old world view - where Ashkenazim
lived in walled cities and swarmed all over each other for a few millenia. Russians, Poles and other hosts kept the Ashkenazim segregated in the shtetl.
new world view - any settlement with a high concentration of people of the Hebrew
persuasion. Identifiable in any large metropolitan area in North America
See also the Pale of Settlement
and Lower East Side
My ancestors lived in the Lodz
shtetl. My wife's ancestors were Litwaks and Galicianers, although every family had some Cossack
or Tartar DNA
We cooked a great brisket in the shtetl
, and a pretty good borscht
, too. You could hear the violins every night.
Your neighbors know everything about you and your entire family and lineage in the shtetl.
Many find a bizarre comfort in the shtetl, at once claustrophobic and comforting, as opposed to the terrifying life outside the walls.
When you go to an event at the shtetl, you can get a free lucky number pogrom
, but the prizes aren't what you would expect.