[Mendele] Mendele Volume 18 number 9

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Wed Sep 10 20:57:27 EDT 2008

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 18.009
September 9, 2008

1) Chava Rosenfarb's honorary degree (Goldie Morgentaler)
2) tsebalevet/Russicisms in Yiddish (Jack Berger)
3) mishebeyrekh in Yiddish (Larry Rosenwald)
4) Translation help sought (Myriam Bryks-Fuchs)
5) kapore (Stephen Stern)

Date:  August 24, 2008
Subject:  Chava Rosenfarb's honorary degree

I thought Mendelyaner might be interested to know that a video of Chava
Rosenfarb's 2006 honorary degree address to the graduates of the University
of Lethbridge has been posted on the web. Rosenfarb talks about being the
first Yiddish writer to have received an honorary degree from a Canadian
university. In the middle section of the address she talks about Yiddish.
The video is about 10 minutes long. The link is:


Goldie Morgentaler

Date: August 24, 2008
Subject: tsebalevet/Russicisms in Yiddish

[Moderator's note: Jack Berger writes in response to Paul Glasser's
assertion in Mendele vol. 18.008 that "Since there are relatively few
Yiddish borrowings of long standing from Russian, it is more likely that
the etymon is Ukrainian "baluvaty."]

When I discovered the degree to which my Yiddish (learned from Byelorussian
grandparents) was pervaded with Slavisms, I took the time to go through my
Russian slovar to look for them.

My list runs to about three hundred items.

One of my favorites is my grandfather's question to me when he would come
home from Maariv and find me hunched over my homework. He would ask:

Nu, Yankl, host du gekontshet dayne zadatshes?

Jack Berger

Date: August 24, 2008
Subject: mishebeyrekh in Yiddish

I was wondering whether anyone could point me to a Yiddish version of the
mishebeyrekh prayer, not the one for the sick but the one used for honoring
someone. I'm not sure this exists, but if it did, and someone could point
me to it, I'd be most grateful!

A hartsikn dank,
Larry Rosenwald

Date:  September 2, 2008
Subject:  translation help sought

I am translating my papa's (Rachmil Bryks) z'l last book, "Di vos zaynen
nisht geblibn" and I cannot find definitions for a these few words in any
dictionaries. They might also be Polish words.

Maybe someone could help me out and I am thanking you in advance


a puternize (butterdish or plate) mit margarin in a SHLEDZHIK (herring?)
vos iz gelign a gemachter OYLIK (is it a shmaltz herring cut into small

ikh hob opgekoyft a GROVIN mit shtol, hinter VLIZHIN (VEYZ LAMID YUD ZAYIN

ikh vel dos oysgrobn un farkoyfn oyfn kilo in di STALOVNIES

Hot Reb Mendl gehat a groyse lanke mit a loyfndikn shmol taykh. Az a yid
fun shtetl hot gemakht a simkhe, hot men dortn gekhapt fish un oykh fun de
SATSZEVKES (orchards?) fun Reb Mendels ZEMENTOVIA (does it mean cement
factory?) un OYKH a feld

a hoyz oyfn POSADYE. It means "foundation" but were houses built without
foundations in the 1930's?

Myriam Bryks-Fuchs

Date: September 3
Subject:  kapore (Stephen Stern)

My question relates to the possible use of the word kapore (kapparah) by
Holocaust survivors whose children were killed but who had additional
children after the war. My parents lost two children and then gave birth to
me and my sister after the war. I recall that my parents called us "their
kapparah," meaning their redemption. However, I realize that this usage is
unconventional because kapparah implies sacrifice, which my sister and I
were not in the literal sense (the symbolic truth, is, of course much
different.) I have sked others about my memory of having been called a
kapparah but have been unable to receive any confirmation. Now, I am
wondering if I imagined being called that.

Is there anyone who can help verify or disconfirm what I thought I had

Thanks for your help.

Stephen Stern

End of Mendele Vol. 18.009

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