Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Nutty Keepsake

The above phrase book my father purchased before his trip to Israel in the 1950s.

The creators of the book assumed the traveler would need to find a pharmacy, buy theatre tickets,  check baggage --in Yiddish!

In the 1950s, with a million immigrents from Europe, Yiddish was Israel's lingua franca for a time. I suppose it was possible to live a fine life in that language.

I have no direct experience with Yiddish, other than I've heard it spoken by Hasidic types in various parts of the world, including Israel.

Think of the merriment one would cause asking to play foosball instead of football!
Israelis now speak English, and many other languages, and I continue to putz around with Hebrew. I like to think of the confusion and celebration of all the languages of the world that must have been Dizengoff Street in the 1950s.



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