The Life of Glückel of Hameln, 1646–1724
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Jewish Publication Society
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GLUCKEL, daughter of Bella and Leib Pinkerle and wife of Chaim Segal of Hameln, began to write the story of her life in 1689. Her aim, she states, was 'to while away the long and melancholy nights' which tormented her after her husband's death, and to inform her children of their family and the stock from which they came. She could hardly have imagined that her narrative would become a classic of its kind two hundred years afterwards, nor could she have foreseen that her grief at the death of her beloved husband...
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IN the year of Creation 54511 I begin writing this with an aching heart, as will follow later. May the Lord make us rejoice as often as He has afflicted us and send our Messiah and Redeemer speedily. Amen. All that the Lord has created, He created for His glory. The world was founded on loving-kindness. ...
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THAT which I have written and shall write comes from my troubled heart after the death of your father, peace unto him. He was our faithful shepherd. Surely because of our sins God took him to Himself. While I am yet in good health I shall with God's help, leave all in seven small books. ...
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WHO can write and who can tell of the wonders that happen to mortals? I was about twenty-five years old at the time of which I write. My husband was very energetic in business and I, too, helped. It is not to praise myself that I mention that he took advice from no one but me, and did nothing until we had talked it over together. At this time...
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My daughter Hannah grew up a very beautiful child, of whom I shall, perhaps, have more to say later. At this time an East Indiaman laden with rough diamonds fell into the hands of the King of Denmark and lay at Gliickstadt. Every sailor had diamonds. So all the sons of Israel went to Gliickstadt...
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My heart-loved children, I shall now begin my fifth book by telling of my great sorrow, from the beginning of the illness of your beloved father until his death. On the evening of Tebet 19, 5449 [January 11, 1689] your dear father went to the gentile quarter to meet a merchant with whom he had an appointment...
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HERE I begin my sixth book in which I will write of the change in my state which I had avoided for fourteen years. Matches with the most distinguished men in the whole of Germany had been broached to me, but as long as I could support myself on what my husband...
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HERE, with the help of the Lord, I will begin my seventh book, which will be partly of sorrow and partly of joy, as is the way of the world. May it be granted that no further sorrows befall my dear children and that in my oId age I may only hear and see joy and their prosperity. As I have already related, I had taken an everlasting farewell of my son Reb...
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Publication Year: 2010