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On the Horizon: Goldstein on Bullheads, Larshi on Pike

- Abstract

In the last few years Jews have turned up in the most unlikely places—as a colonel in the Chinese army, as Miss America, as toreador in the bull-ring. Enter now the Jew as fisherman. The appearance within the past two years of not one, but two Yiddish writers on the ancient sport of angling testifies to the revolutionary fact. We now have Waltons named Abe (author of Fishfang) and Ben (“The Pike and I,” etc.) to set (or perhaps, rather, sit) beside the Christian Izaak.

True, in the ancient world Jews were well known as fisherfolk, and both the Bible and the Talmud are replete with references to fishing as a Jewish occupation. But with the passing of the centuries, Jews became landlocked and fishing among them seems to have ceased. Occasionally, one finds in modern times mention of an exotic group of Jewish fishermen on the Baltic or of carp-breeding Jews in the heart of Poland. But for the past ten or more centuries, there is very little evidence that Jews ever encountered fish beyond the confines of the market or the dining room.

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