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A Jewish Life on Three ContinentsThe Memoir of Menachem Mendel Frieden$
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Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783637

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783637.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

My Entry into Heder

My Entry into Heder

(p.93) My Entry into Heder
A Jewish Life on Three Continents

Lee Shai Weissbach

Stanford University Press

Frieden writes about his entry into heder in this chapter, in which all the usual elements are present: an introduction to the alphabet, the bestowing of sweets so that learning should be associated with sweetness, the critique of the melamed. Just as this chapter provides an account of education in heder, it also provides insights into some other essential aspects of shtetl life, including the bar mitzvah celebration. Frieden conveys a great deal of information about the way that important life-cycle even was marked for him personally. His observations regarding the nature of bar mitzcah speeches reveal some of his attitudes regarding education, maturations, and authenticity—namely, he evinces his appreciation for the difference between rote memorization and true understanding.

Keywords:   heder, melamdim, bar mitzvah, pedagogy, yeshiva

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