[Mendele] Mendele vol. 23.012 (.txt below; WORD and pdf versions attached)

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Fri Nov 29 11:43:22 EST 2013

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 23.012
November 24, 2013

1) "Vot ken you makh? Es iz amerike!" (Maurice Wolfthal)
2) "Vi halt men bay zey" (Moyshe Taube)
3) vakans (Seth Weisberg)
4) International Course in Yiddish Language and Literature at Beit Ben
Yehuda February 16-28, 2014 (Vera Szabo)
5) YIVO-YEDIES blog (Roberta Newman)
6) "married beneath her" (Eliezer Greisdorf)
7) "Bintl Briv" (Mikhoyel Basherives)

Date: October 29
Subject: "Vot ken you makh? Es iz amerike!"

On the CD Dave Tarras Yiddish-American Music, this satirical song by
Secunda and
Lebedeff expresses the shock of an immigrant at the world turned
upside-down that he
finds here. He exclaims in Yinglish, "Vot ken you makh?" instead of "Vot
ken you tu?"
which would be a closer approximation of the Yiddish, "Vos ken men tun?"
someone explain that choice of verb?

Maurice Wolfthal

Date: October 21
Subject: "Vi halt men bay zey"

A few remarks:
1. The *shoyn *is essential to the meaning of the structure, which
expresses a wish.
2. The fact [that] it begins with the interrogative *vi *"how," does not
necessarily make it
a question, any more than English "How I wish you were here!"
3. The intonation of the sequence is not of a question, but of an
exclamative, with the
peak being on the verb *halt.*

Moyshe Taube

Date: November 5
Subject: vakans

Sholem aleykhem,

I apologize first for not knowing so well the right orthography for
transliterating Yiddish.
I have a family letter written in Yiddish by a relative from France in
1949.  She was a
Holocaust survivor from the Bialystock region of Poland.  In the letter she
writes "Mir
hobn gevolt forn af vakans keyn yisroel, leyder hot undz es nisht gelungen,
veyl undzere
poylishe peser zaynen oysgegangen, un der poylisher konsulat hat zey nisht

My question is about the use of "vakans."  I am assuming it means vacation
as in the
French word "vacance."  I have only seen "vakatsye" for vacation.
Is using vakans this way common or accepted Yiddish?  Is it a dark humor
way to
highlight that the Polish authorities are getting in the way of her husband
and her making
it to Israel?  Does it mean something else altogether?

Seth Weisberg
Los Angeles

Date: November 17
Subject: International Course in Yiddish Language and Literature at Beit Ben
Yehuda February 16-28, 2014

*International Course in Yiddish Language and Literature at Beit Ben
YehudaFebruary 16-28, 2014*


Following the success of our previous courses we are glad to offer a
Yiddish language
and literature course again in 2014 as part of our upcoming cultural and
program. The course comprises 10 days of intensive Yiddish language study
at three
levels, beginners, medium and advanced, as well as a variety of workshops,
concerts, guided tours and other Yiddish cultural events. Our Yiddish
course was
developed in cooperation with Beth Shalom Aleichem of Tel Aviv and Yung
We are all looking forward to hosting you in Beit Ben Yehuda in Jerusalem
for our
Yiddish language course where you will enjoy world-class language
instruction by
highly experienced professional teachers and gain insight into the
language, literature,
music and culture of Jews of Eastern European origin.
Each class will be limited to 15 students. We would be glad to provide
for participants in our guesthouse. Please contact us for further
information and a detailed
schedule of the course program.

*Prices: *

Option 1: Course + accommodation in double room: 669 EUR per person

Option 2: Course + accommodation in single room: 861 EUR per person

Option 3: Course + accommodation in triple room: 597 EUR per person

Option 4: Course without accommodation: 375 EUR per person

*Breakfast available for an additional 25 NIS per day.

*Scholarships of 50% to 100% of the tuition fee available for students

*Discounted price available for those wishing to participate in the
intensive language course only, without the cultural program


40 hours of language instruction + 16 hours guided exercises
Guided tour of Jerusalem
Two concerts

Guest lectures by Yiddish experts from different universities
Afternoon and evening cultural program
Coffee and Refreshments


*Further information and registration:*

Tel: 00-972-2-6730124

Fax: 00-972-2-6717540

info at beit-ben-yehuda.org


Vera Szabo

Date: October 28
Subject: YIVO-YEDIES blog

In June, YIVO launched a new blog, YEDIES: News from YIVO,
at www.yivo.org/blog/.

The new YEDIES features:

*Interviews with authors and book excerpts. Recent interviewees have
included Antony
Polonsky about his 3-volume series, The Jews in Poland and Russia; Jay
Berkovitz on
Yiddish and sex in the 18th-century Pinkas of Metz; and Katka Reszke on the
of Jewish identity in Poland.

*Yiddish content by Itsik Gottesman, including an article on how the music
and texts of
the songs of a 19th century badkhn, wedding entertainer, have been
"reunited" in the
YIVO archives (sound recording included).

*Di nyu-yorkerin, a monthly column by Sarah Ponichtera on what's hot and
Yiddish in
New York and beyond.

*From the Pages of Yedies: a look back at YIVO and Jewish history through
the pages of
Yedies, which has been publishing since 1925.

*Podcasts of YIVO's radio show on WEVD from the 1960s-70s.

New posts are added to YEDIES every week.

Roberta Newman

Date: October 23
Subject: "married beneath her"

Zayn vayb/ir man shtamt fun a niderikern yikhes oder fun a hekhern yikhes.

Eliezer Greisdorf

Date: October 18
Subject: Bintl Briv

Does anyone have copies of any of the letters in the original Yiddish of
"A Bintl Briv"?
The archivist at the Forverts says they have none of the original letters
in their archives is
unaware of any published collection of the letters in Yiddish.

Thank you,
Mikhoyel Basherives

End of Mendele Vol. 23.012

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