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December 22, 1989 - Image 147

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

D‘ti

Celebrating Chanukah In Christmas' Shadow

By MARY KORETZ

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. At
the conclusion of each lesson will
be a suggested list of books for
persons who wish to further their
knowledge.
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:
Warm — that's the word that
comes to zinen, whenever I think of
Chanukah. It was not bloyz the
comforting warmth of the house in
spite of the winter kalt in droysn.
Or even the heat thrown off by the
hot boyml, in which the golden
latkes were fried.
The cold smetene, lent by
contrast, a special appreciation of
the hayse latkes. Even the
Chanukah licht contributed to their
delicate warmth. The special holiday
glow of family and friends,
expressed in good will and
gelechter brought a varemkeit of
its own.
One thing diminshed the
holiday. It was the event of
Christmas at the zelbiker time. That
was a period when the whole
outside velt turned into a glamorous
karnival, from which I was
oysgeshlosn. Many of the shop
windows displayed frayleche,
ho-ho-ho Santas. They also showed
matones made more desirable by
shayn wrappings. The nodlbaymer,
which presented themselves from
the fensters of our gentile
neighbors were tinselled and
baputst. In the streets masn
moved, happily burdened, with
glantsik packages. In school, we
sang Christmas songs not so
happily. Despite the fact that, with
getsaylte exceptions, all the
students were Jewish, there were no
Chanukah lider, only Christmas

songs. Some were acceptable. I had
no problems with "Jingle Bells," but
when we were asked to sing
religiez ones such as "Oh Come
Let Us Adore Him," it was shyer.
I thought oyb I sang them, God
would strike me toyt and if I didn't
the Ierer would. I pretended to sing
zay, by mouthing the verter. But, on
the whole, I wished that I could be
a tayl of the national yom-tov. To
be an outsider felt like a hungerik
child, pressing her face against a
bakery fenster, where beautiful
cookies and cakes were

oysgeshtelt.

I remembered this feeling,
when I was parenting my yungvarg.
Determined that they would not feel
left out, an all-out effort was
gemacht to hype Chanukah. The
hoyz was decorated; Chanukah gelt
came in the form of shokolad.
Parties were arranged. Gifts were
given each of the acht days,
wrapped in special Chaunkah paper.
Obviously, other eltern had felt
the zelbiker way because this
practice became kimat universal
tsvishn my Jewish contemporaries.
The competition with Christmas

finally dergraycht to a point where
some Gentile children envied
Jewish ones their eight teg of
presents.
Still, when I think back on
Chanukah, I recall a memory of the
holiday in simpler times. I cradle
this memory in my hent like a
precious jewel. It warms my heart.

Vocabulary

zinen
bloyz
kalt
droysn
boyml
latkes
smetene
hayse
licht
gelechter
veremkeit
zelbiker
velt
karnival
oysgeshlosn
frayleche
matones
shayn
nodlbaymer

mind
just, only
cold
outside
oil
pancakes
sour cream
hot
candles
laughter
warmth
same
world
carnival
excluded
jolly
gifts
beautiful
evergreen trees

fensters
baputst
masn
glantsik
getsaylte
lider
religiez
shyer
oyb
toyt
lerer
zay
verter
tayl
yom toy
hungerik
fenster
oysgeshtelt
yungvarg
gemacht
hoyz
gelt
shokolad
acht
eltern
zelbiker
kimat
tsvishn
dergraycht
teg
hent

windows
decorated
crowds
shiny
few
songs
religious
difficult
if
dead
teacher
them
words
part
holiday
hungry
window
displayed
youngsters
made
house
money
chocolate
eight
parents
same
almost
among
reached
days
hands

Artwork by Jaime Saal, age 10, of Southfield. Parents are Wendy and Abe Seal.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

L-3

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