The Certificate

The Certificate

Book - 1992
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Baker & Taylor
Homeless and penniless, David Bendiner, a young Jewish writer, arrives in 1922 Warsaw--his only asset being a certificate entitling him to immigrate to Palestine--and becomes involved with three different women

Holtzbrinck
David Bendiner, a young writer and secularized Jew, has qualified to emigrate from Warsaw to Palestine, but he's broke, and in order to make the journey, he must enter into a fictitious marriage with a prosperous woman eager to get there. Grappling with romantic, political and philosophical turmoil, David must also confront his faith when his father, an Orthodox rabbi, shows up in Warsaw.


Blackwell North Amer
It's 1922 and David Bendiger, an aspiring eighteen-and-a-half-year-old writer, arrives in Warsaw, penniless and homeless. His only contacts are Sonya, a young woman with whom he has had amorous dealings in the village they have left, and a Zionist functionary who informs him he has qualified for a certificate permitting him to emigrate to Palestine. But in order to make the journey David must enter into a fictitious marriage with a woman so eager to get to Palestine that she will pay all the expenses.
While David waits for his certificate, he becomes involved not only with Sonya but with Edusha, the sexually avant-garde Communist Party member in whose apartment he finds a temporary haven; and with Minna, the well-to-do young woman who wants to join her fiance in Palestine and agrees to "marry" David. Grappling with romantic, political, and youthful turmoil, David also confronts his literary future and religious past when his older brother - a writer disillusioned by a recent sojourn in Russia - and his father, an Orthodox rabbi, both turn up in Warsaw.
The Certificate was serialized in Yiddish in 1967, but may have been written much earlier. The translator, Leonard Wolf, in a postscript calls it "a very young man's book" and "certainly the most playful of Singer's long fictions," with its alternately comic and poignant shifts in plot. Young David's passions for women, philosophizing, Jewish religious speculation, and Walter Mitty-like fantasies make The Certificate a captivating novel in the great tradition of a master storyteller.

Baker
& Taylor

Homeless and penniless, David Bendiner, a young Jewish writer, arrives in 1922 Warsaw--his only asset being a certificate entitling him to immigrate to Palestine--and becomes involved with three different women.

Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 1992
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374120290
0374120293
Characteristics: 231 p. ; 24 cm

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h
hertz
Nov 16, 2011

Another masterpiece from what could be my favorite author. This sympathetic and at times hilarious story is also an essay of how the mounting issues of the time affected various groups of people. The issue of emigration to Palestine by driven Halutzim, the deteriorating situation of Jewish communities in Europe, along with general modernization in everything from sexual mores to the telephone. The personality of the author is a warm presence, and for me offers a sage companion who would surely be heartily moved by the advanced yet still beset condition of society in the world today.

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