_The Mendele Review_: Yiddish Literature and Language
              (A Companion to _MENDELE_)

Contents of Vol. 05.001
31 January 2001

1) Words and Names (ed.)
 a. "vi got in frankraykh"
 b.  odes or ades? [as "vi got in odes/ades"]
 c. di GOT-l-ak-es [=4 syllables] not di got-LAK-es [=3 syllables]
 d. The Jewish name Gordon/Gordin
 e. From Kass to Cohen at Ellis Island
 f. _Toplpunkt_ and daytshmerish
 g. 6 hard words from Radzin, Poland -- a call for help
2) Jaffa Arab boatmen speaking Yiddish in 1931 (ed.)
3) A Note on Isaac Metzker's "To the New World" [Project Onkelos
4) Books and Journals Received (ed.)
 a.  Khone Shmeruk, _Ayarot ukhrakhim..._
 b. _The Ben Uri Story from Art Society to Museum..._
 c. _Jiddistik Mitteilungen_ [Jiddistik in deutschsprachigen Laendern]
 d. _Grine medine; a yidishe, literarishe tsaytshrift_

Date: 31 January 2001
From: Leonard Prager 
Subject: Words and Names

a. "vi got in frankraykh"

A number of readers have commented on the expression "lebn vi got in
frankraykh" discussed in _TMR_ 04,016.  Robert Brustein contributed
several valuable notes in _Mendele_ vol. 10, no. 4 and Martin
Davis remembered having seen the phrase somewhere in the works of
Heine. Dovid Herskovic wrote:

I have come across the phrase 'vi got in frankraykh' in a rather
different context.  In Lynn H. Nicholas' _The Rape of Europa:  The Fate
of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War_
(London:  Macmillan, 1994), the looting by the Germans of Jewish-owned
art as well as of France's national treasures is described.  Then (p.
174) comes the following paragraph:

"The pursuit, trading, and confiscation of works of art concerned only a
small fraction of the Germans in Paris.  The rest of the occupiers were
more interested in entertaining themselves in the Paris of legend, and
this, within limits, their masters allowed them to do.  (Total
contentment was expressed as being 'as happy as God in France'.)"

A footnote gives as the source for this German use of the phrase
G.  Heller, _Un Allemand a Paris_ (Paris, 1981, p. 189).
b. odes or ades? [as "vi got in odes/ades"]

The name of the Ukrainian city Odessa has two common pronunciations in
Yiddish.  I asked two Mendelists to explain.  Meyer Wolf wrote:
"Russian-Ukrainian have a phonological alternation called 'kanye', one
of whose details is the reduction of unstressed /o/ to /a/.  For reasons
not clear to me, Literary Yiddish absorbs most R-U words in unreduced
form (i.e. as spelled), with /o/.  But southeasterners often adopt words
based on the actual pronunciation.  Hugh Denman wrote:  "In Russian the
grapheme o in pretonic position is 'reduced' to a; in Ukrainian,
however, not.  The harder part is to know why the last syllable has been
truncated. I anticipate further discussion of the points raised here.
c. di GOTlakes [=4 syllables] not di gotLAKes [=3 syllables]

I was asked for the meaning of _gotlakes_, title of an article in the
Radzin (Poland) yisker-bukh and found once in the text.  The article
describes three sterling citizens, all relatives.  One introduced
electrical power to the town and founded a modern Yiddish-Hebrew
elementary school.  Another founded a Jewish library.  The third founded
a savings and loan society.  The author writes:  "mit der yerushe'diker
ashires hot farvaltet der eltster zun fun di gotlakes, Dovid Fishl's"
['the oldest son of the gotlakes, David, Fishel's son, managed the
hereditary wealth'].

The translation 'benefactors' or 'the goodly' seemed to fall into the
right semantic field.  Professor Aharon Dolgopolski and I
thought that perhaps a neologism such as *"God-easy ones" would be even
closer to the true meaning.  My first hunch was to relate _gotlakes_ to
the MHG _goettlich_ 'godly', whose NHG development has the colloquial
meaning 'excellent; capital'.  This is cognate to the now obsolete
English word _godelich_ 'godly, goodly'.  One can conceive of a Yiddish
form _gotlekh_ or _gotlakh_ and the plural termination -es is no
problem.  But the Yiddish word we were investigating clearly had /k/
rather than /kh/.  Perhaps there was some Yiddish dialect in which /kh/
> /k/?

I searched for a Polish or Russian or Ukrainian form _lak_, but found
nothing semantically suitable.  Here Professor Dolgopolski suggested one
must search in additional Slavic dictionaries and in dialectal ones.  In
a Slovak dictionary he found the word _lahky_ (sp?)  'light, easy'
and this provided the /k/ we were missing.  Yiddish was affected by Old
Czech, which has left a small but distinct mark on Yiddish, and
perhaps by the similar though distinct Slovak.

At the moment that Professor Dolgopolski suggested a Slavic etymon, I
thought of the possibility that _lak_ represented a roshey teyves
(anagram) term, l"k, and I quickly found an excellent candidate -- the
abbreviation for "lo koshe" or "lo kashyo", which Alcalay in his
Hebrew-English dictionary translates "There is no difficulty here; No
trouble at all!"  Professor Dolgopolski suggested that _gotlakes_ might
be an instance of lexical interaction, a case where two totally
different etymons lead to a single form.

We knew, of course, that all of the foregoing was hypothetical and that
we needed to look for other possible explanations and other instances of
the word.  Hugh Denman and Noyekh Miller were highly skeptical of my
hypothetical etymon.  Meyer Wolf pointed in the right direction:  "The
context in which _gotlakes_ appears suggests to me that the word is not
a stam lexical item, but rather the family name.  Can we determine
whether this is so?"  Dov-Ber Kerler also asked if we shouldn't be
looking for a name and Aharon Dolgopolski's suggestion that "we ask some
old man" hit the mark.  The puzzle was solved when the poser of the
query, Nakhum Goldwasser, called a man who comes from Radzin and asked
him about the word?/name _Gotlakes_.  He was told that an ancestor of
the individuals referred to in the text was named Gotl.  This of course
gave us the answer to the puzzle:  Got + diminutive _l_ + pejorative
(here playful?) suffix _ak_.

d. The Jewish name Gordon/Gordin

In his engaging autobiography, _A Scholar's Odyssey_(1), the formidable
nonagenarian savant, Cyrus H. Gordon, speculates about his surname and
shows us that onomastics can ensnare even the learned, perhaps
especially the learned. Gordon writes:

The family name of 'Gordon' is common among Jews of Lithuania and nearby
areas, but it has not been modified from similar sounding names such as
'Gordonsky' or 'Gordonovitch,' which, in any case, do not exist.
Several explanations have been proposed, but only one has any chance of
being correct.  It is known that Scottish people by the name of Gordon
came as mercenaries to continental Europe.  The _Encyclopaedia
Britannica_ reports that one of them, Patrick Gordon, b. 1635 in
Scotland, d. 1699 in Moscow, went to continental Europe and served as a
mercenary in the Polish-Swedish War of 1655-1660 (_Micropaedia_, vol IV,
1978, p.535).  Gordon later became a favorite of Tsar Peter I the Great,
who made Gordon a rear admiral (1594) and chief military counselor.
Now, adventurers such as Patrick Gordon did not take their wives along
with them but took up with local women.  Of course, in modern Judaism,
the children of any union are automatically Jewish if their mothers are
Jewish.  However, use of the father's name as the family name helped the
Tsars keep track of their subjects for taxation and for military
conscription.  There must have been other adventuresome Gordons besides
Patrick to account for the large number of Jewish Gordons from
continental Europe.(2)

The best opinion differs with "the Scottish derivation" hypothesis.

Here is what we read in _A Dictionary of Surnames_:  "5.  Jewish (E.
Ashkenazic):  probably a habitation name from the Beloruss. city of
Grodno (Lithuanian Gardinas), whence the E. Ashkenazic surnames
Gardin(ski).  It goes back at least to 1657.  It was widespread among
Jews in Poland by the end of the 17th cent., when two naturalized Polish
noblemen, Henry and George Gordon, obtained legislation to prevent its
continued adoption by Jews.  Various suggestions, more or less fanciful,
have been forward as to its origin.  Kaganoff believes it to be an
'Anglicized' form of _gorodin_ 'townsman' (from _gorod_ 'town'), but
Anglicization was not a factor in E. Europe in the 17th cent.  There is
a family tradition among some bearers that they are descended from a son
of the Duke of Gordon, who converted to Judaism in the 18th cent., but
this would seem to be pure fantasy:  the Jewish surname was in existence
long before the 18th cent.  Others claim descent from earlier Scottish
converts, but the Jewish surname existed long before any non-Jew named
Gordon converted to Judaism."  This entry also lists Gordonoff and
Gordonowitz as patronymics derived from Gordon, and Gordin as a variant
of Gordon.(3)

Moshe Eshel, in his _Shemot mishpakha beYisrael_ (Haifa, 1967) thought
Gordon/Gordin might be "a corruption of _Jordan/Yarden_" (p. 12).
Alexander Beider in his authoritative Jewish surname dictionaries notes
a rabbinical anagram based on the placename Grodno and finds the name
Gordon and it variants especially common in Lithuania.(4) The
Guggenheimers see the name as stemming from Russian _Gordyj_ 'proud', a
translation of German _Stolz_.  They also list Hungarian _Gordon_ 'bass'
[musical instrument, i.e. double bass].


1) Cyrus H. Gordon, A Scholar's Odyssey, Atlanta, Georgia:  Society of
Biblical Literature, 2000.

2) Odyssey, p. 6.

3) Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, _A Dictionary of Surnames_,
Oxford/New York:  Oxford University Press, 1988, pp. 218-9.  [Special
consultant for Jewish Names:  David L. Gold]

4) Alexander Beider, _A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian
Empire_, Teaneck, NJ: Avoteynu, 1993, p. 255 and _A Dictionary of
Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland_, Teaneck: Avoteynu, 1996,
p. 192.

5) Heinrich W. and Eva H. Guggenheimer, _Jewish Family Names and Their
Origin; an Etymological Dictionary, New York:  Ktav, 1992, p. 292..

e. From Kass to Cohen at Ellis Island

About a year ago, I was contacted by a member of the rabbinical court in
Haifa by a very sympathetic dayan (of Yemenite origin) who was
collecting evidence to strengthen the position that not all Cohens were
_kohanim_.  His purpose was to assist a recent immigrant from the former
Soviet Union, a Kagan I believe, to marry a divorcee, something
halachically forbidden.  I sent him what onomastic evidence I could
find.  Cyrus Gordon's paradigmatic "Ellis Island" anecdote (_Odyssey_,
p. 9) supports the dayan's case:

"My own mother, Dorothy Cohen Gordon...came from Kovna....  Her father's
original family name was Kass, but he told the immigration official at
Ellis Island that he would prefer a typically American name.  The
official suggested Cohen, which my grandfather did not recognize because
Cohen was pronounced 'kayhen' or 'cain' in his dialect of Yiddish.  So,
although he was not of a priestly family, my maternal grandfather
entered this country as 'Mr.  Cohen.'"(3)

f. _Toplpunkt_ and daytshmerish

A new journal entitled _Toplpunkt_ ('Colon') has been launched in
Tel_Aviv (see _Mendele_ 10:043 for the Table of Contents).  Some readers
will be aware that the word _toplpunkt_ is marked in Uriel Weinreich's
_Modern English-Yiddish Yiddish-English Dictionary_ as 'of doubtful
admissibility in the standard language', a category for "words and
variants which are generally avoided by the most careful stylists, but
on whose admissibility in the standard language there is no full
consensus."  (p. xxxviii) MEYYED's approved word for 'colon' is "dos
TSVEYpintl."  The New High German term for 'colon' is _Doppelpunkt_,
from which the Yiddish _Toplpunkt_ is formed.  This proximity makes
"oysboyistn" nervous.

Dovid Katz argued (in his _Tikney Tikones; fragn vegn yidisher
stilistik_ [Oxford, 1993]) that proscription of New-High-Germanisms
contradicted actual written and oral use of the best writers.  Uriel
Weinreich himself used _shtandpunkt_; _oyfrikhtik_ was disqualified in
MEYYED, yet crops up in the author's own "a vort frier" (p. tes, next to
last line).  But Uriel Weinreich was anything but dogmatic in that same
foreward (which bears rereading).  He speaks of the need for successive
editions of the dictionary to incorporate changes in the living
language.  He anticipates that he may have erred in some of his
recommendations, but felt obliged to make them.  There is nothing wrong
with certain germanisms winning acceptance, even at this late date, and
others continuing to be proscribed by careful writers.  _toplpunkt_ is
"stronger" than _tsveypintl_ and will seem quite Yiddish to many,
especially since _topl_ and _punkt_ are both good Yiddish words, even
though Yiddish _punkt_ occurs in a sense other than that of the NHG

We wish the new journal a long and fruitful life.

g. 6 hard words from Radzin, Poland -- a call for help

Nakhum Goldwasser of Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv asks about 6 words which
are either nicknames or names of occupations.  There are no contextual
clues or indications of pronunciation.  I give the word in latin
letters and spell it out in Yiddish letters. alef may be either pasekh
or komets alef.

1. barverin [beyz alef reysh tsveyvovn ayin reysh yud nun]
['someone who wears or makes shawls called barves'???-- ed.]

2. brezers [beyz reysh ayin zayin ayin reysh samekh]

3. kaplak  [kuf alef pey lamed alef kuf]

4. zhabak  [daled zayin shin alef beyz alef kuf]

5. hapayduna [hey alef pey/fey alef yud daled vov nun alef]

6. katshuba  [kuf alef tes shin vov beyz alef]

Jaffa Arab boatmen speaking Yiddish in 1931

Cyrus Gordon's autobiography yields another anecdote of interest to
Yiddishists -- the date is 1931:

"After landing in Jaffa, I needed to hire a taxi to take me to
Jerusalem, so I asked assistance from an Arab boatman in classical
Arabic, which he did not understand.  So I tried Hebrew and then
English, neither of which he understood.  Finally, the boatman inquired,
"Efshar redst du zhargon?"  ("Perhaps you speak Yiddish").  I did and
thus got the directions I needed." (p. 25)

There are many comic anecdotes which feature the surprise introduction
of Yiddish at the punchline; and there is also a great deal of factual
evidence that Arabs, and oriental and Sephardic Jews communicated in
Yiddish with their Ashkenazic neighbors in the Old Yishuv in Hebron,
Safed, Jerusalem, Zikhron Yaakov and other places.  Alternative
historians could write a scenario in which Yiddish triumphs over Ivrit
in the language war in the Land of Israel -- if certain conditions were
fulfilled (e.g. a mass immigration in the early stages of colonization,
a militant and idealist Yiddishist leadership of the same high quality
as that produced by the Hebraists).  Once entrenched as the dominant
language among Jews, a mystique of Yiddish as the preserver of
loshn-koydesh and the language uniting East (Hebrew-Aramaic) and West
(Germanic and Slavic), old and new, past and present could readily have
been cultivated.  Yiddish as both deeply Jewish and manifestly European,
Yiddish as a language in which all modern experiences could be
articulated -- might very well have won wide acceptance.  The masses
would not have argued.  But of course Yiddish lost in Erets-Yisrael when
the Yiddish-speaking masses went elsewhere.

Date: 31 January 2001
From: Project Onkelos editors
Subject: A Note on Isaac Metzker's "To the New World"

A Note on Isaac Metzker's "To the New World" [Project Onkelos editors]

The story by Isaac Metzker [Yiddish:  Yitskhok Metsker] entitled "To the
New World" in the first (1954) edition (and some subsequent editions) of
the Howe and Greenberg _Treasury of Yiddish Stories_ was removed from
the revised edition of the anthology and David Bergelson's "Yoysef Shor"
was added to it.  In searching for the Yiddish original of "To the New
World," the Project Onkelos editors encountered difficulties.  The 1954
Howe and Greenberg paragraphs [pp. 90-1] about the author Metsker
mention _Dem Zehden's Felder_ [sic].  We went to Metsker's pastoral
novel _Oyfn zeydns felder_ and searched there for the Yiddish original
of "To the New World."  In scattered places, we found matching lines
and, in at least one instance, the English text seemed to be summarizing
a large section of the Yiddish text.  We began to wonder, in fact, if
the story might not have been withdrawn from later editions because of
the way it was cut-and-pasted.  The second paragraph, for instance,
about the building of a kloyz is a summary, nothing more, of some 50

Metsker was alive when the selection was chosen for the anthology.  He
either prepared it especially for the anthology or had it ready at hand.
It may even have been a sketch written prior to the composition of _Oyfn
zeydns felder_.  Another possibility is that Howe and Greenberg carved
the story out of the novel on their own -- which is not too probable
considering the pressures of time on both the compilers.  A
bibliographical search of Metsker's work might provide the answer to
this puzzle.  Leonard Prager recalls Howe telling him that he had doubts
about including the piece but was especially drawn to the image which
encapsulated the story's prime meaning:

"He looked up at the young trees, at the ripe blue plums huddling
against one another like eggs in a nest.  A plum suddenly tore itself
away from its cluster and fell silently to the ground.  The other plums
began to tremble, as if they too wished to fall.  But soon they became
still again, nestling against one another as before."  [p. 513]

On pages 361 and 362 of the 27th chapter of _Oyfn zeydes felder_ we find
the Yiddish original:

"zayn blik iz gefaln oyf a beyml, vos iz geshtanen nisht vayt fun zayn
geleger baladn mit rayfe floymen. di floymen hobn opgedekte mit nakhtikn
bloyen hoykh zikh getulyet eyns tsu s'andere un vi gedrimlt. plutsling /
hot eyn floym zikh opgerisn fun beyml un zikh aropgelozt in groz arayn.
di floymen arum dem leydik geblibenem ort hobn vi oyfgevakht. zey hobn a
tsiter geton, vi zey voltn zikh oykh veln opraysn fun di shtenglekh un
bald ruike tsurik zikh ayngetulyet in zeyer nest."

What Howe saw in these well-crafted lines was the essence of the
immigrant saga.  We, the Onkelos editors, continue to wonder about the
provenance of the Yiddish original of the no-longer anthologized "To the
New World."  We also would like to say that Isaac Metsker is a Yiddish
writer well deserving a place in a broadly represenative anthology.

Date: 31 January 2001
From: Leonard Prager (lprager@research.haifa.ac.il)
Subject: Books and Journals Received

a. Khone Shmeruk, _Ayarot ukhrakhim; perakim beyetsirato shel
shalom-aleykhem_, be'arikhat Khava Turnianski, Yerushalaim:  Hotsaat
Sefarim al shem Y"L Magnes, HaUniversita HaIvrit, 2000, 198 amudim.
[English t.p.:  Chone Shmeruk, _Studies in Sholem Aleichem's Writings_,
ed.  Chava Turniansky, Jerusalem:  The Hebrew University Magnes Press,
2000, 198 pp.] ISBN 965-223-998-4.]  [Price:  Israel -- 55 shekels + 5
shekels for packing and postage; abroad -- $14.00 plus + $2.00 package
and postage (sea mail).  Publisher's address:  POB 39099, Jerusalem
91390, Israel. fax:  972-02-5633370.  "The publication of this book was
made possible by the Tuvia Maizel Memorial Fund, Mexico."]

The late Hebrew University Yiddish scholar, Khone Shmeruk, maintained a
life-long interest in the greatest of our Yiddish comic authors,
Sholem-Aleykhem.  _Ayarot ukhrakhim:  Perakim beyetsirato shel
shalom-aleykhem_ ('Shtetls and Metropolises:  Studies in the Work of
Shalom-Aleichem') gathers together eight of his studies written over a
period of three decades.  All but two of the essays in this posthumous
volume were published originally in Hebrew; the two exceptions first
appeared in Yiddish in the now defunct _Di goldene keyt_.  Having all
these studies in a single collection in Hebrew is a convenience for the
Hebrew reader; five indexes (of Shalom-Aleichem's works, of periodicals,
of publishers, of persons, of places) augment its usefulness.  The rich
annotation of the original essays has been slightly altered and

The essays deal with central works such as _Tevye der milkhiker_, _Motl
peysi dem khazns_, _Blonzhende shtern_ and _Tsezeyt un tseshpreyt_, and
thry are characterized by close study of the texts in their
cultural-historical contexts (see Preface, p. 7).  The least accessible
item appeared in the Hebrew University bulletin _HaUniversita_ [June
1971], a periodical not likely to be catalogued in research libraries.
The theme here is the translatability of Shalom-Aleichem, a perennially
disputed matter.  Shmeruk's seminar students translated into Hebrew the
particularly interesting tenth Menakhem Mendl letter from the series
published in the Warsaw _Haynt_ in 1913 (and published in book form in
Yiddish and in Hebrew translation only in 1977).  In 1969 _Sovyetish
Heymland_ set out to print the 1913 series, but soon began to censor
some letters and completely omitted the tenth letter, obviously because
of relevance to events occurring at that time.

The work of three students -- Anna Dresner, translator of _Motl Peyse
dem Khazns into Polish_ (Wroclaw 1960) and two Israeli-born students --
was chosen as representative of varied stylistic approaches to
translating the purportedly untranslatable Yiddish author.  In Dresner's
translation, we are told, "yesh meshum nisayon letargem et
shalom-aleykhem leivrit hanekhshevet tiknit" ('there is something of an
attempt to translate Shalom-Aleichem into a Hebrew regarded as
standard'.)  Yisrael Bartal (today a Hebrew University history
professor) wrote his version in the Hebrew journalistic style of 1913
Warsaw and Khava Yonas tried to emulate the colloquial regiser of 1970s
Hebrew.  The reader can compare these student efforts with Arye
Aharoni's translation (Tel Aviv, 1977).  The original 1913 tenth letter
in Yiddish ("Menakhem Mendl fun varshe tsu zayn vayb Sheyne-Sheyndl in
Kasrilevke") is also given in this 1971 essay.

b. _The Ben Uri Story from Art Society to Museum / and the
influence of Anglo-Jewish Artists on the Modern Movement_, London:  The
Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, 2001.

This beautifully illustrated folio-size 96-page catalog of a
retrospective exhibit of art by Jewish artists in Britain (with an
introductory letter by the Prince of Wales) is of special
interest to students of Yiddish.  The reasons for this are clearly
explained in the catalog itself, mainly by David Mazower and Peter
Gross.  The Ben-Uri Society, an institution initiated by
Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe, was conducted
in Yiddish for many years. It has been thoroughly integrated into
Anglo-Jewish life and into the cultural life of London generally. Yet
its Yiddish roots have not been forgotten.

At the outset of his scrupulously researched essay, "Lazar Berson and
the origins of the Ben Uri Art Society," David Mazower quotes Israel
Zangwill:  "Mr.  Berson has for the first time perhaps in history,
excited popular Jewish interest in [art] so that crowds flock to
lectures on it and discuss it as eagerly as they once discussed texts.
Thus to widen and uplift the life of the masses is a privilege given to
few.  Berson the man is as successful and stimulating as Berson the
artist."  (1916) Berson, however, did not succeed in having himself
remembered for very long by Anglo-Jewry -- or anyone else.  Thanks to
the persistent interest of Mazower, the name Berson has been recalled to
collective memory.  In a sumptuous catalogue produced by genuine
_mavens_, "Berson" finds a habitation and a name.  Like an archaeologist
fitting together shards strewed over a large field, Mazower has
painstakingly pieced together the man's history and though palpable
gaps remain, a coherent image now stands before us.

Mazower's narrative of discovery, related in the first person, conveys
the excitement of his search.  Together with Peter Gross's fine essay,
"A Cultural Moment in the Midst of Change," it also connects the Berson
story to the vigorous Yiddish East End of his day.

c. _Jiddistik Mitteilungen_ [Jiddistik in deutschsprachigen Laendern]
Nr. 24 / Dezember 2000, 40 Seiten [ISSN 0947-6091].

Published by Yiddishists at the University of Trier, this modest
publication is weightier than its size suggests.  In addition to
informative notices of meetings, courses and publications, it features
solid essays and reviews.  The lead article in the present issue, Thomas
Soxberger's "'Vos Vin farmogt' Jiddische Drucke des 16.-18.
Jahrhunderts in der Oesterreichischen Nationalbibliothek" describes over
a score of Old Yiddish works in the Austrian National Library, listing a
1613 folk-medicine imprint (_Sefer derekh ets-hakhayim_) not listed in
Khone Shmeruk's 1981 survey of Polish Yiddish literature.  In his 1974
_Der Entwicklung des jiddischen Schriftums im deutsches Sprachgebiet_,
Helmut Dinse was aware of such works only from the second half of the
17th century (p. 102).  Soxberger makes a useful contribution to Yiddish

Gabriele Diehr reports on the Yiddish Studies 2000 Symposium at
Duesseldorf.  Erica Timm reviews the third volume of _The_Language and
Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry_, a volume many of us have been
eagerly waiting for, and Ane Klein writes on a German-language edition
of Abish Meisel's _Fun sekhistov biz amerike, a revi in 15 bilder_,
edited by Brigitte Dalinger and Thomas Soxberger (Vienna:  Picus, 2000).
This review by Meisels -- who was active for twenty years in the London
Yiddish theater -- is one of the few stage pieces that was both written
and produced -- successfully one is told -- in Vienna.  Wolf-Otto
Dreessen discusses Armin Schulz's comparativist study _Die Zeichen des
Koerpers und der Liebe.  "Paris un Vienne" in der jiddischen Fassung des
Elia Levita_ [Hamburg:  Kovac, 2000].  The splendid Shmeruk/Timm
(Jerusalem, 1996) and Timm/Beckmann [transcribed] (Tuebingen 1996)
editions of the text of "Paris un Viene" have helped stir critical
interest in this remarkable Old Yiddish epic.  The Schulz study and
Dreessen's comments are sure signs of this well-deserved attention.
_JM_ 24 also prints a schedule of Winter 2000/2001 Yiddish studies in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland, gives somewhat detailed reports of
Yiddish-centered activities at the universities of Goettingen, Trier and
Dresden, and lists new books in the field of Yiddish.

d. _Grine medine; a yidishe, literarishe tsaytshrift_ / _Grine Medine;
Een tijdschrift voor liefhebbers van de Jiddisje taal_ (Amsterdam), No.
1 (September 2000), 20 pp.  This bilingual (Dutch-Yiddish) quarterly is
edited by a small group of Amsterdam Yiddish-lovers.  Attempting to read
the Dutch, one discovers -- to parody Kafka -- that one knows more Dutch
than he/she realized.  About a third of the journal is Yiddish and the
rest Dutch.  The journal is attractively designed and tastefully edited.
End of _The Mendele Review_ 05001

Leonard Prager, editor

Subscribers to _Mendele_ (see below) automatically receive _The Mendele

Send "to subscribe" or change-of-status messages to:

        a. For a temporary stop: set mendele mail postpone
        b. To resume delivery: set mendele mail ack
        c. To subscribe: sub mendele first_name last_name
        d. To unsubscribe kholile: unsub mendele

              ****Getting back issues****

_The Mendele Review_ archives can be reached at: