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Gimpel The Fool

             Isaac Singer's Gimpel The Fool is the story of a Jewish man who is as nave as a child. Gimpel is portrayed as the town fool and is considered unworldly. For his ignorance he is underestimated and exploited by his peers, yet he always seems to prevail. He shows through his many situations that the meek do inherit the earth. His wife Elka is just the opposite. She is a woman of considerable experience in handling the affairs of life. A calculated woman with a sense of avarice, she is cunning, manipulative, and sinful. She is a Jew though and in the Jewish Orthodox faith there is no redemption; for a sin, there is hell. This faith is based on the Laws of Jehovah and the Pentateuch. This story questions the Law of Jehovah. We are told that the Lord gives no repentance, but in the end Elka comes to Gimpel in near angelic form. Isaac Singer breaks away from Judaism in this story and expresses ideas of Christianity, which show that he may have not held traditional Jewish values. .
             Gimpel is an orphan who has lived with his grandfather since an early age. Because of this he never learns the harshness of reality. Instead he learns to trust people and believe in their words. During adolescence he is apprenticed to the town baker. At the bakery he learns a valuable trade skill and grows into manhood. As he grows he learns that people tell him falsehoods, yet he continues to believe them. He thinks that anything is possible. He is taught by the word of the Father's that, "It is written, better to be a fool all your days than for one hour to be evil. He who causes his neighbors to feel shame loses paradise himself."" Then one day the towns' people come to Gimpel and tell him of a woman. They say that she is "virgin pure- but has a limp, though that it is a deliberate act of coyness. Gimpel knows that she is really sexually promiscuous. He proclaims, "You're wasting your time. I'll never marry that whore.

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