`Yiddish Is Alive'
. . Lexicographers To The Rescue
"Yiddish Is Alive . ."
Authors of a new lexicon proclaim it
with pride, as they present a remarkably
interesting new dictionary for what may
certainly be greeted with acclaim.
Two authors combined their skills to
produce The Yiddish Dictionary Source
Book – A Transliterated Guide to the Yid-
dish Language (Ktav).
There are qualities that are surely
remarkable, and certainly pioneering
about this lexicon. It is almost quadriling-
ual in its educational approach.
There four portions to each page:
commencing with the Yiddish word, fol-
lowed by the transliteration, then the pro-
nounciation, completed by the meaning of
the word in English.
The dictionary thus treats 8,500 Yid-
dish words and phrases.
In addition to the lexicon, this volume
contains these sections: pronounciation
keys, grammar, numbers and the calendar,
popular expressions and proverbs.
The dictionary itself is divided into the
Yiddish-English and English-Yiddish sec-
tions. Herman Galvin, "a businessman
who teaches Yiddish and lectures on Yid-
dish humor," and Stan Tamarkin, who has
taught at Yale about the Jewish American
novel and on American social history at
Connecticut College and the University of
Rhode Island, are the co-authors of this
informative lexicon that can surely also
serve as a textbook for Yiddish.
The co-authors show their masterful
links with Yiddish in a most informative
12-page essay, "The Yiddish Language."
For an appreciation of its aim, which will
certainly also be an achievement for those
sharing in it with the authors, the acclaim
by them for Yiddish is thus introduced:
It would be highly satisfying
for us to be able to report that Yid-
dish is alive and well, that it is a
flourishing language, used daily
by millions of Jews throughout the
world, that it still is — as it was in
its heyday — the language of a rich
literature that ranged from tradi-
tional fiction to modernist poetry,
from history and philosophy to
linguistics and the social sciences.
Unfortunately, we can not suggest
that Yiddish is as widely used as it
was at its zenith when an estimated
eleven million people spoke what
Continued on Page 22
Fear Not' Guideline For New Year
Whatever lessons may hve been pro-
vided by this nation by Franklin D.
Roosevelt, his most powerful instruction
applicable for all generations, was:
'We have nothing to fear but fear it-
FDR may have benefitted from Holy
Scriptures and Prophecy. In Genesis 26:24
there is the admonition: 'Fear not, for I am
with thee." Isaiah (43:1) prophetically pro-
claimed: "Fear not, for I have redeemed
thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou
We are entering an era during which
there may be multiple fears, causing an-
xieties over the welfare and security of
mankind. Therefore the "Fear not" may be
the most important advice to be offered our
fellow citizens as we commence 1987.
The past decades were evidenced by
numerous effects aroused by villainies and
medieval cruelties revived in any age that
had begun to lose its humanism. The Nazi
terror, its influence in countries dominated
by the Hitler hordes, the hatreds that
enveloped several areas of the world,
caused panic in the cruelly horrified areas
of the world.
The more courageous, who would not
submit to fear, were the few whose actions
retained a measure of decency in a time of
Those who spoke out against terror,
who defied the beasts who were destroying
all vestiges of human spirit, were the
heroes of the Resistance that will always
be recorded as the defiance of inhuman ter-
rorism and the defense and protection of
whatever may be retained in the human
There were heroes of the Resistance
even during the most horrifying years of
the Nazi era. One such demonstration of
courage was recalled during the presenta-
Continued on page 22
A Fact-Provider From Israel
A genuine informational treat is pro-
vided for American Jewish students in the
form of a textbook translated from the He-
Adam Ackerman, an Israeli educator,
authors textbooks for elementary schools
in his country. He is also a lecturer of prom-
inence. His textbooks introduce the pupils
to the numerous historical backgrounds of
Zionism as the creative movement of
Jewish statehood redeemed.
One of his textbooks, Prakim b'Toldot
Ha-Tnuha Ha-tzionit contains basic facts
analyzing historical Jewish experiences.
While they are presented in capsules, they
encourage acquaintance with the most im-
portant events that affected world Jewry
during more than the past century.
Therefore, acquaintance with the facts
selected by Dr. Ackerman are history itself
as it relates to the Zionist cause.
Therefore, availability of the more
than a score of essays in the enlarged
paperback issued in an English translation
by Ernest Heinemann under the title
Selected Chapters in the History of Zionism
should also fulfill an important need for
American students. By the same token, it
serves a good purpose for English readers
of all ages.
It is the good judgment of Dr. Acker-
man that has contributed toward an
understanding of the Zionist ideal that is
provided in the narration of "The Damas-
cus Blood Libel," Mordecai Manual Noah
and his dream of a Zion redeemed in the
Ararat Colony in this country, Baron
Hirsch's Argentinian settlement project,
Theodor Herzl and his Zionist precursors,
the Dreyfus Case, "The Uganda Project
and the Failure of Territorialism," Sholem
Aleichem as a Zionist, Ahad Ha Am's
credo, Dr. Chaim Weizmann and his out-
cry, "People' of Israel, 'Where Are You',' "
and many more Jewish leaders and their
The list of essays is too long to mention
here. They total less than 100 pages, and
perhaps because of their brevity are in-
formative while encouraging further
It is the factualness of Dr. Ackerman's
study that encourages special attention to
a textbook in the English translation from
the Hebrew. The numerous essays describe
Continued on Page 23
Common Sense and Ethics
A halber emes iz a gantser lign.
Half a truth is a whole lie.
Di klenste nekome farsamt di neshome.
The smallest vengeance poisons the
A shlekhter sholem iz beser vi a guter
A bad peace is better than a good war.
Truth is found only in the prayerbook.
Ale mayles in eynem, iz nito bay
Fun yidishe reyd ken men zikh nit
opvashn in tsen vasern.
No one person possesses all the virtues.
Ten washings will not cleanse you of
Az a leyb shloft, loz ha shlofn.
Emes iz nor in sider.
When a lion is sleeping, let him sleep.
Ganve nit un fast nit.
Az es brent, iz a fayer.
Steal not and repent not.
When something's burning, there's a
Host du, halt; veyst du, shvayg; kenst
Beser a krumer fus eyder a krumer kop.
Better a crooked foot than a'crooked
If you have it, hold it; if you know it, be
silent; if you can do it, do it!
Beser a yid on a bord, vi a bord on a yid.
Krikh nit tsu hoykh, vest du nit darfn
Betterka Jew without a beard, than a
beard withouLa Jew.
Don't climb too high and you won't
have td fall.
angel of death
piece of clothing
T rT 5n
the Yiddish language (coil.)
A khazer blaybt a khazer.
A greedy person is always a greedy
(A pig remains a pig.)
A nar blaybt a nar.
A fool remains a fool.
As long as you're healthy.
Az me muz, ken men.
LIf you must, you can.
....mammon...wow • -aest -orms.varnnwanana.
Az me vii, ken men iberkern di gantse
If you want to, you can turn over the
Bist oyf eyn fus?
Are you in a hurry?
(Are you standing on one foot?)
Di gantse velt iz nit meshuge.
The whole world isn't crazy (so you
could be wrong).