Born on this day: Isaac Bashevis Singer
He had on the pulse of his people his finger.
He wrote of the customs, tribulations, and mettle
Of the Jews in East Europe who lived in a shetl..*
*Barbara Streisand made the enchantingly memorable movie "Yentl" based on a play co-authored by Singer, which itself was based on his short story, "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy". It tells of the young daughter of a Jewish scholar who, after his death, decides to assume the identity of a young man so she could pursue her study of the Talmud. The score by Michel Legrand is sonorously beautiful (e.g. 'Papa, Can You Hear Me?'). Although the critics at the time shared my assessment of the film, Singer, ironically, objected to Streisand's interpretation of the central character, Yentl.