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This entry is part of an online exhibit entitled: "Abraham Goldfaden: A Centennial Tribute," prepared by Eva Heinstein with help from the JMRC staff. To view the exhibit in its entirety click on the link above.
Goldfaden's epic operetta Shulamit (1880) follows the love story of Avshalom and Shulamit. Avshalom is traveling on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, when he finds Shulamit trapped in a well. He rescues her, and the two fall in love immediately. Although Avshalom must continue on to Jerusalem, they make an oath over the well and the howls of the jackals in the distance, to return to the well and to one another. In Jerusalem, Avshalom meets and marries the beautiful Avigayil, with whom he has two sons. Catastrophe befalls Avshalom and Avigayil when both of their sons die; one is eaten by a jackal, and the other is drowned in a well. Avshalom realizes that the cause of his sons' deaths is not coincidental, and confesses to Avigayil his vow to Shulamit. The play concludes with Avshalom and Shulamit's happy reunion. The image above is the title page of Shulamit published in Warsaw in 1886. Source: Yiddish Drama Collection at the Jewish National and University Library.