Gimpel the Fool


Isaac Bashevis Singer

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One day, after coming out of an uplifting meeting with the rabbi, Gimpel encounters the rabbi’s daughter. She reminds Gimpel that he needs to kiss the wall. He is surprised, as he has never heard of such a necessity before. She insists that it is very important. He goes ahead and kisses the wall, and no sooner than he has done so, the rabbi’s daughter starts laughing hysterically. Gimpel fell for her prank, and is disappointed that a person with such proximity to the kindness, wisdom, and piety of her father, the rabbi, should behave in this manner. Only moments before, her father had been telling Gimpel, that, no matter how much his neighbors make fun of him or call him a fool, he can take comfort in being a faithful and benevolent person, while the real fools are those who are mean-spirited and choose to cause embarrassment for others. The rabbi’s own daughter, it would seem, is one of the fools.
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The Rabbi’s Daughter Character Timeline in Gimpel the Fool

The timeline below shows where the character The Rabbi’s Daughter appears in Gimpel the Fool. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Credulity as Wisdom and Holy Faith  Theme Icon
Punishment vs. Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...not a fool. They are the fools.” These words comfort Gimpel. On his way out, the Rabbi’s daughter tells him that he has forgotten to kiss the wall, and that it is the... (full context)