No more thoughts and prayers

From: Kamala Harris <info>
Date: Sun, Aug 4, 2019 at 10:46 PM
Subject: No more thoughts and prayers
To: Olga Shulman Lednichenko <LEDNICHENKOOLGA>

Content warning: this email contains references to gun violence and mass shootings that some readers may find upsetting.


Yesterday in El Paso, 20 people lost their lives at a shopping mall. It was a Saturday afternoon. They were killed by a man with an assault rifle, and it was over in minutes.

And then, late last night, nine people were killed during a mass shooting at a bar in Dayton, Ohio, by a man wearing body armor, wielding what has been described as an “assault-style weapon.” The shooting lasted no more than 1 minute.

This is life in America in 2019. People are killed by guns in schools, at festivals, at concerts, at places of worship, in malls, and at picnics — everywhere people live their lives. El Paso was the 250th mass shooting in America this year, and Dayton is 251.

This doesn’t happen anywhere else. It happens in America because our so-called leaders lack the courage to act. And frankly, I’ve had enough. Have you?

As President, I will ask Congress to place comprehensive gun reform on my desk within 100 days. If they fail to act, I will take action. Here is what I will do:

  • I will revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers and dealers that break the law and take the most egregious offenders to court.
  • I will mandate the most comprehensive background checks in history by requiring anyone who sells more than five guns in a year to run a background check on all gun sales.
  • And I will ban the importation of AR-15-style assault weapons into the United States.

These are actions well within the powers of the presidency. And I will take them. This is a public health emergency that needs to be addressed.

No more thoughts and prayers. We need action. If you’re with me, split a contribution to Giffords, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America »


Thank you for adding your voice to this fight. We can’t accept this as normal in America. We have to act, and we have to act now.

For the People,

— Kamala Harris


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Great Jewish Books: The World of Yiddish Literature

From: My Jewish Learning <community>
Date: Sun, Aug 4, 2019 at 12:15 AM
Subject: Great Jewish Books: The World of Yiddish Literature
To: <lednichenkoolga>

Discover Der Nister’s lost world.
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Great Jewish Books

brought to you by


The Family Mashber


The Family Mashber

by Der Nister, 1939

What Makes The Family Mashber one of the Greatest Works of Yiddish Literature

By Zachary Solomon

It was a Saturday in February of 1949 when the Soviet secret police finally came for Pinchus Kahanovitch. He had been waiting for their knock for a long time, and had taken precautions.

A final holdout of the Stalinist purges of Yiddish culture, Kahanovitch, who published under the pen name Der Nister (“The Hidden One”), knew his time was near. His masterpiece, a sprawling and evolving family epic called The Family Mashber, had just seen its second volume published in New York the year before. Its first volume was published in Moscow in 1939. Before deporting him to a labor camp for “hostile nationalistic activity,” like so many of his Yiddish-artist cohort, the police asked after his manuscripts. Der Nister told them: “Forgive me, gentlemen, the matter is none of your concern. It was not for you that I wrote my manuscripts and they remain in a safe place.”

That third volume, like Der Nister himself, is gone. But what we do have of The Family Mashber is one of the greatest works of Yiddish literature.


The novel follows the Mashber family in their Polish-Ukrainian town of “N,” and how, over the course of one year in the 1870s, they see their comfort and happiness and financial prosperity evaporate. The Mashbers of note are three brothers: Luzi, a mystic and spiritual seeker; Alter, a pious epileptic; and Moshe, around whom the novel largely revolves—the savvy businessman whose wealth is an indelible cornerstone for the entire community. Two unprompted events precipitate the town’s downfall, one including the maiming of the cheap portrait of the czar that hangs in the Jewish inn, an act of unpatriotic desecration that comes with enormous ramifications for the Jews.


Meanwhile, as if financial woes weren’t enough, the town is being overrun by Bratslavers—followers of the Bratslav sect of Hasidism, known for a feverishly joyous and performative relationship with God—and Luzi Mashber joins up with them. It’s not long before the townspeople suspect the Bratslavers as the cause of their town’s hardships and attempt to drive them out.

Der Nister’s magnum opus brims with life. Now, 79 years since the first volume was published in Moscow, and 31 since its first English translation, The Family Mashber’s momentous gravity and worth still resonates.


Read an Excerpt

Get a taste of Der Nister’s masterpiece with an excerpt of the first pages of The Family Mashber.

Get Your Copy

Buy The Family Mashber


Explore More

What else was happening in Europe’s Jewish communities when Der Nister wrote "The Family Mashber?" Learn all about the history of Yiddish literature in the 20th century.

Your next email in the "Great Jewish Books" series will arrive in a few days. Stay tuned to explore a seminal Jewish novel from the 1940s.

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