Splits in the Yiddish Socialist Movement

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THEIR HISTORY by Hershl Hartman Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents MY BOLSHEVIK MOTHER in 1929 named me Hirsh Naftoli — not after departed grandfathers or uncles, but after two assassins of the diverse Socialist movements in Eastern Europe. You may have heard of one or both of them: […]

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A Yiddish Moment with Irwin Corey

by Hershl Hartman THE NEW YORK TIMES’ obituary for “Professor” Irwin Corey, “the world’s greatest authority” (February 7) recalled his “unrepentant leftist view,” his “admiration for Fidel Castro,” his being an “enthusiastic member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union” and describing himself as a “short Jewish atheist.” It also noted that “some network executives […]

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More on Harold Ramis and Yiddish

by Hershl Hartman READERS OF BLOG-SHMOG may recall that, on March 5, 2014, following the death of Harold Ramis, I wrote about coaching him and John C. Reilly in Yiddish for a brief scene in the otherwise unmemorable film, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. There have been curious developments of that scene in the […]

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The Coen Brothers Meet a Yiddish Sweatshop Poet

by Hershl Hartman HAIL, CAESAR!, the Coen Brothers’ sardonic spoof of big studio Hollywood in the 1950s — featuring a double-handful of big-name stars — may cause some hoo-ha over its depiction of a very upscale Malibu Beach “communist cell,” but there’s one aspect that will probably go unnoticed… until now. Jewish Currents can now reveal […]

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Mameloshn: Ale Mentshn: Shvester, Breeder

Ale Mentshn: Shvester, Breeder by Y. L. Perets, to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” adapted and translated by Hershl Hartman, ©2010 Ale mentshn: shvester, breeder — broyn, royt, gele, shvartse, vayse — felker, lender un klimatn, s’iz an oysgetrakhte maynse. vayse, shvartse, broyn, royt, gele, misht dee farbn oys tsuzamen. ale mentshn: shvester, breeder, fun eyn […]

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Remembering the Jewish Resistance

Why Has It Been Downplayed? by Hershl Hartman THIS WILL NOT BE a dispassionate academic paper. For one thing, I am not an academic. And, too, you may detect some passion. If my points are made clearly, they may shake up some previously held concepts. At least, they may provoke thought about things we thought […]

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Mameloshn: Sh. An-ski's "My Poem"

Translated from the Yiddish by Hershl Hartman MY POEM My poem is woven of tears and pain, I write it with blood from my heart’s stain. I would not sing but sit still, calmly, If I could but conquer my melancholy… D’you hear those who pour out complaint and tears? It’s the sound of aloneness […]

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