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בני נח לא נצטוו על השיתוף. אבל אתם יהודים, אז שתפו בכל הכוח!

מסכת סוחרים מאת אברהם שלמה מלמד, ברדיטשב, 1900

אברהם שלמה מלמד (1862- 1951) היה מורה לעברית בפאודוסיה שבחצי האי קרים.
כאן מובא הדף הראשון של המסכת. ניתן להוריד את המסכת המלאה בלינק http://www.hebrewbooks.org/20138



חוקר ההומור ישראל דוידסון כתב בקורת חיובית מאד על המסכת בספרו Parody In Jewish Literature:

In the panorama of Jewish life, as depicted by the parodists, the figure of the merchant is of course not wanting. Two satires on the commercial phases of Jewish life appeared within one decade of the last century; the מסכת שטרות of Abraham Abel Rakowsky in 1894, and the מסכת סוחרים of Abraham Solomon Melamed in 1900. Both of these are to be reckoned among the finest Talmudic parodies in Hebrew literature. The style and the spirit of the Talmud are nowhere better imitated than in them, while in humor and irony, keenness of observation and piquancy of expression they have rarely been surpassed. In each of these parodies the lives of the merchant, the broker, the money lender and the tradesman are laid bare before us. We see all the subterfuges and all the cunning they resort to in their wild chase after wealth. And while we know that the parodists have painted them a little blacker than they really are, we, nevertheless feel, that the struggle for existence within the Pale must be terrible enough to warrant even such black colors. All the evil that the May Laws brought upon the Jews of Russia is unintentionally reflected here. In the light of these oppressive laws we no longer wonder at the lack of honesty among tradesmen, but we wonder at the amount of perseverance displayed by them under such inhuman treatment. Many had to change their line of work frequently to survive:
"Rabbi Sahran (merchant) says a grain merchant in the first stage is a beneficiary supported by his father-in-law, in the second stage a teacher of small children, in the third stage a clerk and in the fourth a grain merchant. Rabbi Yadan (Wizard) says, he is a wood chopper in the first stage, a shoemaker in the second stage, a butcher in the third, and a grain merchant in the fourth. Said Rabbi Sarseron (middle-man), the words of Rabbi Sahran apply to the cities of the North and the words of Rabbi Yadan to the cities of the South, and both are agreed as to the poverty of the last stage".
In these two parodies, then, we have two historic documents about the economic condition of the Jews in Russia in the last part of the nineteenth century. 

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