When the great Yiddish humorist Sholem Aleichem died in 1916, a hundred thousand people lined the streets for a funeral procession that stretched like challah dough through three boroughs, from his home on Kelley Street in the Bronx, through Manhattan en route to Mt. Neboh Cemetery in Queens.
Warm, genuine tears rolled down the faces of people who only knew the author from his name on a book jacket.
Aleichem, real name Solomon Rabinowitz, was a scribe until the end, writing his own epitaph, which began, “Here lies a plain man who wrote in plain Yiddish.”
The line has always brought comfort to our pigskin poet Ida Eisenstein, who learned of the great spectacle as a girl, from a third cousin who manned an Eldridge Street pickle cart.
After a season of tumult, Eisenstein is finally herself again, calmed by sweet memories on a long flight back from the North Sea.
It’s all made her think of a related — if only to her — chestnut, courtesy of Russian novelist Maxim Gorky, her inspiration for the week: “In the carriages of the past you can’t go anywhere.”
Texans (-6.5), Titans (-9), Bengals (-4.5), Dolphins (+10), Browns (+14.5), Redskins (-6), Panthers (-7), Steelers (-7), Lions (-3.5), Eagles (+3), Packers (-13), Saints (-7).
Giants (+3) over Jets:
“Jets did not do well last week.”
Raiders (+1) over Chiefs:
“They’ll wake up.”
Broncos (-3) over Bills:
“They’re the better team.”
Ida’s Kryptonite Lock of the Week:
Seahawks (+3) over 49ers:
“Why? Because it’s the Seahawks.”
108-107-6, 9-6 on Kryptonite Lock of the Week.