Summary of “Iosele – Nightingale”

In the Cold Synagogue Mazepovka is sung by the beautiful cantor Shmulik Yampolsky. Once in Mazepovka comes the world famous cantor, and Shmulik, for the first time having heard the singing of a professional, decides to teach the singing of his son Iosele, who has a beautiful treble. Ioselus can not stand studying in a heder and dreams of learning to be a cantor.

Growing up without a mother, with a cruel stepmother, Iosela from childhood is attached to his neighbor Esther. The mother of the girl, the haberdashery Zlata, was an early widow with three children, and Esther, from childhood, helps her mother in the household, is managed in a shop and educates her younger brothers.

Quarreling with neighbors, Zlata protects Iosela from the reproaches of his father and beatings of his stepmother. One day, Esther finds a merchant named Leibtsin in the town of Teterevce, who agrees to help Iosela to learn from the local famous cantor Mitzi. Stepmother agrees to get rid of her stepson,

but his conscience torments his father, and Zlata is unhappy that the boy will have to leave home. Nevertheless, the twelve-year-old Iosele goes to Teterevets.

Seeing the poorly dressed boy, Mitzi is suspicious of him, but hearing his singing, he is delighted and takes Iosel to his choir with a chorister.

Mitzi kindly refers to Iosel, in contrast to his wife, who does not like the boy, finds fault with him as well as his stepmother, forcing to help around the house. Boys from the choir, jealous of Iosel, are also hostile to their new comrade. Leibzin helps Iosel with money and, coming from Mazepovka, brings letters from his father. The boy is very homesick, and especially according to Esther.

One of the former disciples of Mitzi, and now the cantor himself, Gedalia, hearing about a new singer his teacher is trying to entice him to himself. Iosel agrees to sing with Gedalia, who offers him to travel around the world and make money, but first he wants to see his family, three years he was not in his native Mazepovka.

On Saturday in the Cold Synagogue of Mazepovka, Iosele sings hymns. People

admire his extraordinary voice, calling him the nightingale. The guests come to Shmulik’s house to express their admiration, even Iocele’s stepmother is touched by the singing of her stepson. But Iosel only cares about meeting Esther.

Soon Iosele becomes famous cantor. From the mouth to mouth, legends of his extraordinary voice are transmitted. And although he does not come home, Shmulik receives money from him. But soon Iosela ceases to help the family, and the father does not get any news from his son. He yearns for Iosel and Esther. She could marry, but she can not forget her childhood friend, she does not believe that Iosela violated the vows and promises given at the time of separation.

In the meantime, Iosele, along with Gedalia, travels around the cities. Gedaliah does not sing now, but cares for Iosel as his own father, making arrangements in the synagogues, so that Iosele sang. After seeing the world, Iosele becomes a wag. He misses prayers, plays cards, drinks pork and can drink a glass of “bitter”. In addition, a handsome young man enjoys success with women. But the cantor is an advocate of the flock before God, and such behavior causes people’s indignation. In addition to the fact that Iosele is a good income for Gedalia, Gedalia hopes to marry his daughter to him, although the girl is older than Iosela. He dares the young man of all the brides who meet him. But soon Gedalia understands that his hopes are not fated to come true, Josely declares that he does not intend to marry, and if he marries, only on a girl from Mazepovka.

Iosela comes to the town of Strizh. There he meets a young widow, Madame Perellet, who recently died her husband, leaving her a decent state. A beautiful, educated woman and a rich house make Iosela forget about Esther. The brothers of the deceased husband, Madame Perelé, are outraged that the term of mourning is not over yet, but with the help of Gedalya, who noticed that Iosela the Nightingale often fires a cock and runs the risk of losing his voice, the wedding took place, and the young people moved to Berdichev.

In Berdichev Iosel has to live with his wife’s parents in a small dirty house. He does not understand the life of his father-in-law merchant. The wife does not understand his desire to become a cantor. A refined, affectionate woman turns out to be a bazaar trade, which her parents listen to in everything because of the money of her deceased husband.

Rumors about the marriage of Iosela reach Mazepovka. Recently, because of colds, Shmulik’s voice started to pass, and the news of his son’s marriage was a heavy blow to him. Secretly, Esther is suffering too, to which the local usurer, the widower Alter, who the whole Mazepovka hates, wins. From despair the girl lends herself to persuasion and decides to marry a rich old man. Even sitting at the betrothal, she hopes for the appearance of Iosel. At the wedding, Esther falls into a faint from grief.

Meanwhile, Iosele, leaving his wife, returns to Mazepowka. Dreaming of meeting with Esther, he falls on her wedding in the midst of fun, no one noticed. Iosel is getting sick and he is running home.

The next day the guests gather in the house of Zlata for the rite of “tie the bride”. Hearing that Josélé came alone and was ill, in a fever, Esther struggles to hold back, not to go to him.

After the guests leave, Esther and her mother come to see the patient. Despite the fact that they are both tied up in marriage, Iosele suggests that Esther escape. Eliminating temptations, Esther returns home to her husband.

For three weeks Iosela was lain with an inflammation of the brain. All this time, Esther came to see him, despite her husband’s sneers. Iosele had almost recovered when Madame Perellet appeared. Seeing his wife, Iosela throws herself at her with a wild cry. A descended son, Shmulik, is taken to the zaddik in the neighboring village of Makarovka.

Esther melts like a candle, although Alter does not spare money for either doctors or medicines. Cantor Shmulik died, and in Mazepovka they collect alms for his widow and younger children. Madame Perellet returned to her parents, becoming a widow with a living husband. She lives well with the money of her first wife.

A crazy man is wandering around in Makarovka. He enters the house and waits for him to be given food. He rarely talks to someone, but sometimes he starts to sing. He sings so, that people give up all their business and come to listen to it. During singing, he can start barking like a dog, mewing a cat or screaming like a cock. People treat him with compassion, give money and clothes, only mischievous boys tease and beat him. Iosel-Nightingale coolly takes offense, not confronting anyone with anyone.

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Summary of “Iosele – Nightingale”