I’m now on the third (and final) part of Grossman’s Life and Fate (Russian text), and I’ve finally hit a mystery even Sashura can’t unravel, so I turn to the wider world for possible elucidation. A former Cheka officer named Katzenellenbogen is making conversation in his Lubyanka cell; after the very funny line “два еврея, оба пожилые, проводят совместно вечера на хуторе близ Лубянки и молчат” (“two Jews, both elderly, share evenings on a farm near Lubyanka”—a parody of Gogol’s Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka—”and are silent”), he says “Почему он не хочет со мной говорить? Страшная месть, или убийство священника в ночь под Лакбоймелах?” [“Why doesn’t he want to talk to me? A terrible vengeance, or the murder of a priest on the eve of Lakboimelakh?”] This word Лакбоймелах doesn’t look in the least Russian, nor does it look like anything else in particular, although it occurs to me that the last part, boimelakh, has a Yiddish ring to it, not that that’s much help. There appears to be absolutely nothing about it online, either in Russian or English (and Chandler simply omits it from his translation, as he does both references to Gogol). So: anybody have any ideas?