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FIN VANT NEMPT MEN KOYACH? From where do we draw strength? Can be said when you have cleaned up 10 times and someone spills milk on the floor again!

ABEE GEZINT! As long as we are healthy. You would say this if someone has caused you a lot of grief, but you look at the bright side and say, at least we are healthy.

AH ZOY KEN YECH OHCHET – This I also know how to do. If someone spills the soup on the carpet, you could say this. It’s a joke.

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RISK TAKING, RESILIENCE AND NOT GIVING UP:

What do the following have in common?

Shavuous, Sefira, Parshat Naso, Lag B’Omer and Yom Yerushalayim?

I would like to propose that there is a common thread between them – in each of these subjects there is an example of the resilience of the Jewish people.

In fact, I will take you with me on a journey of analysis – to see that many of the very greatest people from Tanach and Jewish History have this astounding trait of resilience.

From an article in Psychology

What Is Resilience?

Coping With Crisis

By Kendra Cherry

What Is Resilience?

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to remain calm in the face of disaster, while others seem to fall apart? People that are able to keep their cool have what psychologists call resilience, or an ability to cope with problems and setbacks. Resilient people are able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges, which may include job loss, financial problems, illness, natural disasters, medical emergencies, divorce or the death of a loved one.

Those who lack this resilience may instead become overwhelmed by such experiences. They may dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with such challenges. Generally, these individuals are slower to recover from setbacks and may experience more psychological distress as a result.

Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase life’s difficulties. Instead, it gives people the strength to tackle problems head on, overcome adversity and move on with their lives.


Strong Problem-Solving Skills:

Problem-solving skills are essential. When a crisis emerges, resilient people are able to spot the solution that will lead to a safe outcome.

 

Having Strong Social Connections:

Whenever you’re dealing with a problem, it is important to have people who can offer support. Friends, family member, co-workers,… can all be potential sources of social connectivity.

Identifying as a Survivor, Not a Victim:

When dealing with any potential crisis, it is essential to view yourself as a survivor. Avoid thinking like a victim of circumstance and instead look for ways to resolve the problem. ….

Being Able to Ask for Help:

While being resourceful is an important part of resilience, it is also essential to know when to ask for help. …. End of Quote on resilience

TODAY WE READ PARSHAT NASO –WE WILL LOOK AT THE SUBJECT OF THE SOTAH

 WE ARE IN DAY 46 OF SEFIRAT HAOMER –

LAG B’AOMER – AS YOU KNOW IS connected to RABI AKIVA

 THIS COMING TUESDAY NIGHT IS SHAVUOS – WE WILL READ MEGILAT RUT

 AND THIS PAST WEDNESDAY WAS YOM YERUSHALAYIM

I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT THEY ALL HAVE A COMMON THREAD:

No matter how bleak the circumstances may seem: in Jewish life and law, there are ways to overcome catastrophe and keep the hope of setting things right.       Literally – to begin again.

Rabbi Akiva,       Rut and Naomi,     the accused Sotah,     Esther Hamalka  –  Shlomtzion Hamalka,                 Rav Aryeh Levine  –       Rav Meir Lau –     Natan Sharansky   –   Gilat Shalit

All the above have at times in their lives overcome great difficulty.   

We will look at their trials and see that even in the most compromising and heartbreaking circumstances they show us that it is possible to move forward and not only subsist,  

but to actually turn around and find yourself blessed.

I WOULD LIKE TO FOLLOW THIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT AND LOOK AT

1.  The Case of the Sotah:

2.  MEGILAT RUT:    The tragic deaths of Naomi’s husband and her two sons and the conversion of Ruth

3.    The Events during the time of RABBI AKIVA and the Plague which stopped on Lag B’Omer

4. Queen Ester  and Shlomtzion Hamalka

5.    The renewal of the Jewish People after WWII – as witnessed by Rabbi Lau – a child survivor.

The following is from a shiur given by Mrs. Esther Wein which I heard on the OU website –

On Parshat Naso – she connects the Barley offering of the Omer to the barley offering of the Sotah

.

She further connects the process of the Sotah to the process of Yetzias Mitzrayim.    The unifying trait of both is the wish to restore the close relationship.

There is regret for the relationship that was injured and a wish to restore the closeness and begin again. And, if successful, the result will be bracha and shefa and success.

She explains the process of the Sotah being repatriated to her husband. The case of Sotah is very specific. If either the husband or wife do not want to be together, THE COUPLE DIVORCES AND the process of Sotah is not done.

The main purpose of the Sotah process is to allow the woman to go back to her husband.

As you all know, if a man sees his wife secluding herself with another man, and he warns her not to do this. Yet, later, she again secludes herself with the same man, the only way she would be allowed to return to her husband is if they go through the Sotah process. The Sifre says that only a woman who was innocent would consent to go through this process, BECAUSE SHE HAS THE OPTION OF DIVORCE.

The husband has to bring her to a Kohen (not a bes din) and the Kohen has to write the proscribed curses, erase the ink into water, and the accused woman has to drink it.

Chazal tell us that if the husband himself has sinned, she will not be harmed. Also, if she is innocent, she is promised a child and other blessings.

If she is guilty, (and as we said before, if you know you are guilty, you would refuse to go throught the process and agree to a divorce ) she will suffer the curses recorded in the pesukim.

Would you say that the woman who subjects herself to this process in order to restore her marriage has resilience?

RUT – WE READ THE MEGILLA ON SHAVUOS:

From Ruth Rabba 3:6

And they said, “Is this Naomi?!” This [is the] one whose deeds were agreeable and pleasant?! In the past, she used to travel in her litter with a canopy, and now she walks barefoot… She used to be covered in clothes of fine wool, and now she is covered in rags. She used to have a ruddy face because of the vigor [she derived from] food and drink, and now her face is sallow because of hunger. (Ruth Rabba3:6)

Bava Batra 91a   …”And they said, “Is this Naomi?!” What does it mean, “Is this Naomi?” R. Yitzchak said: They said, “Have you seen Naomi who left the land to go to the Diaspora, what has happened to her?” 

 

Both of these midrashim draw upon the lack of warmth attending Naomi’s reception, and suggest a tone of resentment in the words of the townspeople. A residual ill-will exists in Bethlehem  against the family who left them during the famine.

 

The Yerushalmi asks why, in fact, the townspeople went out to greet Naomi at all:

 

And is it possible that the entire city came out to greet this wretched woman? But on the same day, Boaz’s wife died and they all went to [bury her]. (Yerushalmi Ketuvot1:1)

The people of Bait Lechem couldn’t recognize her. She was in a very bad and low place. And yet, she comes up with a plan to restore her position and in fact the plan is successful.

Think of the risks Naomi and Ruth took. The plan that Naomi comes up with for Ruth to go the granary and present herself to Boaz is bold and dangerous. Ultimately it works exactly as planned, but it required great courage and devotion on the part of Ruth. And, not only does it turn out okay, she merits to be the anscestor of Dovid Hamelech.

WHERE DID SHE GET THE STRENGTH TO MOVE FORWARD?????

Esther is one of the seven prophetesses and she is one of two women who have the z’chus of having a book in Tanach named for her.

She is a woman in history who personifies wisdom, personal power, and made a decision to sacrifice her own interests for the interests of the Jewish people. The other Jewish woman to merit a book in Tanach was Rus. She also sacrificed to be with the Jewish people.

Esther has outstanding courage, insight, wisdom and made a personally difficult decision. Through her story, we see the Jewish view of hashgacha, prayer, and redemption and personal sacrifice.

Esther has listened to all the instructions that Mordechai had given to her. She didn’t say where she is from, she complied with all the instructions Mordechai had instructed her.

Then we see a change – now Esther is the one questioning and giving the instructions. She takes hold of the situation and becomes the one deciding what must be done.

At first, Esther reminds Mordecai that anyone not summoned to the palace, is subject to summary execution unless the king extends his scepter to reprieve him.

She relates to Mordecai that she has not been summoned to the king in the past 30 days. Perhaps she should wait – it was now Nissan, and the edict was to take place 11 months later in Adar.

But Mordechai sees this as the prime reason that Esther was taken, he understands that this is the purpose Hashem had for her. And when he responds to Esther, he speaks very strongly – he tells her, if you don’t do this now, rescue will come to the Jews from someplace else, and you and your ancestry will perish.

He is really painfully addressing her question of What will happen to me. I will never be able to return to the Jewish people and have a normal life and raise a Jewish family.

This is Esther’s moment of choice. She has to make a decision. She has to decide to sacrifice her present safety, and her Jewish future, and perhaps even her olam habah.

WHERE DOES ESTHER GET THE INNER POWER TO MOVE FORWARD?

Where does her resilience come from?

Sefiras Haomer – is a biblical mitzvah to count the days from the second day of Pesach to Shavuos – 49 days.

In later times it is also connected to the events during the time of Rabbi Akiva and the terrible plague that took the lives of 24,000 of his students.

And, on Lag B’Omer, the thirty third day, this magayfa stopped and so we celebrate. I recently heard a talk where the speaker asked why do we celebrate if 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students died?

The answer he gave was that Rabbi Akiva had the unbelievable courage and strength to begin again with 5 students. This new beginning is what we celebrate.

In other words, it is Rabi Akiva’s RESILIENCE we are celebrating.

On my recent trip to Israel, before we left to return home, my brother took us to a wonderful restaurant called “Gabbrielle” on a street called Shlomtzion Hamalka –

For some reason, the name of the street intrigued me as I didn’t know anything about her – so I did a little research.

The street was renamed in 1967 after Yerushalayim was reunited. Before 67, this street was called Princess Anne Street.

Regarding Shlomtzion Hamalka:

SALOME ALEXANDRA OR ALEXANDRA OF JERUSALEM (141–67bce.. שְׁלוֹמְצִיּוֹShelomtzion or Shlom Tzion) was one of only two women to rule over Judea (the other being Athaliah). She was the wife of Aristobulus I, and afterward of Alexander Jannaeus ALEXANDER YANAI ,[2] she was the last woman ruler of Judea, and the last ruler of ancient Judea to die as the ruler of an independent kingdom from 76 to 67 B.C

Rabbinical sources record the prosperity which Judea enjoyed under Alexandra.

In THE GEMARRA (Ta’anit, 23a)

relates that during her rule, as a reward for her piety, rain fell only on Sabbath (Friday) nights; so that the working class suffered no loss of pay through the rain falling during their work-time.

The fertility of the soil was so great that the grains of wheat grew as large as kidney beans; oats as large as olives; and lentils as large as gold denarii. The sages collected specimens of these grains and preserved them to show future generations the reward of obedience to the Law, and what piety can achieve.

According to some sources, her life under her husband’s rule was very difficult – she overcame those difficulties and endured and became the Queen known to the Jews as Shlomtzion Hamalka – also, tradition has it that she was the sister of Shimon Ben Shetach.

She had to be a very strong personality to successfully rule during this very Male oriented time in history.

In more recent history:

RAV ARYEH LEVINE:

LIVED IN THE SCHUNAH CALLED NACHLAOT – WHICH TODAY IS BECOMING GENTRIFIED AND TRENDY – IT’S JUST NORTH OF THE R’CHOV KING GEORGE.

HE WAS UNIQUE – HE LOVED ALL THE JEWISH INHABITANTS OF YERUSHALAYIM. HE WAS KNOWN AS THE RAV OF THE PRISONERS.

ON MY TRIP WE WERE TAKEN ON A TOUR OF THE PRISON WHICH IS TODAY A MUSEUM LOCATED IN THE RUSSIAN COMPOUND NEAR MAMILLA MALL.

THE MUSEUM GIVES YOU A SMALL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A PRISONER UNDER THE BRITISH.

RAV ARYEH LEVINE WAS THE RAV WHO WALKED EVERY SHABBAT FROM HIS HOME IN NACHLAOT – ABOUT 4 OR 5 KM – IN RAIN AND SHINE AND HEAT AND HAIL.

HE CAME TO BRING HOPE AND LOVE TO THE INCARCERATED YOUNG MEN WHO WERE CAUGHT BY THE BRITISH.

RAV ARYEH THEN WENT TO EACH OF THE PRISONER’S HOMES AND BROUGHT NEWS AND GREETINGS FROM THE PRISONERS TO THEIR FAMILIES. HE DID THIS EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

WHERE DID RAV ARYEH GET THIS STRENGTH?

RABBI MEYER LAU –

WHO IS TODAY THE CHIEF RABBI EMERITUS IN ISRAEL – AS YOU KNOW, HIS SON, RABBI DAVID LAU IS THE CURRENT CHIEF RABBI – RABBI MEYER LAU WAS A CHILD IN BUCHENWALD DURING WWII.

HE DESCRIBES HIS HEARTBREAKING EXPERIENCES. HE WAS RECENTLY IN THE U.S. FOR YOM HAZIKARON – HE SPOKE IN THE GREAT SHUL IN BORO PARK TO A PACKED AUDIENCE. YOU CAN GOOGLE IT AND WATCH HIS ADDRESS ON YOUTUBE. IT IS WELL WORTH YOUR TIME.

ONE OF THE SCENES HE DESCRIBES IS AT THE END OF THE WAR, THE AMERICAN ARMY ENTERS BUCHENWALD AND GENERAL PATTON BROUGHT SOME LOCAL VILLAGERS TO THE CAMP TO ANSWER FOR THEIR CLAIMED IGNORANCE OF THE EVENTS AT BUCHENWALD. AND THE GENERAL PICKED HIM UP (RABBI LAU) WHO WAS THEN A THIN YOUNG BOY OF ABOUT 7 AND ASKED THE VILLAGERS – THIS WAS YOUR ENEMY???

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT RABBI LAU WENT ON TO BECOME THE CHIEF RABBI OF ISRAEL. WHERE DID HE GET THE EMOTIONAL AND RELIGIOUS STRENGTH?

This brought to mind for me…

Natan Sharansky:

In his book, written in the 80s, Fear No Evil, Sharansky said while he was incarcerated in a Russian prison and held in solitary confinement, he had a tiny Sefer Tehillim which he would recite and this brought him both hope and comfort.

As you know, today, Natan Sharansky is the head of The Jewish Agency. He is prominent in all aspects of organizing and helping new Olim to Israel. He works with Jewish leaders worldwide, whatever their stripe.

If you have time and want to be inspired, you can google “Nefesh B’Nefesh” on Youtube and you can see planeloads of new immigrants to Israel arriving at Ben Gurion Airport.

Often, Natan Sharansky is there to meet these planes and welcome the new generations coming to settle and live in Israel.

Gilad Shalit:

Rebettzin Yael Marcus, speaking at a KGH fundraiser, said of Gilat Shalit, the IDF soldier who was kidnapped and held by Hammas–

that when he was asked how he kept his hope and sanity alive during the 5 years of captivity in Hammas hands, he said that whenever he was given a napkin or a piece of paper, he would draw a scene of a beautiful place in Israel – and that this helped him cope with the terror and strain of waiting.

He longed to be back in the beautiful terrain of E”Y

Ben Drori, another good friend commented, said he constantly felt Gilad Shalit’s absence.

“Several times a day, I thought about what he was going through, how he was feeling,” he said. “It accompanied me all the time.

So many of us davened for Gilad’s safe return to his family when we lit candles, and it is a great Nais that he was returned unharmed.

We have all heard the negotiations back and forth over the question of the Green Line – it is a green pencil line on a map of Israel that was drawn up in 1947.

Well today the green line has become an ocean of green plants and flowers and orchards. Could anyone have imagined that?

As I am writing this it is erev Yom Yerushalayim. And I think about the future of E”Y –

It should be said that the green of the orchards is a direct result of the RESILIANCE OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.

They never give up, they move forward, build, absorb Jewish populations from around the world, they innovate, they never give up, they never give up, they never give up.

With Hashem’s help, the fruits of their labors will always be lavish.

I BELIEVE THAT FOR RESILIENCE, YOU NEED PERSPECTIVE – AS WE GO THROUGH OUR EVERYDAY LIFE, WE NEED TO HAVE A FRAME OF REFERENCE FOR WHAT HAS COME BEFORE.

IN THE EARLY 1920s IN ISRAEL, THE IMMIGRANTS HAD TO DEAL WITH HUNGER, DANGER, HOSTILE AUTHORITIES, WATER SHORTAGES, UNEMPLOYMENT, LACK OF HOUSING….

TODAY, WHEN YOU TRAVEL THE ROADS IN ISREAL, YOU WILL NOTICE FARMS AND ORCHARDS AND FLOWERS AND POWER PLANTS AND SCHOOLS AND SHULS AND PARKS AND STORES….

ON OUR LAST TRIP, WE LANDED AT BEN GURION AND THE MAIN ROAD TO YERUSHALAYIM WAS CLOSED. It was the Sunday of the large Asifa of Tefilla to protest the new draft regulations. At first we were upset because the road to Yerushalayim was closed and we were pretty tired after the long flight.

Yitzchak and I collected our baggage and went to have a cup of coffee at an airport coffee shop.

And then I realized that in 1948, the road to Jerusalem was also closed. But at that time, no one knew if or when it would be reopened. It was very dangerous and the future was not secure. So I said to Yitzchak – you know, waiting for a few hours at a magnificent airport with all the creature comforts is really no big deal. We have to be grateful that we are here in 2014.

A STORY ABOUT THE RECENT ASIFA IN ISRAEL FOR TEFILLA REGARDING THE DRAFT IN ISRAEL

THE STORY OF THE POLICEMAN WHO ASKED FOR THE SIDDUR

Two of our neighbors’ daughters were in Israel when we were there and we had occasion to take them out to dinner. We went to Rimon which is a wonderful cafe in heart of Yerushalayim. We were recounting to them the wait we had at the airport during the Asifa.

So one of the young ladies told me the following story:

Her seminary asked the girls to go to the Asifa. She said it was quite something to see so many people together, orderly davening. At one point there was a policeman who seemed angry and annoyed by the great throngs of people. But then, as everyone was davening together they came to kedushah, the policeman suddenly asked them for a siddur and wanted to join in. She said she was very moved. We never can tell what will move a person and melt their heart.

LIGHT RAIL ARAB MOM TELLS HER DAUGHTER TO GIVE ME HER SEAT

One really surprising event that happened to me was on the light rail. The light rail runs through Yerushalayim on Rechov Yaffo and one end of the line is at Yad Vashem – Har Hertzel and the other end is in an Arab village called Heil HaAvir.

I traveled to Kiryat Moshe a few times a week to go swimming. I used the light rail – it’s fast and efficient. And, it’s crowded. One day as I boarded the rail – a young Arab woman with a little girl were sitting and the woman turns to her young daughter and instructs her to give me her seat.

I was flabbergasted. This small gesture was a real surprise to me. It got me to thinking – is it possible to one day have a peaceful and safe city side by side with our Arab neighbors?

SOLDIERS WRITING KVITLECH AND PUTTING THEM IN THE KOTEL – there are few scenes in Israel that are as emotional for me as seeing Chayalim come to the Kotel and write “kvittlech” and place them in the wall. Their hopes, dreams and prayers will surely be answered since their service protects everyone.

SIDDUR PARTY FOR FIRST GRADERS IN HEICHAL SHLOMO – we went to an art exhibit at Heichal Shlomo – on the day we were there, there was a siddur party for first graders in the great hall. The sweet innocent faces of the children and the pride of their parents and grandparents celebrating their first siddur is a very moving moment in the current stream of Israeli events.

POST OFFICE IN ISRAEL – HAS CHAIRS TO SIT WHILE YOU WAIT YOUR TURN TO BE CALLED, YOU TAKE A NUMBER AND WAIT – i WENT TO RETURN MY PHONE – I WAS HAPPILY PEOPLE WATCHING AND USING THEIR FREE WIFI …. WHEN IT WAS MY TURN TO SPEAK TO THE CLERK, I NOTICED A CORK BOARD BEHIND THE SCREEN ….ON IT THERE WAS A HAND WRITTEN NOTE WITH THE FOLLOWING QUOTE:

MI HAISH HECHAFETZ CHAIM…N’TZOR LESHONCHA MAYRAH USIFATECHA MIDABER MIRMAH SUUR MAYRAH VE’ASAY TOV, BAKESH SHALOM V’RODFAYHU……

I was so amazed by this. Even in the post office you will find the sweet emunah of the people. 

REBBETZIN YEMIMA MIZRACHI – SPOKE ON erev PURIM – 400 WOMEN FILLED THE SHUL IN RAMAT ESHKOL.

She spoke of Tefilla, and caring and being happy with what we would call disorder in the house. One of her main points was that the chaos we sometimes experience as part of Yom Tov preparation or having a lot of company, is actually the best kind of Yiddishe Nachas – it means we have been blessed with children and friends.

AVIVA ZORNBERG – SPEAKS TO AN OVERFLOW CROWD AT THE OU CENTER. ONE OF THE GREAT PLEASURES FOR ME OF BEING IN ISRAEL IS HEARING AMAZING SHIURIM. I WAS ABLE TO ATTEND A FEW OF AVIVA ZORNBERG’S SHIURIM. SHE IS BRILLIANT, INNOVATIVE, ANALYTICAL AND DELIGHTFUL TO LISTEN TO. HER KEEN OBSERVATIONS AND EVEN ASSESSMENTS ARE A TREAT FOR ME. WE HAVE SUCH A Z’CHUS TO BE ABLE TO BE PRESENT AND ABSORB HER IDEAS.

AS YOU KNOW, THIS WEDNESDAY WAS YOM YERUSHALAYIM. THERE WERE MANY CELEBRATIONS AND CEREMONIES TO MARK THE DAY.

THEY LAID THE CORNERSTONE FOR A NEW SHUL IN THE ROVA. THERE WAS DANCING AND SINGING IN THE PLAZA OF THE KOTEL.

ON NETANYAHU’S FACEBOOK PAGE HE POSTED THE FOLLOWING:

LIFNAY ARBAIM V’SHEVA SHANIM UCHDAH YERUSHALAYIM – HA IR SHECHUVVRAH LAH YACHDAV…. 47 YEARS AGO THE CITY OF YERUSHALAYIM WAS UNITED – THIS IS THE CITY THAT UNITES EVERYONE,

This is a reference to the passuk from Tehillim.

AS I SAID BEFORE, OUR TRIP THIS TIME INCLUDED A VERY SPECIAL OCCASION – MY NEPHEW TZVI’S WEDDING.

IT WAS IN KIBBUTZ RAMAT RACHEL – OUTDOORS AT SUNSET OVERLOOKING THE HILLS OF YERUSHALAYIM.

THEY ARE A BEAUTIFUL COUPLE, BOTH OF WHOM SERVED IN TZAHAL. THE ROSH YESHIVA FROM ELI WAS THE MESADER KEDUSHIN, AT THE CHUPAH HE MADE THE FOLLOWING COMMENT:

FOR TWO THOUSAND YEARS WE HAVE BEEN SINGING “OD YESHAMA BEORAY YEHUDAH UVECHUTZOS YERUSHALAYIM – KOL SUSSON V’KOL SIMCHA, KOL CHASSAN V’KOL KALLAH….” THERE WILL YET COME A DAY WHEN YOU WILL HEAR THE HAPPY VOICES OF A BRIDE AND GROOM IN THE HILLS OF JERUSALEM…

HERE WE ARE ACUTALLY SITTING UNDER THE SKY IN YERUSHALAYIM AND PARTICIPATING IN THE WEDDING OF TWO SUCH BEAUTIFUL AND DEDICATED PEOPLE.

IT WAS A VERY MOVING MOMENT FOR EVERYONE IN THE AUDIENCE. WE ALL FELT THE HISTORY TOUCH OUR HEARTS.

SO I WATCH IN WONDER AND PONDER THE AMAZING TRANSFORMATION FROM A TERRIBLE TIME DURING WWII TO WHAT ISRAEL HAS BECOME TODAY.

WE ARE A NATION OF RESILIENT PEOPLE WITH RESILIENT ANSCESTORS.

WE HAVE OVERCOME. MEH HUT IBBEH GELAYBT.

WE HAVE RISEN AND NOT JUST MANAGED – BUT EXCELLED.

MAY IT BE THE WISH OF H’KBH – THAT WE GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH AND ENJOY ALL THE BLESSINGS BESTOWED ON US.

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh iince batayched, voos deh iince batayched.

 

Iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

****************

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh tzviy batayched, voos deh tzviy batayched.

 

Tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

* * * * * *

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh drah batayched, voos deh drah batayched.

 

Drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

** *** *** ****

 

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh feer batayched, voos deh feer batayched.

 

Feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

 

 

 

**** ******* *******

 

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh finif batayched, voos deh finif batayched.

 

Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

 

****** ******* ********

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh zex batayched, voos deh zex batayched.

 

Zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh zibben batayched, voos deh zibben batayched.

 

Deh zibbiteh toog izz Shabbes, zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

 

**** ****** *******

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh ahcht batayched, voos deh ahcht batayched.

 

Deh ahchteh tug izz mileh, deh zibbiteh toog izz Shabbes, zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

 

********** *************** *************

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh nahn batayched, voos deh nahn batayched.

 

Nahn zennen deh chadushim, deh ahchteh tug izz mileh, deh zibbiteh toog izz Shabbes, zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

*********** ************* *************

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh tzayn batayched, voos deh tzayn batayched.

 

Tzayn zennen deh dibris, nahn zennen deh chadushim, deh ahchteh tug izz mileh, deh zibbiteh toog izz Shabbes, zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

*********** ************ *************

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh elleff batayched, voos deh ellef batayched.

 

Ellef zennen deh shtayren, Tzayn zennen deh dibris, nahn zennen deh chadushim, deh ahchteh tug izz mileh, deh zibbiteh toog izz Shabbes, zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

****************** ************* ***************

 

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh tzveleff batayched, voos deh tzvellef batayched.

 

Tzvelleff zennen deh shvutim, ellef zennen deh shtayren, Tzayn zennen deh dibris, nahn zennen deh chadushim, deh ahchteh tug izz mileh, deh zibbiteh toog izz Shabbes, zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In aynce izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

 

 

********** *************** **************

 

Mee yedabair u mee yesapair oy, vy, yam tzeh deh dee dah,

Vayer s’ken rechenen in vayer s’ken tziyllen,

Voos deh drahtzen batayched, voos deh drahtzen batayched.

 

Drahtzen zennen deh Middis, tzvelleff zennen deh shvutim, ellef zennen deh shtayren, Tzayn zennen deh dibris, nahn zennen deh chadushim, deh ahchteh tug izz mileh, deh zibbiteh toog izz Shabbes, zex zennen deh sfurim, Finif zennen deh chamushim, feer zennen deh nushim, drah zennen deh uvess, tzviy zennen deh leechos,

 

In iince izz inzer Gott, in Gott izz iiner, in vahter’s kayner.

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ImageImageImage

 

It has come to my attention that the famous painter Chagall wrote in Yiddish – and was known to spend his time in NYC on the Lower East Side chatting with Yiddish speakers!  

There is a letter Chagall sent to Dizengoff’s emissary to let him know that he would visit Tel Aviv.   It was written in Yiddish.   While Chagall was on that trip, he painted the Ari Zal’s Shul in Tsfat, 1931.

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Grandma Miriam and Grandpa Salek and Great Grandma Yehudis  c 1938  Hanka's Wedding

My parents at a family wedding, c. 1937

Father – far right, standing.   Mother – third from right, sitting.  Grandmother Cubac, second from left, standing.

To remember the beautifully worded Yiddish of my parents on topics great and small.

Special thanks to my grandsons David and Doniel for helping me name this page!

AH KAHLTEH LITVAK  – a cool Litvak (someone who comes from Lithuania and is

is renowned for sober analysis.) You could say this about someone who

is sober on Purim.

AH SHTILLEH MENTSCH – a quiet person, (a compliment.)

AUFF MAHNEH PLIYTZES – l. On my shoulders – on my authority.  When a

person asks you to do something which exceeds your authority.

e.g.  Ordering extra cases of beer for a party.

AUSS GEKHAPPT – to do something before the next person. If you buy the last

computer at the sale price.

AUSS GETEEYEN DUSS SHAME HITTEL – took off his “shame” hat.  Means he no longer feels ashamed.

 AYEH DRIGHT A KUPP – he is making you crazy by continuously changing his

mind.

AYER IZZ IN GANTZEN AUSS MENTSCH – he’s completely not himself.

AYEH LUST ZECH VUYLL GIYN – he’s indulging and living it up. You could say this

if one person eats an entire bowl of candy meant for a group.

AYEH VETTS ZECH AHN IYTZEH GAYBBEN – He will figure out a solution. He is

resourceful.

AYER VILL ZECH SHIYN MAKHEN FAH DEH MENTION – wants to make himself look

good in other people’s eyes. It’s not genuine – it’s a show.

AZOY KLEEG BIST DEH? That’s how smart you are? Can be said when someone suggests something really outrageous or illegal!

AZOY MIYN ECH – that’s what I think.

AZOY ZAYT MEH AUSS – that’s how it looks to me.

AZZ MEH HUT FREMDEH TZIYN – if you have false teeth (usually an explanation

for why you cannot partake of a certain food – like bagels… in Jewish

company, not eating is almost a crime!)

BIST MISHIGGEH? – Are you crazy? You would say this when someone suggests

going out into the street in the winter in your bathing suit.

BIST ARUPP FIN ZINNEN? Have you lost your mind? You could say this if you

are suggesting buying a stock by borrowing the money.

DEH SOOTEN MISHT ZECH ARAHN – the devil always mixes in. You would say this if

someone has a strange accident that is unexpected.

DEH VETTEH NOOVY HUT GIT GETRUFFEN – the weather “prophet” had a lucky

prediction

DOOSS IZZ NISHT A GROYSEH KINTZ – this is not a big deal (to accomplish) You

might say this if someone bakes a great cake from a Duncan Hines mix.

DOOS KEN ARUFF UFF DEH NOOIS – this could fit on your nose. Usually said to a

woman trying on a dress 3 sizes too small.

FAHSHEEDINEH MENTION – there are all kinds of people.   If someone does something nervy.

FAHSHTIYST? – Understand? Usually said in a tone that means you are slow.

FAH ZECH IZZ EHR KLEEG! – For himself he is smart. Said about someone who

is not so thoughtful of others, but is very careful for himself.

FIN DEH ALTEH HIYM – from the old country – always said with nostalgia

FIN VANT SHTAMTS DEE?  Where do you come from – existentially as well as actually.

FIN VANT VIYST DEH? How do you know?

GEHAHKTEH TSURRIS – broken troubles – really bad situations.

GOTT FAHLUST NISHT – God doesn’t desert you. You could say this to someone who just got fired.

GOTT MINE GOTT, you look beautiful – OMG you are beautiful. Often heard

being said to a grandchild.

GOTT’S VINDEH – this is God’s wonder – on seeing a newborn baby or the

Jungfrau (mountain in Switzerland)

ICH HUBB NISHT KAHN KOIYEKH – I have no strength – said to someone who is

driving you crazy.

ICH KEN NISHT AUSS HALTEN – I cannot withstand this pain – can be said when someone is really nudging you.

IZZ AUKHET GITT – is also okay – said about an alternative plan.

LUZZ SHOYN OOPP – let it go – always said in exasperation. If your teenage

child asks you fourteen times for the car keys after you have said no.

LUZZ ZECH NISHT – don’t let them (push you around)  If someone suggests that you should do all the work on a project, and they will present it.

MAHN SHIYN KINT – my dear child – said when your patience is being tried.

MAHN TIYEH KINT – my innocent child.  Said when someone is trying to take advantage of your family.

MAHNEH TZIBROKHENNEH BIYNEH – my broken bones. Usually said by an older person after trying to shovel the snow.

MEH DARF ZECH NISHT ALL DINK NOOKH GAYBEN – you don’t have to always indulge your desires – like when you see the 1500 calorie slice of cheese cake, just refuse it.

MEH HAHRGET ZECH ARRIM – they are fighting around (not physical fighting) always said in disdain.

MEH HIYBT SHUYNN OOEN – they are starting up already (not something good!)

MEH SHTARBT NISHT FIN A KASHE – no one ever dies from a question that has been unanswered. It’s okay not to have closure.

MEH SHRAHT IN MEH KVITCHET – they are yelling and screaming.

MEH SHRAHT KHAH VEKAYOM – l. they are screaming “live and endure” – they

are making a real racket.

MEH ZOLL NISHT GEPRIFT VEYREN  – we shouldn’t be tested – you would say this when seeing someone suffer something awful.

NISHT FAH DEEYER GEDAKHT – this shouldn’t ever happen to you (almost a

prayer)

OOP GEGAYBENEH TOYVES – returned favors – you might say this if your children do something for you that you did for them when they were little – (shovel the snow!) when you can no longer do it for yourself.

OY VY IZZ MEER – OMG – I am in pain

SEH KIMPT IMM  – he thinks it’s coming to him. A sense of entitlement.

SHAME ZECH NISHT – don’t be ashamed to ask for something

SHEH KO YACH – l. You should be strengthened – means you did something hard, and you did a great job (you could say this to a bar mitzva boy after he reads from the Torah)

SHTELL ZECH FOHR- imagine it before you.

SIH FAHDREEST ZECH – it’s galling – if someone embezzles money and then buys something out from under you, you could say this.

SIH HAKT MEHR EPPESS IN KOP – l. there is something banging in my head – I have a headache

SIH KIMPT MEH FAUH– it seems to me –  usually followed by a juicy tidbit of a story revealing something about a neighbor

SIH ZAYT AUSS – it looks like – it seems to be the case  

SIZZ MEH NISHT GITT GEVORREN – I was feeling faint  –  usually from aggravation.

TAKKEH YAW! – actually, yeah!

TIMM MEH EPPES – ICH GEDENK NISHT – so do something to me, I don’t

remember.

TZIRAHSS ZEH GEZINTEH HIGHT – tear them in good health – said when you buy and wear new shoes for the first time.

UFF AH ZAHN OIYFEN –  In such a terrible way.

YETZ HUST DIH ZECH DAMANT?   Now you remembered??? After traveling home on an airplane, you remember that you left you wife’s birthday present at the airport lounge.

VEE VAHT IZZ ISS DEN?   How far is it then? Meant to show it’s not far.  Don’t make a big deal out of retrieving something you left.

VOOS IZZ GESHAYEN?     What happened? When you are speechless and your face is turning white.

VOOS KEMMEN TEEYEN?    What can you do?

VOOS TRACHTS DEH? What are you thinking?

My mom and Tante Chanka
 
 
My mom and aunt were the keepers of the Yiddish sayings.  Their words sparkle in time.
 
AMERIKEH GANNIFF – l. American thief – really means American possibilities. You could say this on your first time visiting the top of the Empire State Building.
AUF ALLEM DINK IZZ DOO A TZAHT! There is a time for everything!
AYER IZZ AH MAIYVEN – he is a connoisseur.
AYER MITCHSET ZECH – he’s struggling.
CHOBB GEKENT BASHTIYN – I could have agreed (to an smarter alternate plan.)
DOOS DARF MEN AZOY VEE LOCH IN KOP – we need this like a hole in the head.
GOTTENYU – OMG
MEH KIMPT TZIM GRIGHTEN – you come and everything is ready (you didn’t work for it.)
MIZZ DECH NAW A MENSH – we are just a frail human being.
OON GEPATCHGIT – too busy, over decorated.
SYMPAHTISH – charming, attractive and friendly. (A match for your grandson!)
ZAH AH MENSCH – be an honorable person.

Once you are retired, if you buy an airplane ticket, you can stay as long as you want. We came for a month and are hoping for longer next year. As you can see from the gallery of photos, we came home inspired and deeply satisfied.

Family Wedding

At Tanta Chanka’s wedding in Warsaw, c. 1938
Grandpa on top right, Grandma bottom, third from right.

Second from left, standing, is my paternal grandmother, Yehudis (Certner) Kubac. They were a very handsome group.

This shot was included in the Yiddish Sayings project:
Meh Laybt Mit Nissim.

 

Yiddish sayings my parents loved.  I hear their voices and laughter!

AUF MEER GEZUKT! I wish this would happen to me!

UDDER AH RIBBEH, UDDER AH RINTER: Either you go over or under. One way or another, you must get this done.

Grandpa was an amazing man with a wonderful generous heart.  I was thinking of him this week – it is his yahrzeit tonight.  Watching all the disruptions in NY this storm, I appreciate in a new way his amazing generosity and kindness.  

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Grandpa in front of his fruit and chocolate store in Warsaw, c. 1937

 

My parents went through storm-like worries, but the government was not there to help them.  Quite the contrary.  And yet, he and Grandma helped people and were generous with food and clothing.  They were completely trustworthy and would never take advantage of anyone.   They were excellent judges of character.  They had a lifetime of learning!