provide the dowry. This her brother refused to do. Whereupon the widow, in tears, went to the Rabbi and told him of her predicament.
“How much do you require for the dowry?” asked the Rabbi.
“Four hundred gulden, “replied the widow, “and although my brother, wealthy as he is, can readily spare this amount he has refused to give even one gulden.”
“We shall see,” said the Rabbi solemnly. “Go home now and be patient. God will help.”
The season passed and yet no dowry was forthcoming, and the merchant again postponed his marriage to the widow's daughter.