YIDDISH CIVILISATION

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Yiddish Civilisation

Author : Paul Kriwaczek
ISBN : 9780307430335
Genre : History
File Size : 54.42 MB
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Paul Kriwaczek begins this illuminating and immensely pleasurable chronicle of Yiddish civilization during the Roman empire, when Jewish culture first spread to Europe. We see the burgeoning exile population disperse, as its notable diplomats, artists and thinkers make their mark in far-flung cities and found a self-governing Yiddish world. By its late-medieval heyday, this economically successful, intellectually adventurous, and self-aware society stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Kriwaczek traces, too, the slow decline of Yiddish culture in Europe and Russia, and highlights fresh offshoots in the New World.Combining family anecdote, travelogue, original research, and a keen understanding of Yiddish art and literature, Kriwaczek gives us an exceptional portrait of a culture which, though nearly extinguished, has an influential radiance still. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: History

Babylon

Author : Paul Kriwaczek
ISBN : 9781429941068
Genre : History
File Size : 21.23 MB
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Civilization was born eight thousand years ago, between the floodplains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, when migrants from the surrounding mountains and deserts began to create increasingly sophisticated urban societies. In the cities that they built, half of human history took place. In Babylon, Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements seven thousand years ago to the eclipse of Babylon in the sixth century BCE. Bringing the people of this land to life in vibrant detail, the author chronicles the rise and fall of power during this period and explores the political and social systems, as well as the technical and cultural innovations, which made this land extraordinary. At the heart of this book is the story of Babylon, which rose to prominence under the Amorite king Hammurabi from about 1800 BCE. Even as Babylon's fortunes waxed and waned, it never lost its allure as the ancient world's greatest city. Engaging and compelling, Babylon reveals the splendor of the ancient world that laid the foundation for civilization itself.
Category: History

Born To Kvetch

Author : Michael Wex
ISBN : 1429909900
Genre : History
File Size : 90.64 MB
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As the main spoken language of the Jews for more than a thousand years, Yiddish has had plenty to lament, plenty to conceal. Its phrases, idioms, and expressions paint a comprehensive picture of the mind-set that enabled the Jews of Europe to survive a millennium of unrelenting persecution: they never stopped kvetching---about God, gentiles, children, food, and everything (and anything) else. They even learned how to smile through their kvetching and express satisfaction in the form of complaint. In Born to Kvetch, Michael Wex looks at the ingredients that went into this buffet of disenchantment and examines how they were mixed together to produce an almost limitless supply of striking idioms and withering curses (which get a chapter all to themselves). Born to Kvetch includes a wealth of material that's never appeared in English before. You'll find information on the Yiddish relationship to food, nature, divinity, and humanity. There's even a chapter about sex. This is no bobe mayse (cock-and-bull story) from a khokhem be-layle (idiot, literally a "sage at night" when no one's looking), but a serious yet fun and funny look at a language that both shaped and was shaped by those who spoke it. From tukhes to goy, meshugener to kvetch, Yiddish words have permeated and transformed English as well. Through the idioms, phrases, metaphors, and fascinating history of this kvetch-full tongue, Michael Wex gives us a moving and inspiring portrait of a people, and a language, in exile.
Category: History

Judaism As A Civilization

Author : Mordecai M. Kaplan
ISBN : 9780827609181
Genre : Religion
File Size : 64.23 MB
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In a book originally published in 1934, the author introduces a different way of looking at Judaism--as a changing religious civilization that requires new ideas in liturgy and ritual, the elimination of obsolete customs and an adjustment based on social, political and cultural conditions. Reprint.
Category: Religion

Outwitting History

Author : Aaron Lansky
ISBN : 9781565126367
Genre : History
File Size : 64.53 MB
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This true story of a quest to save Jewish literature is “a detective story, a profound history lesson, and a poignant evocation of a bygone world” (The Boston Globe). In 1980 an entire body of Jewish literature—the physical remnant of Yiddish culture—was on the verge of extinction. Precious volumes that had survived Hitler and Stalin were being passed down from older generations of immigrants to their non-Yiddish-speaking children, only to be discarded or destroyed. So Aaron Lansky, a twenty-three-year-old graduate student, issued a worldwide appeal for unwanted Yiddish works. Lansky’s passion led him to travel from house to house collecting the books—and the stories of these Jewish refugees and the vibrant intellectual world they inhabited. He and a team of volunteers salvaged books from dusty attics, crumbling basements, demolition sites, and dumpsters. When they began, scholars thought that fewer than seventy thousand Yiddish books existed. In fact, Lansky’s project would go on to save over 1.5 million volumes, from famous writers like Sholem Aleichem and I. B. Singer to one-of-a-kind Soviet prints. This true account of his journey is both “extraordinary” (The Boston Globe) and “entertaining” (Los Angeles Times). “Lansky charmingly describes his adventures as president and founder of the National Yiddish Book Center, which now has new headquarters at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. To Lansky, Yiddish literature represented an important piece of Jewish cultural history, a link to the past and a memory of a generation lost to the Holocaust. Lansky’s account of salvaging books is both hilarious and moving, filled with Jewish humor, conversations with elderly Jewish immigrants for whom the books evoke memories of a faraway past, stories of desperate midnight rescues from rain-soaked dumpsters, and touching accounts of Lansky’s trips to what were once thriving Jewish communities in Europe. The book is a testimony to his love of Judaism and literature and his desire to make a difference in the world.” —Publishers Weekly
Category: History

Einstein In Love

Author : Dennis Overbye
ISBN : 0141002212
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 35.15 MB
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A biography of the physicist reveals Einstein as a passionate man, lovelorn teen, draft dodger, bohemian, poet, and ultimately a scientist.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Complete Idiot S Guide To Learning Yiddish

Author : Benjamin Blech
ISBN : 0028633873
Genre : Foreign Language Study
File Size : 66.91 MB
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You're no idiot, of course. You can serve up a mean s'il vous plaît in a French bistro, live la vida loca for a night of margaritas, and manage a sayonara! after sushi, sake, and karaoke. But when it comes to throwing around a little Yiddish, you feel like a total nebbish! Don't throw up your hands in a helpless “Oy, vey” just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Learning Yiddish is your guide to this unique tongue, whether you're tackling rules of grammar or just throwing around some key phrases so you sound a little less goyish. In this Complete Idiot's Guide® you get: --A fascinating explanation of how and why Yiddish developed. --An easy introduction to the Yiddish alphabet, as well as to the distinctive sound of Yiddish. --All the Yiddish you'll need for communicating with family and friends or for bargain-hunting on New York's Lower East Side. --A treasury of Yiddish words and phrases for everything.
Category: Foreign Language Study

The Brothers Ashkenazi

Author : I.J. Singer
ISBN : 9781590514023
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 55.68 MB
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In the Polish city of Lodz, the brothers Ashkenazi grew up very differently in talent and in temperament. Max, the firstborn, is fiercely intelligent and conniving, determined to succeed financially by any means necessary. Slower-witted Jacob is strong, handsome, and charming but without great purpose in life. While Max is driven by ambition and greed to be more successful than his brother, Jacob is drawn to easy living and decadence. As waves of industrialism and capitalism flood the city, the brothers and their families are torn apart by the clashing impulses of old piety and new skepticism, traditional ways and burgeoning appetites, and the hatred that grows between faiths, citizens, and classes. Despite all attempts to control their destinies, the brothers are caught up by forces of history, love, and fate, which shape and, ultimately, break them. First published in 1936, The Brothers Ashkenazi quickly became a best seller as a sprawling family saga. Breaking away from the introspective shtetl tales of classic nineteenth-century writers, I. J. Singer brought to Yiddish literature the multilayered plots, large casts of characters, and narrative sweep of the traditional European novel. Walking alongside such masters as Zola, Flaubert, and Tolstoy, I . J. Singer’s premodernist social novel stands as a masterpiece of storytelling.
Category: Fiction

Jewish Civilization

Author : Shmuel N. Eisenstadt
ISBN : 9781438401935
Genre : History
File Size : 71.50 MB
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This book explains why the best way to understand the Jewish historical experience is to look at Jewish people, not just as a religious or ethnic group or a nation or “people,” but, as bearers of civilization. This approach helps to explain the greatest riddle of Jewish civilization, namely, its continuity despite destruction, exile, and loss of political independence. In the first part of the book, Eisenstadt compares Jewish life and religious orientations and practices with Hellenistic and Roman civilizations, as well as with Christian and Islamic civilizations. In the second part of the book, he analyzes the modern period with its different patterns of incorporation of Jewish communities into European and American societies; national movements that developed among Jews toward the end of the nineteenth century, especially the Zionist movement; and specific characteristics of Israeli society. The major question Eisenstadt poses is to what extent the characteristics of the Jewish experience are distinctive, in comparison to other ethnic and religious minorities incorporated into modern nation-states, or other revolutionary ideological settler societies. He demonstrates through his case studies the continuous creativity of Jewish civilization.
Category: History

And We Re All Brothers Singing In Yiddish In Contemporary North America

Author : Abigail Wood
ISBN : 9781317181279
Genre : Music
File Size : 44.7 MB
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The dawn of the twenty-first century marked a turning period for American Yiddish culture. The 'Old World' of Yiddish-speaking Eastern Europe was fading from living memory - yet at the same time, Yiddish song enjoyed a renaissance of creative interest, both among a younger generation seeking reengagement with the Yiddish language, and, most prominently via the transnational revival of klezmer music. The last quarter of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first saw a steady stream of new songbook publications and recordings in Yiddish - newly composed songs, well-known singers performing nostalgic favourites, American popular songs translated into Yiddish, theatre songs, and even a couple of forays into Yiddish hip hop; musicians meanwhile engaged with discourses of musical revival, post-Holocaust cultural politics, the transformation of language use, radical alterity and a new generation of American Jewish identities. This book explores how Yiddish song became such a potent medium for musical and ideological creativity at the twilight of the twentieth century, presenting an episode in the flowing timeline of a musical repertory - New York at the dawn of the twenty-first century - and outlining some of the trajectories that Yiddish song and its singers have taken to, and beyond, this point.
Category: Music