[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 19.022

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Sun Apr 11 07:46:14 EDT 2010

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 19.022
April 9, 2010

1) Finfer-turem, Finfer-shlos (Alan Shuchat)
2) Finfer-turem, Finfer-shlos (Pearl Hoberman)
3) Letnik (Elvira Groezinger)
4) Website Yiddish Sources relaunched (Gerben Zaagsma)
5) Peysakhke Burstein (Itsik Goldenberg)
6) Dvoyre Foygls "Fun der benkshaft" (Yael Chaver)
7) "The Shiker Song" (Kalman Felsher)
8) Verter tsu Sutkevers a lid (Sheva Tsuker)
9) "gram shtram" (Maurice Wolfthal)

Date:   March 14, 2010
Subject: Finfer-turem, Finfer-shlos

Lena Watson asks,

"In Leivick's "Di geule-komedie," I have come across a Finfer-turem as the 
location of  the Golem's and Messiah ben David's final confrontation with 
the Maharal. A couple of  pages later, there's a mention of Finfer- shlos. 
To the best of my knowledge, the drama  unfolded in the Old New Synagogue 
in Prague, but I have been unable to find any  reference to Finfer, be it 
a tower or a caste. Is it an actual name or just a reference to the 
tower's shape, i.e. pentagonal?"

In Joachim Neugroschel's translation of "The Golem," he writes, "On top of 
the mansion  there were five large towers with ancient figures, which were 
obviously from the days  when men worshiped the sun." Later, he refers to 
the Fifth Tower. That sounds like  finfer-turem, finfer-shlos.

Alan Shuchat

Date:  March 15, 2010
Subject: Finfer-turem, Finfer-shlos

Lena Watson asks about the Finfer Turem or Finfer Shlos at the Alt Neu 
Shul in Prague. I believe the reference may be to the dome shaped ceiling 
in the Alt Neu Shul, which is supported or braced by five arch-shaped 
supports.  In other buildings of that time, such ceilings were braced by 
four such supports but that creates a cross shape and they braced the Shul 
roof with five arches to avoid the Christian symbol.

Pearl Hoberman
Date: March 14, 2010
Subject: Letnik

There was a query about the word "letnik" by Leonard Fox ("gram shtram") 
in Mendele, March 14, 2010. In Polish this word means not a summer garment 
but a vacationer and a summer lodging guest!

Elvira Groezinger
Date: March 22, 2010
Subject: website Yiddish Sources relaunched

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the launch of the new version of Yiddish Sources 
today. You can visit the website here:


Yiddish Sources aims to be a comprehensive source of information for those 
who are interested in using Yiddish materials in their research. The 
information is arranged in three main sections:  reference, research and 
events. A new addition is the Yiddish Studies Bibliography, an online 
bibliography which lists relevant scholarly literature in the field of 
Yiddish Studies.

Yiddish Sources and the Yiddish Studies Bibliography will be continuously 
updated. It is easy to stay updated on new content by subscribing to RSS 
feeds or follow Yiddish Sources on Twitter and Facebook.

Registered users can bookmark entries and also leave comments.

Feedback and suggestions are very much appreciated and can be sent to 
info at yiddish-sources.com

Please forward this announcement to anyone you think might be interested.

A sheynem dank and with best wishes,
Gerben Zaagsma
Date:   March 15, 2010
Subject: Pesakhke Burstein

Re: Perele Shifer's question about Pesakhke Burstein, his son is Mike 
Burstyn. Perhaps his address (in Israel) is available from New Yorker 
Video, which produced the DVD "Komediant" about the Burstein Family.

Itsik Goldenberg
Date: March 13, 2010
Subject:  Dvoyre Foygls "Fun der benkshaft"

In response to Mio Sybille Hamann's query in Mendele 19.021:

The poem titled "Fun der Benkshaft," is on p. 39 of her collection 
"Tog-Figurn" (Farlag Tsushtayer, Lemberg 1930).

The garbled lines should read:
in stanza 4:  fun azoy un azoy fil geng,

in stanza 6:  nor ikh hob farshtanen dem vaserikn tam

I could e-mail a scan of the poem to the writer.
Yael Chaver
Date: March 23, 2010
Subject: "The Shiker Song"

I am looking for the lyrics to "The Shiker Song" which was sung by Molly 
Picon in "Yidl Mitn Fidl." I think the lyrics were composed by Itsik 

Thank you.
Kalman Felsher
8) ----------------------------------------------------
Date: March 17, 2010
Subject: Verter tsu Sutkevers a lid

Ken emetser mir zogn di yidishe verter tsu der iberzetsung fun Sutzkevers 
a lid? Di shures kumen fun "Lider fun a togbukh."

You say: There is no God. No world creator.
If so, my friend, it seems, the miracle is greater:
He isn't and created all that isn't, all that is,
Light and shade, rainbows of madness, all are his:

from "Poems from My Diary (1974-1985)," Tr. Harshav

A dank,

Sheva Tsuker
Date: March 29, 2010
Subject: "gram shtram"

It is possible that the first two words of the Yiddish "gram shtram, makh 
mir a letnik" are related to an old Germanic elimination chant (like the 
English "eenie, meenie, mynie mo"), "am stram gram," which also survives 
in modern French (as in a song recorded by Yves Montand in the 1950s).

Maurice Wolfthal
End of Mendele Vol. 19.022

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