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Meager Beginnings for Purim Spiel
Each month in this space, L'Chayim will present a Yiddish lesson
entitled "Du Redst Yiddish (Do You Speak Yiddish?)" whose aim is to
encourage further study of Yiddish. The lesson will include a brief story
utilizing the Yiddish words to be studied, a vocabulary list with English
translations and a family activity which involves using the new words. Two
books which may be helpful for beginning Yiddish students are Yiddish for
Beginners by Dr. Joffen and Der Yiddisher Lerer by Goldin. Weinreich's
English-Yiddish Dictionary also may be useful.
The lessons were prepared by Mary Koretz of Oak Park. She has
taught both children's and adult classes in Yiddish at the Workmen's Circle.
Following is this month's lesson:
As far as can be bahshlisn, the Jewish teahter began arom 1740 in
Prague with the Purimshpielers. They did not play upon a bimeh. They
played in the gasin of the ghettos and hoifn.
Hient, most mentshin, when they dress up for the holiday, choose to
be Esther, Mordechai, Vashti or Haman. The original players wore
farshidineh costumes. First came a grois marshal, riding a fehrd. Then
came the nahr, the leytsim, the clown held, Bacchus (the Purim king), the
dinehrs, the half-fools, Biblical chahrahkters such as Moses, klehzmers and
Purim is ainer of the two holidays when Jews are supposed to be
liechtzinik. Today, the Megileh is read in synagogues, Jewish shules and
homes, not in the streets and courtyards.
story of Esther
Have a Purim party with
costumes. Bake hamantashen. Send
a gift of fruit, nuts and some coins
to a friend.
Vagabond Stars, by Nahma
Sandrow, is the most definitive and
interesting book of the history of the
Jewish theater. It includes the
former Littman's Peoples Theater of
Detroit. Chagall by Werner
Hoftmann depicts the life and works
of the artist, with illustrations.
Want A Pen Pal? Write
To Soviet Family
One way to learn about Jewish
life around the world is to write to a
Jewish family in another country.
What is daily life like in the pen
pal's country? What is Jewish life
like? How are the holidays
celebrated? To help our readers
learn about Jews around the world,
L'Chayim is making available
addresses of Jewish families in
This month, the address of
Russian Jewish refuseniks was
made available by the Detroit Soviet
Jewry Committee of the Jewish
Community Council. Before writing,
please read these special rules for
corresponding with Russian Jews:
Letters should be personal,
warm, sympathetic, and should ask
about birthdays, anniversaries and
family events. Cards should be
exchanged on these occasions and
on the Jewish holidays as well.
Avoid any anti-Soviet material and
refrain from mentioning names of
Soviet Jewry rescue organizations.
Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew or
English may be used. The standard
way to address a letter to the Soviet
Union is the reverse of the
American way: USSR, Name of
Republic, Name of City, Address,
Addressee (last name first). The fee
is 44 cents per 1/2 ounce, up to two
This month's refusenik family is
that of Vladimir and Izolda Tufeld of
In November 1973, in
anticipation of applying for an exit
visa to Israel, Tufeld left his job as
an electronics engineer in a
Moscow factory where he had
Following the arrest of their
son, Igor, who participated in an
October 1976 Supreme Soviet sit-in
demonstration, Tufeld contacted
Western correspondents to inform
them of this roundup and arrest of
refuseniks. He was demoted five
times at his job at a construction
bureau, harassed and finally
In May 1977, Igor was permitted
to leave for Israel. His parents have
been repeatedly refused exit visas.
In August 1977, the elder Tufeld
suffered a heart attack, and since
has been ill with an acute spinal
condition and a kidney ailment.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Tufeld has been
diagnosed as having acoustic
neuroma which also requires
surgery. At this writing, Mrs. Tufeld
is at Johns Hopkins Hospital in
Maryland with a temporary visa. In
December 1982, the Tufelds were
again denied permission to
Letters of support can by sent
by writing the Tufelds as follows:
USSR, RSFSR, Moscow B-120,
Chkalova 41-2-272, Tufeld, Vladimir.
TOYS AND GAMES
A Purim wood puzzle, with wood handles (age 2-3),
available at Spitzer's. Game: Torah Island (age 4-adult),
perform mitzvot as you move around the board, available
For children: Megillat Esther (ArtScroll), illustrated,
edited by Rabbis Nosson Scherman and Meir Zlotowitz,
available at Spitzer's and Borenstein's; Queen Esther (age
5-8), available at Spitzer's; Simchat Purim Activity Book,
Tova and Esty's Purim Surprise, The Hamentash That Ran
Away and The Silver Megillah, all at Borenstein's. For
adults: Reflections: A Jewish Grandparents's Gift of
Memories, a volume for logging family milestones.
Purim Song Parade (age 4 and up), both at Spitzer's;
Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men Vol. 5, 36 Jewish
Children's Songs, Kosher Kounty, The Story of Purim (2
tape set), Shlock Rock-Purim Torah, Turn Over, a selection
of satirical Purim songs, all at Borenstein's.
Favorite Bible Stories (VHS format): Noah and the
Ark, Joshua and Battle of Jericho, Moses in Egypt, Daniel
in the Lion's Den, David and Goliath, Sampson and
Delilah, all at Borenstein's.
Spitzer's is located at 21770 W. 11 Mile, Southfield.
Borenstein's is located at 25242 Greenfield, Oak Park.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS