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More than a quarter of a century ago, Leo Rosten published the first comprehensive and hilariously entertaining lexicon of the colorful and deeply expressive language of Yiddish. Said “to give body and soul to the Yiddish language,” The Joys of Yiddish went on to become an indispensable tool for writers, journalists, politicians, and students, as well as a perennial bestseller for three decades. Rosten described his book as “a relaxed lexicon of Yiddish, Hebrew, and Yinglish words often encountered in English, plus dozens that ought to be, with serendipitous excursions into Jewish humor, habits, holidays, history, religion, ceremonies, folklore, and cuisine–the whole generously garnished with stories, anecdotes, epigrams, Talmudic quotations, folk sayings, and jokes.” To this day, it is considered the seminal work on Yiddish in America–a true classic and a staple in the libraries of Jews and non-Jews alike. With the recent renaissance of interest in Yiddish, and in keeping with a language that embodies the variety and vibrancy of life itself, The New Joys of Yiddish brings Leo Rosten’s masterful work up to date. Revised for the first time by Lawrence Bush in close consultation with Rosten’s daughters, it retains the spirit of the original–with its wonderful jokes, tidbits of cultural history, Talmudic and Biblical references, and tips on pronunciation–and enhances it with hundreds of new entries, thoughtful commentary on how Yiddish has evolved over the years, and an invaluable new English-to-Yiddish index. In addition, The New Joys of Yiddish includes wondrous and amusing illustrations by renowned artist R.O. Blechman.
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject English - Pedagogy, Didactics, Literature Studies, grade: sehr gut, University of Freiburg, 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Origins: Yiddish is the historic language of Asheknazic (Central and East European) Jews, and is the third principal literary language in Jewish history, after classical Hebrew and (Jewish) Aramaic. The language is characterized by a synthesis of Germanic (the major component, derived from medieval German city dialects, themselves recombined) with Hebrew and Aramaic. Scholars tend to locate the origins of Yiddish in the Rhineland, where a handwritten prayer book from 1272 was found in the city of Worms containing the earliest known written Yiddish sentence. 2 Yiddish has a particular tradition: it took root and flowered in the ghettos (from Venetian gheto, a foundry on a small island where in XVI Jews were confined3), starting in walled juderías in Spain in the thirteenth century (according to the Lateran Councils of 1179 and 1215 it was forbidden to Jews to live close to Christians and in 1555 Paul IV ordered segregated quarters for Jews in the Papal States).
In the early decades of the twentieth century, a vibrant theatrical culture took shape on New York City's Lower East Side. Original dramas, comedies, musicals, and vaudeville, along with sophisticated productions of Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Chekhov, were innovatively staged for crowds that rivaled the audiences on Broadway. Though these productions were in Yiddish and catered to Eastern European, Jewish audiences (the largest immigrant group in the city at the time), their artistic innovations, energetic style, and engagement with politics and the world around them came to influence all facets of the American stage. Vividly illustrated and with essays from leading historians and critics, this book recounts the heyday of "Yiddish Broadway" and its vital contribution to American Jewish life and crossover to the broader American culture. These performances grappled with Jewish nationalism, labor relations, women's rights, religious observance, acculturation, and assimilation. They reflected a range of genres, from tear-jerkers to experimental theater. The artists who came of age in this world include Stella Adler, Eddie Cantor, Jerry Lewis, Sophie Tucker, Mel Brooks, and Joan Rivers. The story of New York's Yiddish theater is a tale of creativity and legacy and of immigrants who, in the process of becoming Americans, had an enormous impact on the country's cultural and artistic development.
When Laura Silver's favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish. The iconic potato pie leads the author from Mrs. Stahl's bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to an Italian pasta maker in New JerseyÑand on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity. Starting in New York, she tracks down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovers that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn. With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mines knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. Along the way, she meets Minnesota seniors who make knishes for weekly fundraisers, foodies determined to revive the legacy of Mrs. Stahl, and even the legendary knish maker's granddaughters, who share their joie de vivreÑand their family recipe. Knish connections to Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music? Die-hard investigator Silver unearths those and other intriguing anecdotes involving the starchy snack once so common along Manhattan's long-lost Knish Alley. In a series of funny, moving, and touching episodes, Silver takes us on a knish-eye tour of worlds past and present, thus laying the foundation for a global knish renaissance.
This multicultural reference work on Jewish folklore, legends, customs, and other elements of folklife is the first of its kind.
A sociolinguistic study of Yiddish English in New York's Lower East Side, from the Fifties to the Present.
As this book richly and entertainingly demonstrates, philosophy is as much the search for the right questions as it is the search for the right answers. Robert M. Martin’s popular collection of philosophical puzzles, paradoxes, jokes, and anecdotes is updated and expanded in this third edition, with dozens of new entries.

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