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by Benjamin Rosenblatt

Genre: Drama
Setting: America
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 45 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


One day old Zelig was called from his shop, because his son had a sudden severe attack; and, as he ascended the stairs of his home, a neighbor shouted: “Run for a doctor; the patient cannot be revived.” A voice as if from a tomb suddenly sounded in reply, “I haven’t a cent by my soul.”

The hallway was crowded with the ragged tenants of the house, mostly women and children; from far off were heard the rhythmic cries of the mother. The old man stood for a moment as if chilled from the roots of his hair to the tips of his fingers. Then the neighbors heard his sepulchral mumble: “I’ll have to borrow somewheres, beg some one,” as he retreated down the stairs. He brought a physician; and when the grandson asked for money to go for the medicine, Zelig snatched the prescription and hurried away, still murmuring: “I’ll have to borrow, I’ll have to beg.”


This story has nothing to do with the Woody Allen move by the same name. It’s the story of a very poor Jewish immigrant who hasn’t the money to save his son’s life. (Or perhaps, HAS the money, but daren’t spend it unless he absolutely has to.)


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