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The Sun Has Not Risen Yet, the Dutch Are Still Asleep

Translated by Sarah Prais   Helene Khatskels was an extraordinary Yiddish educator, author and translator. A life-long socialist, she fought to secure Jewish national rights in the diaspora, and was a leading figure in the Bund, involved in smuggling books and other undercover activities and was eventually arrested by the Tsarist authorities. After Lithuania was annexed […]

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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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Mameloshn: On the Road Stands a Tree

by Lawrence Bush In the video below, a Hungarian Jew is singing Itsik Manger’s “Oyfn Veyg Shteyt a Boym” (On the Road Stands a Tree). Watch it for three verses or so and you’ll understand the meaning of being Jewish in the world today… The singer is Hans Breuer, part of a convoy of people […]

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Great Women of Yiddish Poetry

by Ellen Cassedy From the Spring, 2015 issue of Jewish Currents Reviewed in this Essay: A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987, by Kathryn Hellerstein. Stanford University Press, 2014, 512 pages. The Acrobat: Selected Poems of Celia Dropkin, translated by Faith Jones, Jennifer Kronovet, and Samuel Solomon. Tebot Bach, New World Translation Series, […]

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Mameloshn: Tuberculosis and the Yiddish Poets

by Murray Citron Reviewed in this essay: Yiddish Poetry and the Tuberculosis Sanatorium 1900-1970 by Ernest B. Gilman. Syracuse University Press, 2015, 187 pages. ACADEMIC WRITERS OFTEN LIKE making a synthesis, that is, putting topics together in an unexpected way. Professor Ernst B. Gilman, who has taught at Columbia and the University of Virginia, and […]

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November 30: Mandy Patinkin

Singer and actor Mandy Patinkin, whose varied and interesting career has included several Jewish highlights — including his 1998 Mameloshn show and album of Yiddish songs, his role alongside Barbra Streisand in Yentl, and his current role as sympatico spy Saul Berenson on television’s Homeland — was born in Chicago on this date in 1952. His other […]

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Two Days With I.B. Singer

By Marvin S. Zuckerman A FRIEND OF MINE and I came into possession of a collection of 227 off-color Yiddish sayings that had been collected in the early 20th century by Ignaz Bernstein, a Jewish-Polish folklorist. Bernstein called his collection Erotica and Rustica, printing it privately in 1907. We translated and transliterated it and had […]

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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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Mameloshn: Poems about Nature, #3

To the Sun, by Pessi Hirwschfeld-Pomerantz Translated by Barnett Zumoff Sun, O sun! I’d like to wander in the open fields and drink up the light all day, so my eyes would radiate your light, your warmth. Between narrow walls my eyes look dull. Between narrow walls I speak angrily to people — the path […]

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