Reading Sholem Aleichem’s writing serves a dual purpose. First, it exposes us to the life and culture of Jews in a particular time and place—eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. Second, it allows us to connect history to our own lives, as any encounter with great literature does. Of course, recognizing connections between oneself and the life of someone who lived a century ago is a difficult task, especially considering that the particular world Sholem Aleichem wrote about is gone—transformed by modernization, and then eventually destroyed by the Holocaust. However, literature—because of its suggestive power—can serve as a bridge to the past.