The Family Moskat is the matrix from which Singer’s subsequent work grows. His next two novels, The Magician of Lublin and The Slave are like dreams out of Asa Heshel’s remorse. The Magician, Yasha Mazur, fallen from the Faith, is a kind of Satan, the opportunist of his own inspired ingenuity. But, unlike Asa Heshel’s, his belief has not wholly died, it has (merely) been buried. It recovers him from the pit, and in a bricked-up cell in his yard he becomes an ascetic, a famous Holy man. In this, he has not rejected the world. He has accepted the only life that does not lead to misery for himself and for everybody he knows. The Slave goes a great step further in the same direction. Jacob—a slave of Polish peasants in the seventeenth century—is brutishly treated. He is stalled among the beasts. He is threatened with constant death. Yet he keeps his faith. He falls in love with the peasant daughter of his master, converts her, and returns with her to live in a Jewish settlement. It is a story of heroic dedication: no disappointment or persecution or obstacle can shake him—as Asa Heshel was so easily shaken—from the chosen way, and he becomes, again, a kind of Saint.
Reb Israel tried to pierce the total eclipse, and he seemed to glimpse a kaleidoscope of winding lengths of cloth, swirling in variegated fiery colors; a dance macabre of sparks, flowers, stars, swooping down like locusts. Basheleh was still haranguing the group, but he could hardly hear her. A wall seemed to loom between him and the others. He touched his cold glass of tea with the tips of his fingers. Surprisingly, he felt ashamed of his misfortune before the youthful gathering. He was averse to being surrounded with questions and sardonic compassion. He recalled the Talmudic precept: “It is incumbent on a man to pronounce a benediction over the evil things that befall him, even as he gives blessing over the good.” But what sort of a benediction did one pronounce on becoming blind?
It is a barbell economy. One can still find a way to get ahead but one will need to be working full time and researching which is work also to do so. I agree with others here. Collapse already happened for the majority anyways. So if the DOW crashes by 35% McDonalds is going to lay off all there staff? Pay less per hour when people walk off the job because of low pay or bennies? Ok, it may have a knock on effect, but more like a ripple in a pond. I am more concerned about geopolitics these days. The top of the barbell is freaked because growth for them is now stalling as was inevitable with just papering over real issues. It is always capital vs. labor issues in the end.