May 12, 2017 12:00 am / 2:00 pm
In an Ashkenazic shtetl in Poland, Yentl Mendel is the boyishly klutzy daughter and only child of long widowed Rebbe (“Talmud Teacher”) Mendel, who teaches Talmud (a codification of Jewish Law) to local boys – and to Yentl, but secretly because girls were not allowed to learn the law in those days.
When her father dies, Yentl is all alone in the world. She takes the momentous decision to leave the village and- disguised as a boy and calling herself by the name of her late brother, Anshel – seeks and gets admitted to a Yeshiva, to study the texts, traditions, subtleties and complexities of Torah,Talmud etc. She befriends Avigdor who is engaged to Haddas, but her family discovers his brother committed suicide so they call off the wedding (in case Avigdor possesses the same madness). Anshel then finds “him” -self in the akward position of being called into service as substitute bridegroom, so that the wedding can go ahead and Haddas will have a husband.