[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 21.018

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Sun Apr 29 20:18:25 EDT 2012

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 21.018
April 24, 2012

1) "Vi shver s'iz tsu gleybn" (George Sacks)
2)  tsushnaydn eydes (Martin Jacobs)
3) tshuve in Singer's "Mayn tatns beys-din shtub" (Maurice Wolfthal)
4) William Blake (Morton D. Paley)
5) gimze (Yankl Falk)
6) "Hatikva" in Yiddish (Sema Chaimovitz Menora)
7)  rebbe, reb, rov (Norbert Hirschhorn)

Subject: "Vi shver s'iz tsu gleybn"
Date: April 22

I am looking for the name of the author of a poem that begins "vi shver 
s'iz tsu gleybn." I would also appreciate a link to the English 

Thank you.

George Sacks

Date: tsushnaydn eydes
Subject: April 13

I understand the old Jewish customs of not cutting fingernails 
consecutively (but skipping nails and then getting back to the ones 
skipped), and the custom of not discarding the parings on the ground, but 
what does er hot keynmol nisht tsugeshnitn keyn eydes mean?
What kind of witness are we talking about here? This story concerns an 
epikoyres who ignores halakha. The immediate context: Oykh hot er zikh 
geshnitn di negl nisht ibergehipert, keynmol nisht tsugeshnitn keyn eydes 
un azoy aroysgevorfn durkhn fentster.

Many thanks in advance.
Martin Jacobs

Date: March 29
Subject: tshuve in Singer's "Mayn tatns beys-din shtub"

In Singer's Mayn tatns beys-din shtub, he relates, in the story Der sod, 
that a woman pours out her heart with grief, first to the rebbetsin, then 
to the rebbe, confessing that she had abandoned her illegitimate infant on 
the steps of a church. Both of them assure her that God will forgive her. 
In addition, the rebbe prescribes a penance, a tshuve: to fast Mondays and 
Thursdays, not to eat meat any weekday, to say the psalms, and to give 
charity.  I had never heard of such a practice among Jews, whereas it is 
standard in Catholicism. Was this common in Singer's day? Is it still?

Maurice Wolfthal

Date: April 2
Subject: William Blake

I wonder whether anyone can inform me about scholarship and/or criticism 
published in Yiddish about the art and poetry of William Blake. My 
interest is limited for editorial reasons to European publications.

With thanks,

Morton D. Paley

Date: April 24
Subject: gimze

Earlier today, Gloria Berkenstat Freund posted a question to the Mendele 
Personals list, but the answer is of general linguistic interest.  Gloria 

I am translating an article from the Kurow Yizkor Book. There is a 
reference to "leder gimzes". The phrase appears in a paragraph about a 
Polish shoemaker who agreed to hide Jews in exchange for 10 "leder 
gimzes." Does anyone know what a leather "gimze" is?

In "Jews and Shoes" (Oxford, UK: Berg, 2008), Edna Nahshon defines "gimze" 
as "thin and supple goat hide... Gimze, which was very pliable and 
expensive, came in brown and black." [95] For European shoemakers, gimze 
was "[t]he most expensive leather for uppers." [97]

I found another clue in the soc.genealogy.jewish archives (14 Nov 2011): 
"Gimze" is a regional Yiddish variant for the German gemze but is not 
standard Yiddish.

And Gemze?  It's the German name for the wild European antelope better 
known to us by its French name (chamois).  But so far as I know, not 
related to Gomez (gam zu l'tovah).

Yankl Falk

Date: April 23
Subject: "Hatikva" in Yiddish

Dear Mendele,

Has anyone ever translated "Hatikva" into Yiddish?   And was it ever 
recorded?  I would love to obtain a copy of the words in Yiddish, and the 
recording, if there is one.

Thank you.

Sema Chaimovitz Menora

Date: March 30
Subject: rebbe, reb, rov

But according to http://www.yiddishdictionaryonline.com/ 'rebe' is a 
Hasidic rabbi, right?

Norbert Hirschhorn
End of Mendele Vol. 21.018

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