The Yiddish humorist and literary revivalist Sholem Aleichem was born in Ukraine on this day in 1859 --
and he served in the elected position of crown rabbi of the Ukrainian town of Lubny from 1880 to 1883.
Lubny is about half-way between Kyiv and Kharkiv, and is one of the oldest towns in the country, with some historic sights:
It was he who created the character of Tevye the dairyman that later became the star of "Fiddler On The Roof"
As we all learn more about Ukrainian history and character, the multicultural composition of the region reminds us of the strengths and weaknesses of communal societies. Hebrew, Russian, and Polish were the formal languages that most writers chose to use, but for a variety of reasons Sholem Aleichem picked Yiddish, and the ramifications of this practice continue to influence folk literature to this day.