The Mendele Review: Yiddish Literature and Language
(A Companion to MENDELE)

Contents of Vol. 11.001 [Sequential No. 178]
31 January 2007

Special Khulyot issue


Editorial:  The fact that this issue of TMR celebrates three Israeli Hebrew-language publications on or related to Yiddish demonstrates the continued centrality of Israel in the field of Yiddish studies. In Israel,  happily, there has been a gradual but perceptible change in attitudes towards Yiddish on the part of intellectuals and the broad public as well. Amidst all the talk of late – best represented by a recent ECONOMIST article asserting (with some truth, I am afraid) a falling off of feelings of connectedness to Israel by Jewish youth throughout the world – TMR affirms the fruitfulness of  a worldwide Yiddish studies network in which Israeli Hebrew-language publications and institutions play a major role. To be a Yiddish scholar without a working knowledge of Hebrew is to be sorely limited. To fail to maintain close relations among Yiddish scholars worldwide is to weaken the position of Yiddish generally. The celebration marked by this issue of TMR belongs to all of Yiddishland. (ed.)

1) This issue of TMR (ed). 
2) Special Evening 5 Feb.2007 Celebrating Publication of Khulyot vol. 10 (flyer)
3) Khulyot Volume 10 (front cover)
4) On the Appearance of Volume 10 of Khulyot (A Talk by Shalom Luria, tr. ed.)
5) Table of Contents (Khulyot Volume 10)
6) Davka 2 (front cover) [Yiddish: dafke]
7) Davka 2) Table of Contents
8) Avraham Greenbaum's Perakim baHistoriographia shel Yahadut Rusiya [Studies in the Historiography of Russian Jewry]. Jerusalem: Merkaz Dinur/Merkaz Zalman Shazar, 2006 [Kuntresim – Mekorot uMekhkarim 96] ISBN 965-227-217-5. Front cover. 
[Photo of  Mendele Moykher-Sforim and Shimen Dubnov (Shimon Dubnow)]
 9. Greenbaum's Perakim…: Abstract.

Click here to enter:

31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject: This issue of TMR.

In this issue of TMR we welcome the publication of the long-awaited tenth volume of Khulyot, Journal of Yiddish Research, whose table of contents we give as well as facets of the celebration – the chief editor's talk, notice of a special meeting of Jerusaelm's Yiddish Cultural Society. We briefly announce the publication of two other works which well deserve more space – Davka 2 and Avraham Greenbaum' s book on the historiography of Russian Jewry. All three publications discussed in this issue of TMR, as we mention in our (first-time) Editorial, are in Hebrew, which we regard as a necessary tool for all serious students of Yiddish.

31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject: Special Evening 5 February 2007 Celebrating Publication of Khulyot vol. 10

The Yiddish Cultural Association in Jerusalem, 10 Shalom Aleichem St. (corner Jabotinsky) announces a special evening to celebrate the appearance of the tenth volume of Khulyot, Journal of Yiddish Research jointly published by Haifa, Hebrew, Tel-Aviv and Bar-Ilan Universities.


31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject: Khulyot Volume 10 (front cover)


31 January 2007
From: Shalom Luria
Subject: On the Appearance of Volume 10 of Khulyot (A Talk by Shalom Luria)

[Brief words read on the fifth of February 2007 before the Yiddish Cultural Society of Jerusalem in celebration of the publication of the 10th volume of the journal Khulyot. The translation from Yiddish is by the editor.]

On the Appearance of Volume 10 of Khulyot

By Shalom Luria

1.  The publication of the tenth volume of Khulyot is occasion for celebration, one to which I invite all my friends -- but warning them in advance that I intend to speak only Yiddish and only about Khulyot. We all know how much effort is expended year in and year out on research and teaching in Yiddish and on Yiddish in our universities. This is a subject in and of itself and one I am sure some able person will faithfully explore. 

2.  Khulyot means 'rings' or 'links'. Rings are forged to make a chain. "Es mont in undz a fayer" ['We are called on to respond passionately'] writes our great poet Avrom Sutskever, who defines this need in one of the deepest and most feeling poems in his entire works(1), calling on us to attach ourselves to the almost millenium-old golden chain of creativity in Yiddish, for Yiddish is surely the most beautiful, the very finest pearl in all we have inherited from the world of Ashkenaz and Eastern Europe.

3.  Therefore what else but Khulyot, a Hebrew-language journal whose mission is to collect and publish essays and scholarly articles in the broad field of Yiddish studies produced in many lands and in many languages, a journal that deserves the interest and respect of Hebrew-language researchers, authors and readers in Israel and abroad -- and, indeed, merits their love. 

Who would have thought that readers of Hebrew would be incapable of understanding Yiddish treasures directly from their original source? We know quite well, however, that a younger generation (our children and grandchildred) is growing up in Israel "that knew not Joseph" and that it would be a "mitsva," a virtuous act, to open for them the doors to Yiddish.  

4.  No manner of propaganda or preaching is capable of rousing human hearts from cold indifference. Yet one tries to do something tangible, to place black on white. Establishing a journal such as Khulyot -- especially given its uncertain financial basis -- can matter in this realm like a drop of water in the ocean.

Nevertheless, it seems that for a society that years long carried on the now difficult-to-grasp struggle against Yiddish (now named "riv haLeshonot" -- the Language Quarrel), it would be a virtuous deed [a mitsva] to throw open even a tiny window -- in the hope that deep, curious readers would begin to interest themselves in Yiddish culture.

5.  The idea of issuing a journal such as Khulyot was not a new one. In the summer of 1986 Benjamin Harshav and Ittamar ibn Zohar, editors of the Tel-Aviv University-sponsored journal HaSifrut ['Literature'] devoted a section of their periodical to "Hebrew and Yiddish." This section of interesting and weighty research papers set an example that a number of Yiddish-lovers in the academic community thought worth emulating. The latter followed and found their own path.   

6.  Let me say a few words about the first volume of Khulyot, printed fourteen years ago in the winter of 1993. I must confess that we were surprized at the reception. The first volume was snapped up "vi matse-vaser" [the demand was great]. We printed three hundred copies and were warned they would lie like "an unturned stone" [keEven sheEyn la hofkhin]. But I only have one copy left. Subscribing libraries and individuals increase in number -- truly a surprize. On the other hand we lack the funds to print far larger editions than we do. 

7.  A great many talented individuals have assisted us in issuing volume after volume. Four universities and several public organizations (e.g. the munificent Lerner Fund and Bet Shalom Aleichem) help us, as do distinguished scholars, students, poets and writers. May they all be blessed, and may all who have unceasingly helped with their smiles be blessed as well. We thank them all. And I ask your forgiveness for not being able to meet you all, face to face, in Jerusalem.

8.  In Vilna, a city in Yiddishland, a year after the birth of the YIVO [Yiddish Scientific Organization] (1925), the savant Max Weinreich founded Bin ['Bee'], a scout youth movement modeled after the Zionist HaShomer HaTsair ('Young Guard').(2)  Tens of thousands of Bees organized in numerous branches sang their scout songs with gusto and joy. One of their songs was a solemn two-stanza hymn whose first stanza went as follows:

"We pound by day and by night,
We never stop hammering links,
We never cease forging and filing,
We join the links together
Into a golden chain."

Unfortunately I can't recall who the composer and lyricist were, but in the spirit of Max Weinreich's intentions, let us continue the first stanza with the final three lines found in the second one:

"We dare not rest, we must go on forging,
We must not sever Today from Yesterday, ['Men tor nit bafrayen dem haynt funem nekhtn.']
Eternal play, eternal play."(3)
This far…...


1. Avrom Sutskever [Abraham Sutzkever]: "Unter dayne vayse shtern, Poetishe verk, band eyns ['Under your white stars', Poetic Works] vol. 1, 1963, p. 285.

2. For detailed discussion of the Bees scout movement see Leyzer Rand, "'Bin' [dvora] -- irgun sotsialisti shel noar oved veLomed beVilna veSvivateha, Gilad  daled [4], Tel-Aviv University 1976, 191-211.

3. The original line sounds somewhat different: "Mir muzn bafrayen dem haynt funem nekhtn." [We must free the Today from the Yesterday.] But considering the Jewish people's history of the past 60 years we can alter our cultural orientation a bit. VeD"l.


Date: 31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject:  Table of Contents (Khulyot Volume 10)


Date: 31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject:  Davka No. 2  (Yiddish dafke) (front cover)



Date: 31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject:  Table of Contents , Second Issue Davka (Yiddish: Dafke 2)



Date: 31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject:  Avraham Greenbaum's Perakim baHistoriagraphia shel Yahadut Rusiya [Studies in the Historiography of Russian Jewry].
Jerusalem: Merkaz Dinur/Merkaz Zalman Shazar, 2006. Front cover. [Photo of  Mendele Moykher-Sforim and Shimen Dubnov (Shimon Dubnow)]


Date: 31 January 2007
From: ed.
Subject:  Greenbaum's Perakim…: Abstract

On the back cover of this volume, the 96th in the Hebrew University's impressive Kuntresim Series, the editors sum up the contents of this 100-page book, the last of Dr. Greenbaum's publications to appear before his tragic stroke.

"In the final quarter of the eighteenth century, many Jews of the disintegrating Kingdom of Poland became citizens of the Russian Empire. But it took several generations until there developed in their midst a Russian-Jewish consciousness  worthy of  detailed study. This book, with its seven sections, surveys the approaches to Jewish history of Russian-Jewish historians from their beginnings until the twentieth century, with attention to the ideological motives of the leading historians.

The book deals with historians of the Haskala period who wrote their works in Hebrew, and those of the Soviet period who wrote in Yiddish. A central chapter is devoted to the greatest of Russian-Jewish historians, Simon Dubnow."


End of The Mendele Review Vol. 11.001

Editor, Leonard Prager

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