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December 04, 2006

What the Chelm?

The wise men of Chelm are the common butt of Yiddish humor.

Did you know that Chelm is actually a city in Poland?

Before the Shoah, eighteen thousand Jews lived in Chelm, which was also as a great center of Torah study. Most of its Jewish residents perished in th Shoah.

An article in last week's issue of the Forward takes you inside the Jewish community and living conditions of Chelm.

Although Chelm is normally involved in humorous situations, this is no lauging matter. The presence of anti-Semitism in this Polish town 60 years after the Shoah represents a growing problem in the world.

The old Chelm Synagogue has been tranformed into a tavern, despite Polish laws that say property seized during the Shoah must be returned to its previous owners. The Chelm Synagogue was sold before the law took effect. There is actually a video on YouTube of a wedding in the Chelm Synagogue turned social hall.

Even worse, there is no mention in the synagogue or memorial in the city to the Jewish community that once thrived in Chelm.

The previous topic about Chelm was no laughing matter, but these links are. If you have a favorite Chelm joke, or know of a good book of Chelm joke that Mir Blogn could use for the Chelm joke of the week section, kvetch at the end of the post.

Posted by irobi at December 4, 2006 01:03 AM


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