[Mendele] Mendele Personal Notices and Announcements--meaning of *latutshener" and "oftsiares"

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Wed May 29 16:29:14 EDT 2019

Mendele Personal Notices and Announcements
Date: May 29, 2019

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From: Ruth Murphy <murphy.ruth at rocketmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 12, 2019, 7:40:46 PM CDT
Subject: Latutshener, oftsiares

Dear Mendele,

I am looking for the English meanings for two words found in a Yiddish
story written by a 19th-century Polish writer. The two words are
latutshener and oftsiares.

It's been suggested by the Russian groups that Latutshener is a variant of
the Ukrainian town of Letychiv (Polish "Latyczow"), which I think is a
pretty good guess.
Oftsiares would be healers or miracle workers of some kind that a woman
would go to when she was unable to conceive, as with the character in the

Here they are in the sentence, plus a rough translation:

     — װאָס זאָגן נעבעך גוטע ייִדן? גאָט װעט העלפֿן, זאָגן זײ! אַ האַלדז
קמיעות טראָגט זי – זי װאָלט שױן פּערל געהאַט דערפֿאַר! דער לאַטוטשענער,
האָט נעבעך מיט איר מיטגעװײנט! „איך זאָל אַזױ זען גאָלד, װי איך האָב אַלײן
געזען, װי אַ טרער איז אים אַראָפּ פֿון די הײליקע אױגן אױף דער הײליקער באַק.

        “What do the holy rabbis say, poor thing? ‘God will help,’ say
they! She wears neck amulets — she should already have a pearl necklace for
the money spent!

The Latutshener rabbi had, poor thing, wept with her!  May I see gold as I
have seen with my own eyes, how a tear dropped from his holy eyes to his
holy cheek.

     נײן! זי מוז זיך ראַטעװען! נאָך אַ מאָל רבײם, רופֿאים, אָפֿציאַרעס,
ציגײנער ...

     אַלץ װעט זי טאָן!

        No! She must save herself! Once again to the Hasidic rabbis,
healers, [leeches? herbalist?], gypsies ...

        She would do it all!

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions!

A sheynm dank,


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