Shlepping the Exile

Michael Wex

Publisher: St. Martin’s

Updated edition.

Shlepping the Exile, the rollickingly dyspeptic adventures of Yoine Levkes, boy hasid of the Canadian Prairies, is an inside portrait of orthodox, post-Holocaust Judaism in a place that it never expected to be.

Svelte and supple as unleavened bread, Shlepping rends the shmaltz from Jewish fiction and replaces it with a pound of real flesh.

It’s the story of Yoine, his refugee parents, and the Jewish community of Coalbanks, Alberta, between 1956 and 1959. Confronted with a dying people, an ailing culture, the perils of near-orphanhood and the allures of Sabina Mandelbroit, whose family doesn’t keep the Sabbath, Yoine can no longer tell whether he’s a human being or a loot-bag of conflicting traditions. He’s too religious to be “normal”, too “normal” not to realize this,and too much of a kid to be able to make any sense of it.

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Note: is owned by Rosenblum’s World of Judaica, which is one of the oldest Judaica stores in the United States. Their store has been open for over 75 years!

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