Friday, March 11, 2011

So Nu, 5 Yiddish Books for You (from Janet)

So Nu, 5 Yiddish Books for You (from Janet)

Snow, schmow. So vat's a bissel ice? Do yourself a favor. Come to the bookstore and take yourself a look at some yiddishkeit. Free hot drinks, we offer (a bargain at half the price). Have a nosh. A beauty queen you're not but vat's one cookie gonna hurt?

The New Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten (Three Rivers Press, $18.00)
Inside this vonderful book, you'll find 29 definitions of the word "Oy". With "oy" you can create an entire language.

Jewish as a Second Language by Molly Katz (a nice Jewish girl)
(Workman Publishing Company, $8.95)

Nu? Read carefully and learn "how to worry, how to interrupt, how to say the opposite of what you mean". These are essential additions to learning Yiddish language.

Modern English-Yiddish Yiddish-English Dictionary by Uriel Weinreich (Schocken Books, $30.00)
A real dictionary written by a mensch, a professor of Yiddish language, no less. To understand, you need to read Hebrew script. Vat's a matter? Hebrew school you didn't go? You should take a look anyway. See vat you're missing.

Bintel Brief by Issac Metzker (Schocken Books, $12.00)
This book contains sixty years worth of letters to the advice column of the Jewish Daily Forward, a newspaper my grandfather read from cover to cover. From heart-rending letters of separation and loss, to questions about the most absurd sounding superstitions, to advice on how to remain observant in the "new world", the Bintel Brief is a taste of Jewish immigrant culture. The Yiddish language is as much a reflection of that unique culture as it is a language.

Nosh Schlep Schluff BabYiddish by Laurel Snyder (Random House, $5.99)

For the kindeleh, zie gezeint dine cup, (good health on your head), a board book with a few commonly used words.

Nu, mister smarty-pants, a guess maybe you can make on how many Yiddish words are in the schmancy Webster's dictionary? Oy, 15% savings on most books on the second floor, so maybe you're too busy to call your mother who was in labor for 52 hours and worked her fingers to the bone to send you to a fancy school but maybe you can take a minute to visit your local bookstore. We promise not to insult you...maybe...

February 2011, Janet Elfant

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