Subscribe to the [em]Israel in Translation[/em] podcast

[button style=’orange’ url=’https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/israel-in-translation/id882702904?mt=2′ target=’_blank’ icon=’iconic-rss’]Subscribe via iTunes[/button] [button style=’orange’ url=’http://israelintranslation.tlv1.libsynpro.com/rss’ target=’_blank’ icon=’iconic-rss’]Subscribe via RSS[/button]

This week, we feature a new collection of stories by Abraham Karpinowitz, Vilna My Vilna. Host Marcela Sulak reads an excerpt from “Chana-Merka, the Fishwife,” which follows the beginnings of the Max Weinreich Yiddish Institute, today called YIVO and housed in New York. Then in Vilna, Chana-Merka would meet with Dr. Weinreich to hand over lists of “Yiddish pearls” – Yiddish phrases and expressions to be recorded for posterity. Here are some of the Vilna curses Chana-Merka submits to Weinreich:

“May you get a piece of straw in your eye and a splinter in your ear and not know which one to pull out first.

How long do you think she’ll be sick? If she’s going to lie in bed with a fever for another month, let the month last five weeks.

May a fish ball get stuck in your throat.

They should call a doctor for you in an emergency and when he arrives, they should tell him he’s no longer needed.

Karpinowitz was born in 1913 in Vilna, Lithuania, a city long considered the cultural and intellectual center of Jewish Europe. He arrived at the new state of Israel from a Cypriot displaced persons camp in 1949, and for the next three decades he was the manager of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. He died in 2004.

Text:
Vilna My Vilna by Abraham Karpinowitz. Translated by Helen Mintz. Syracuse University Press, 2015.

Music:
Anonymous – Mein Shtetl Belz, 1928
Nigel Kennedy and the Kroke Band – Kazimierz
Nigel Kennedy and the Kroke Band – Jovano Jovanake

Producer: Laragh Widdess
Technical producer: Alex Benish

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *