The Force of Jewish Law in Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Fiction

Document Type : Research Paper


MSc, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran.



This study evaluates a collection of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short stories that portray the lives of the Jews living in small towns in Poland before World War II; how Jewish law enforcement shaped the community as a whole and every individual Jew abiding by the law. To show the effects of law on the individual characters’ relationship with other Jews in the stories, we cast light on the Jewish people’s reception of those characters, who are more or less different from the rest of the Jewish community. Moreover, the Devil’s part in assisting and endorsing the characters’ decisions to pursue their iconoclastic beliefs and goals is explained. We see Singer’s characters, being exposed to law, attempt to fulfil their desires and also express their reluctance to accept the law, and consequently we see the communal law’s resolution in determining the defiant characters’ fate and their isolation from the rest of the people.  


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