Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where I do my best imitation of Scribal Terror

Beyond the pale:

Most Russian Jews were forced to live in an area called "the Pale." There, they could not hold public office, open businesses and were taxed more heavily than Christians. The Russian Pale was established in 1792 on land annexed from Poland. It was filled with small, poor villages known as "shteetls." A pale was once a read fence or boundary. In some European towns the Jewish quarter was walled or fenced off. Today the word "pale" still can mean "an area enclosed by a fence or boundary." The expression, "beyond the pale," means outside acceptable limits.

Hisotry of US, Book 7, page 140

Wasn't that interesting?