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Rather Laugh than Cry: Stories from a Hassidic Household

Rather Laugh than Cry is a glimpse into the daily life of a contemporary Hassidic woman living in a large urban setting. Malka Zipora is the pseudonym of a Montreal Hassidic woman who has raised a family of twelve children ranging in age from nine to thirty years old. Zipora has taken the unusual step of drawing back the curtain on her life as a Hassidic woman, and what she tells us about her everyday life gives us a very human view into a world that seems very much apart from the mainstream. But the stories clearly demonstrate that the lives of Hassidic mothers, wives, and members of a tightly-knit community are not so very different from the lives of other women. With good humour, Zipora shares with the reader her daily struggles and allows us to go beyond the external things that set the Hassidic community apart—unusual clothing, the rejection of radio, TV, mainstream newspapers, and other media, and long-held traditions of staying apart from the world around them. The stories in Rather Laugh Than Cry are reflections of a family life that is familiar across boundaries of time and place.rnrn

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