Browsing Tag

yiddish literature

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The Yiddish Tale Behind the Thanksgiving Turkey

By On November 23, 2016

Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? There are lots of explanations, but socialist Jews have the best one. It appears in a 50-year-old Yiddish story, “Farvos est men indik tenksgiving” originally… Read More

Uncle Tom's Cabin in Yiddish, With Jewish Slaves
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Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Yiddish, With Jewish Slaves

By On April 1, 2016

Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Yiddish: sounds crazy, no? But across 19th-century Russia and eastern Europe, Jews eagerly devoured Russian Jewish writer Isaac Meir Dik’s (1807-1893) Yiddish version of the antislavery classic. Dik’s… Read More

A Yiddish-Speaking Parrot and the Pirates Who Love Him
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A Yiddish-Speaking Parrot and the Pirates Who Love Him

By On March 10, 2016

Breathe easy, novelty collectors: You can finally fill that hole in your Yiddish catalogue under “swashbuckling,” thanks to Gary Barwin’s delightfully odd new novel Yiddish for Pirates. Wondering what we mean by… Read More

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Yiddish-Speaking Tigers and Klezmer-Playing Bears for Poland’s Jewish Kids

By On January 3, 2016

Playful poems of a wise owl, a menacing tiger and a klezmer-playing bear that once delighted Yiddish-speaking Polish children are making an unlikely comeback in a soon-to-be-released children’s book for a new… Read More

The Yiddish Writer and His Harem of Beautiful Translators
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The Yiddish Writer and His Harem of Beautiful Translators

By On May 19, 2015

  When Asaf Galay began to read Isaac Bashevis Singer in English, he noticed a note at the end of every story: “Translated by the author and ______.” The co-translator was almost… Read More

A Newly Discovered Story by a Great, Dead Yiddish Writer
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A Newly Discovered Story by a Great, Dead Yiddish Writer

By On January 23, 2015

  Fans of Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer have reason to rejoice: this week, The New Yorker published—for the first time in English—“Inventions,” a looping and wonderful new/old short story of the late… Read More

Ione Skye’s Yiddish Vacation
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Ione Skye’s Yiddish Vacation

By On September 15, 2014

  Check out Kveller’s exclusive interview with Ione Skye! Actress Ione Skye—daughter of Scottish singer Donovan and American model Enid Carl, and best known as John Cusack’s brainy and beautiful love interest in Say Anything, has just… Read More

The Man Who Taught Arabic in Yiddish
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The Man Who Taught Arabic in Yiddish

By On July 25, 2014

Have you been wanting to learn Palestinian Arabic? Bistu a yidish redner? (Are you a Yiddish speaker?) Then, Getzl Zelikovitz was your man. Born in Lithuania in 1863, Zelikovitz was somewhat of a linguistic prodigy… Read More

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The Pre-Hitler International Yiddish Culture Club

By On May 21, 2014

Ah, the soothing poetry of a Jewish intellectual on a mission: “To assist in creating a new Yiddish secular culture, in Jewish national forms, with the living forces of the broad Jewish… Read More

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The Yiddish Writer and the Siberian Exile

By On May 7, 2014

All manner of genius can be found in the shrouded annals of Soviet Jewish history. Born Pinkhes Kahanovitsch in 1884 Ukraine, Der Nister—the nom de plume meaning “The Hidden One”—was a widely underappreciated Yiddish writer… Read More

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Jesus in Yiddish

By On November 9, 2012

In the late 19th and early 20th century Protestant Christians made a concerted effort to convert American Jews. Key to this mission was translating the New Testament into Yiddish, the community’s lingua franca. But for… Read More