Yiddish: A Nation of Words

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Steerforth Press, 2001 - Religion - 303 pages
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THIS FIRST-EVER popular history of Yiddish is so full of life that it reads like a biography of the language.
For a thousand years Yiddish was the glue that held a people together. Through the intimacies of daily use, it linked European Jews with their heroic past, their spiritual universe, their increasingly far-flung relations. In it they produced one of the world's most richly human cultures.
Impoverished and disenfranchised in the eyes of the world, Yiddish-speakers created their own alternate reality - wealthy in appreciation of the varieties of human behavior, spendthrift in humor, brilliantly inventive in maintaining and strengthening community. For a people of exile, the language took the place of a nation. The written and spoken word formed the Yiddishland that never came to be. Words were army, university, city-state, territory. They were a people's home.
The tale, which has never before been told, is nothing short of miraculous - the saving of a people through speech. It ranges far beyond Europe, from North America to Israel to the Russian-Chinese border, and from the end of the first millenium to the present day. This book requires no previous knowledge of Yiddish or of Jewish history - just a curious mind and an open heart.
“Yes God we are your chosen people. But why did you have to choose us?”--(Yiddish saying)

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Yiddish: a nation of words

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Freelance journalist Weinstein here makes the story of the Yiddish language accessible to the general reader. Complete with two time lines, a glossary, and a bibliography, her work outlines the ... Read full review

Contents

Talking Jewish i
3
Birth and Growth
9
The Modern
57
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

MIRIAM WEINSTEIN grew up in the Bronx following World War II, a time and place where Yiddish was standard fare. Once a documentary filmmaker, she is now a freelance journalist whose features have won several awards from the New England Press Association. She lives in Manchester, Massachusetts with her husband, and has two grown children. This is her first book.

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