A Yiddish look at sin

  Once more we dive headlong into the High Holidays. But as we well know, it’s not all “épl un hónik” (apples and honey). Part of the spirit of the season is repentance. And that has to do with sin. It turns out that the High Holidays provide Yiddish with a ready...

The relationship between Yiddish and French

Bonjour! My family and I recently returned from a trip to Paris, which got me to thinking about Yiddish’s long relationship with French. Indeed, that relationship has been one of Yiddish’s longest lasting. One need only hear the echo of Old French in “tsholnt”...

Linguistic Borrowings in the Yiddish Language

There are two primary Jewish textual wells that Yiddish culture draws on with great regularity: the Talmud (and the larger Rabbinic tradition) and the Bible. The buckets are pulled up and the Yiddish imagination is watered. I want to focus on one small but noticeable...

The Body in Yiddish

I hurt my knee a while back, and it’s still bothering me. I try not to dwell on my own aches and pains, but it’s hard to play against type. But instead of cataloging ailments, it might be interesting to look at just a few of the parts of the body (where those ailments...