A Wise and Humble Language

Mausoleum of three Yiddish writers: Ansky, Dinezon, and Peretz. Jewish Cemetery, Warsaw. Eleven U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Bob Dylan won it most recently, in 2016. I still remember the first time I heard one of Dylan’s songs. It was “Lay Lady Lay.” I was riding in my car, listening to … Continue reading A Wise and Humble Language

Kraków: The River Speaks Yiddish

In the section on Poland in his book A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe, Ben G. Frank writes: Jews don’t visit Poland dispassionately. Sholem Asch once said that the broad shallow river, the Vistula, the queen of Polish rivers, spoke to him in Yiddish. No matter what language you speak, the Vistula—“on whose bank the … Continue reading Kraków: The River Speaks Yiddish

Poland: Old Things – אַלט זאכן

My wife Beth and I live in Be'er Sheva, in the south of Israel. Many English speakers may be more familiar with the spelling Beersheba. It is the place in Israel where the patriarch Abraham lived. Every morning as part of the Morning Prayer, I read the story of the binding of Isaac. The story … Continue reading Poland: Old Things – אַלט זאכן