[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 23.009

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Fri Oct 18 09:44:48 EDT 2013

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 23.009
October 14, 2013

1) khay-gelebt (Barry Goldstein)
2) vi halt men bay zay (Dina Lévias)
3) Itzik Mangers "Ovntlid" (Helen B. Katz)
4) Bialik in Yiddish (Hershl Hartman)
5) "Moyshe moroshe" (Jack Falk)
6) American antiwar and peace writing (Larry Rosenwald)
7) Peretz' "Shma yisroel oder der bas" (Jeanette Lewicki)

Date: August 26
Subject: khay-gelebt

An advertisement for the new Arumnemik Yiddish-English Verterbukh:

"let the good times roll! it's a wonderful life!"
"es iz geven khay-gelebt: we had a great time"

Barry Goldstein / berish goldshteyn

Date: September 15
Subject: vi halt men bay zey?

[Moderator's note: This is a response to Stanley Levine's posting of August
3. He writes,
"The only thing that still bothers me is that it is in the form of a
question, not an

Dear Mr. Levine,
Punctuation is meant to render the speaker's INTONATION.
A question can, "unquestionably", be equivalent to an exclamation. And
Ex. : "Who goes there ?" ; or : "Oh, why do we have to listen to this?! "

On the other hand, if anyone can explain why a sentence beginning with "Vi
men..." and ending with a question mark should be translated as a wish
"(h)alavai... !" "Zol ... !", please let me know.

- My example, "Why do we have to listen to this?!" is a clear answer, I
it means, "I wish the speaker would stop."

The situation described by a question and by an exclamation may be
essentially the same
("shoyn" can of course add impatience to a question), but form matters
also, and to me
there is a difference in point of view between impatience and a

- That depends on how URGENT the wish happens to be!
Yours sincerely,

Dina Lévias

Date: September 4
Subject: Itzik Mangers "Ovntlid"

Tayere Mendelyaner,

In the poem "Ovntlid," Itzik Manger writes about a "zumer-foygl."
Here is the whole verse:

shtiler ovnt. tunkl-gold.
a zumer-foygl flit.
di fligl zayne gro un gold,
avek in got-bahit
zol khotsh a tsiter fun zayn fli
arayn tsu mir in lid.

Zumer-foygl, I did not found in any dictionary. On one hand, a
"zumer-feygele" is a
butterfly. On the other hand, Manger is found of birds.
So I wondered if there is a way to know for sure if he meant a Sumer bird
or a butterfly?
Maybe there exists a translation of the poem old enough for him to have
reviewed it? Or
could he have translated it himself?

The complete text of the poem is, for instance, there:

A sheynem dank in foroys,
a gut un a gezunt yor!

Helene B. Katz

Date: September 18
Subject: Bialik in Yiddish

Going through piles of paper on my dining table (don't ask!), I retrieved
an unsigned note
handed to me after one of my lectures at the L.A. Yiddish Culture Club. The
subject is
Israel's "national poet" who wrote in both Hebrew and Yiddish. It reads, in

"About Kh. N. Byalik:

He once strolled the street in Jerusalem with a friend, both of them
speaking Yiddish. It
was shabes (the Sabbath). An acquaintance approached him and said: 'Khayim
Byalik in Jerusalem on the Sabbath, speaking Yiddish rather than Hebrew!
You are
violating the Sabbath!' Byalik replied in these words: 'Speaking Hebrew is
a heavy
task and requires exertion (i.e., forbidden on the Sabbath), while Yiddish
just speaks

Hershl Hartman

Date: September 25
Subject: "Moyshe moroshe"

In Mendele 23.008, Al Grand seeks the full text to "Moyshe moroshe..." This
appears as part of Joel Engel's "KinderLider" (Berlin: Juwal, 1923), with
the following

   Moyshe, moroshe af yener velt

   Varf mir arop a zekele gelt!

   Tsu vos toyg dir a zekele gelt?

   Tsu koyfn a ferd un a vogele!

   Tsu vos toyg dir a ferd un a vogele?

   Shteyndlekh tsu firn.

   Tsu vos toyg dir shteyndlekh?

   Oyftsumoyrn a beys-hamikd'shl.

   Tsu vos toyg dir a beys-hamikd'shl?

   Arayntsutretn un G-t tsu betn.

Thanks to the Jewish Theological Seminary, the entire score is available

Jack (Yankl) Falk

Date: September 26
Subject: American antiwar and peace writing

Dear friends, tayere khaveyrim,

I'm making an anthology of American antiwar and peace writing for the
Library of
America, and wondered whether readers of Mendele might have texts to
propose for that
anthology.  They need to be American, they need to be focused on questions
of war and
peace (as opposed, say, to poems focused on social justice, of which there
are a ton, but
nit dos bin ikh oysn), and they need to be good; purity of attitude matters
less than

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
al dos guts,
Larry Rosenwald

Date: August 27
Subject: Peretz' "Shma yisroel oder der bas"

Many thanks to the folks who sent links to the Peretz story I sought and to
the every-
helpful Internet Archive, Yiddish Book Center.

Here it is:

Jeanette Lewicki
End of Mendele Vol. 23.009

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