Gimpel the Fool


Isaac Bashevis Singer

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Yechiel is Elka’s bastard child, fathered by some unknown lover. He is already born when Gimpel first meets Elka, and Elka claims that he is her little brother. Yechiel and Gimpel do not get along, with Yechiel often physically attacking Gimpel, and the almost always gentle and unconfrontational Gimpel being tempted to fight back. Later in the story, when Gimpel returns from the puzzling errand Elka sends him on after he catches her in bed with the apprentice, Yechiel jumps out from behind the oven and strikes Gimpel hard on the back of the head. It seems possible that Elka planted him there.
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Yechiel Character Timeline in Gimpel the Fool

The timeline below shows where the character Yechiel 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
...match: he has heard she is sexually promiscuous; that the little boy she lives with, Yechiel, is believed to be her bastard son, by a lover; and also that she has... (full context)
Part 3
The Real vs. The Imaginary  Theme Icon
...She begins screaming and cursing him, insisting that he is out of his mind. Meanwhile, Yechiel springs from behind the oven and strikes Gimpel on the head. Gimpel is bewildered by... (full context)