"The Magic Barrel"

In the story „The Magic Barrel” the protagonist, Leo Finkle, superficially a happy student, proves to have a worry, about which he needs to do something to have a good job prospects. As a future rabbi, he should have a wife. Unable to find himself a candidate, he contacts Pinye Salzman, who is a matchmaker. It is him who represents Leo’s problems and frustrations. Whenever he flips through his portfolio, Leo is overcome by sadness, because he knows that love has not much to do with such “business”.  

Then, Salzman proves to be the father of Stella, the woman whose photograph intrigues Finkle and with whom he insists to meet. It is clear that Salzman wants them to meet, as he probably cares about the happiness of his “baby”, but he also emanates the sadness and grief that his daughter is evil and has to be disowned. Salzman is a man that reflects the problems of others and therefore cannot be happy. He emerges out of darkness and brings with him dark thoughts that overwhelm Leo and ideas he would never think of before like leaving the school or his lack of love towards God and man. Salzman makes Leo look into his soul and evokes his need of redemption.


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