T O4"q V k L/*4 A*auza k uw W eAl R../;'"h S;,r^.2 0Z Z0 Th.


Vtl-"t47, hae- 1

The other day I was walking down 34'nStreetGeling pretty hot. The new bright yellow pumps I I hadjust purchased had a lot to do with that. As I sashayed down the boulevard,pumps under my arm, I passed two Hasidsstoppedin the middle of the sidewailqarguing in Yiddish. Forgetting myselfi,as I often do, I sloweddramatically,strainingto catchthe drift of what they were saying. I felt the briefestthrill of connection,the feeling I alwaysget when I stumbleupon Yiddish speakers, whoever they may be. The thrill was cut short as they looked at me strangelyand I remembered way I must look to them. I imaginedthat they wouldn't have any idea what my the , 'Look pastthe yellow pumps!It's me, Rokhl, interest them might be. But isn't it obvious? in Yiddishist, klezkamper,FolksbieneYiddish Theafie super-titlesuper-kvetcher.'But the moment was over and I went home to ponderthe distancebefween"us" and "them." And to h:y on my , new shoes. lt often seems if being a Yiddishist/klezrnophile/secular zion puts one behind an as bnei impermeable barrier when it comesto our more religious kin. But the truth is that if we imagine that barrier to be solid it's only our insecuritythat makesit so. There is an entire specftum betweenmyself, the RootlessCosmopolitanand the WilliamsburgerHasid and it is possibleto frnd commonnodes(and friends)at every point. For example,a lot of my friendsdo ethnographic work in the Hasidic world. They collect tunes, observedances, interview folks. Has no one noticed that while "we" may look to thosesheltered communitiesfor raw material,it is truly the secularworld of Klerkamp and its ilk that is keeping the traditional Jewish arts alive in any meaningfulway. Justrecently a council of Hasidic Rebbes in Brooklyn declaredtlrat the numberof musiciansat any simkhe could not exceedtwo. That's right, trvo. How will traditionalJewishsimkhemusic survive in such an ahnosphere? The Rebbes haveperfectly good, humanerc:rsons imposing suchhard measures. is appropriatefor their for It community. But, barukh ha-shem, thereis an enorrnous community out here in my world tending the flame of traditional simkhemusic. Further,many of my readers have probablynoticed that Klezkamp and its imitators havegotten progressively more accommodating observantfolk. You're not imagining it, I've spokenwith to peoplewho have been with this thing from the very beginningand they tell me that the tone of theseevents,especiallycome Shabbes, was never as full with the faux-brengenspirit (pseudoHasidicjoyousness)as they are today. And more and more religious folk come every year. It used to be a truism that the peoplewho embraced Yiddish and klezrnerwith the most zeal were the oneswho were the most alienatedfiom mainstream religiosity. While thosefolks are still around (hey there!) it's no longer so easyto make such sweepingstatsments. And finally, if you neededfirther proof that we truly are a spectrum, consider the fact that a small, but significang contingentof Hasidic folk are seekingout secularYiddish culture on a regular basis.Being the super-titleoperatorat the Folksbiene this season allowed me to observe gs51 hand the 2,3 or 5 young Hasidic men at every show-One night we had two couplescome and tre husbandof one of the couplescouldn't stop praisingthe show to the director, telling him how his wife would hear nothing but lines and phrasesfrom the show for the next two weeks. And this was a show with a woman singrng and men and women dancing with each other! Consider also a friend of mine who doesa secular radio show in Yiddish featuring new Jewish music and other Jewishnews.[n Hasidic Brooklyn he is a celebrity. B'emes,ben emunes.

Zayt bagrisrand borckh habo, Rootless Cosrnpolitans I have so much to say to you sometmesI can't even sleepat night I toss and hrm thinkins alnut which Jcwish Heroes shall get shouts-outin the Editor's Note this year. Hmnq there's Elzet, otherwisc known as Rabbi Judah [,eyb Zlotnick. Rabbi, lawyer, folklorist. He wrote under a pseudonym becausehis sccular ways conflicted with his religious beliefs. Soundslike one ofus, to me. One of Elzet's truJy phanomenal cfea[ons was a book called "Davenen." Within were collecterl hundredsof Yiddish sayings basedon thc Jewish liturgical cyclc. Just one dclicious example:of a ncwly mamed lad who dawdlcd a Shabbcsmoming wirh his wife (ending to one duty) when he should have been in shul (rendingto another duty) it was said "F'adoyt er ahava raba, kurnt er nisht tsu shma yisroel." I hope you'll buy back issres of RC or sead me submissions I hope you'lt share your top Jewishguilry pleasureswith me. Mine are (rn no particular order): 'l clcvised FriarsClub Roasts,A&m Sandler,The Red Tent and the Nanny.

Cr.q$lk@guprt-sels )

I also want you to know that I got the best late Klanike present the other day when I heard Fyvush Finkel speakng Yiddish to Al Franken during the Oy Oy Oy Show. Oy, it was a mekhaye. On tlrat note, I rernain full ofobsessions, passronsand love for my rnfrriatingly fabulous and stiff necked people. Mit liebe, Rokhl bas Cyprus (Rachael Ka&isserl Rootless ; Cosmopolitan and Original Daughrer of Zi<xr)



Isn't this what being a RootlessCosmpolitanis all about.The confidenceto go from fauxbrengento real-brengenand the love of one's peoplethat drives you to seekout the unique spirit that every different Jew has to offer. As always,peaceand irie vibes, RootlessCosmopolitans.

Jrnql, Afr;A^^h,rTou,en/a Vbh*</ :"r.V;/&41.litrnafua:
By Rokhl bas Cyprus

(//"4/ Z"-ter" L/ S/.lb^ A,r"l

I hadto remind myself more thanonce while readingKiddush ha-Shemthat thoughthe events the book takeplace of in 1648, SholemAschwrote itin 1926. In New York City. For all I know, he couldhavebeensitting in his apartment on WestEnd Avenueand writing in a cafeteria Broadwayduring the on aftemoon.And Yet. Despitethe skin crawlinglybad translation one Rufus of Learsi,Kiddush ha-Shemis utterly compellingandtransports right into one Ukraineof 1648. Evervdav Jewishlife of the 176 century,itsie*iures, smells, andmost importantly, everpresent its jump offthe paper.Asch dread masterfully dealswith one of the themes which traditionallyhasbeenthe subject of so much Jewishambivalence, selfdefense the usesof violence. and TheChmielnickiuprising 1648has of beencalled,with little exaggeration, a mini-Holocaust. One hundredthousand Jewswere murdered Cossacks by by led BogdanChmielnicki.The Cossacks and Ukrainiansresented way that the the Polishnoblesruled them fiom afar by usingthe Jewsas their intermediaries. For example,Kiddu.rhha-Shem features (and the parnoss a Jewishinnkeeper of Zlochov)who is also forcedby the local Polishnobleman hold the key to the to Ukrainianchwch. When the Ukrainians want to openthe church for a baptism, the come to the innkeeperand beg him to open the church,though they have no moneyto pay the tax imposedby the The Jew is torn between nobleman. wanting to let the tlkrainians in to the churchwithout payingand fearingthe retribution to be exactedon him by the nobleman.

resentments religioustensioni and srew, theChmielnicki uprising. Zlocnovi"s destroyed the Jewsflee where and thev can.A numberof themeventually end up seekingrefuge within the fortifieA ya.llsoflhe city of Tulchin. There,an alliancebetween pole andJew is f"ig.a andtogether theyexperience ,or. " thrillingvictories against Cossack the hordes. Thesevictoriesare the most excltrngscenes the book. in ..sanctifi Kiddushha-Shem means cation of the name"and it is a mitzveto i," fo, the sanctification His name.Thi;of means that Jewsareobligatedto choose martyrdomratherthan be forced to commit threedifferentacts:murder of another Jew, forbiddensexualrelations and idolatry.A Jew is alsoobligatedto die ratherthan be forced,for thi pu.por" of religiouspersecution, transgres to tt. l1w (any religiouslaw) publicty"One alsodiesa martyrif he or streis titteC simply because is a Jew.But *t she ui of the Jew who is able to defendtrimseli Whar is his obligarionto himsetf anjlo otherJews? First we must examine thrilling the battle scenes with which we, the Jewishieader. are rewardedafter sufferingthrough so much Jewishsuffering.In the fortified city of Tulchin the Jewsof Zlochov seek refugeand enter into their alliance with the Poles.Asch goesinto great detail of the cunningand savagery with which the Jews meetthe attackingCossacks.

Ir 's h

Iewjs f ulch :ape a :lotr gr :laves
J0rr gll

But as XC()rn


t I

Thor, hc.roi drsco and t th<-ru readir coura AmI t\hat transf gftenc Imme, the pe ustot Kn-vor


the "FrequentlY Jewsallowedtne to Cossacks comecloseto the their crowbarsfor rvall andaPPIY Thenthe Jews makinga breach. hurl down rvouldsuddenlY a hail ofrocks and uponthem pour down on their heads of cauldrons seething tallow...And more thanoncedid the Jews,as in the ancienttimes sallYforth out of of Jerusalem, the citY,and with uttercontempt ofdeath,theYfell uPonthe ranks killed manYof of the Cossacks, them,and drove the rest back to " theirtents... tt's hardnot to inwardlYcheerthe victoryon the fortified walls of fervrsh f ulchin.After pageafter achingpageof Jews-oh i'ape and murderof innocent non goodit feelsto be that which we haveso longbeendenied:a courageous, porrerful, cunningJew. But as the battle rages,the descriptions Ncome moregruesome: "With criesandblazingeYes' theY[the Jews] tore through the cloudsof smokewhich belchedfrom the mouthsof the cannon,and fell uPonthe bit Cossacks, them with their with teeth,gougedout their eYes long their fingers'and with their throatsand knivestheYslashed heads." cleaved Thoughwe are still cheeringthis new becomes Jerv,the reader hc'roic so much eye gouging with discomforted a All and throatslashing. of a sudden Jew thoughtoccursto the cheering uniqueJewish readingthis tale of .ouragi' is such violence tobe savored'l Am I injoying thisjust a little too much? What is to follow sucha ghastlY of transformatiori the formerly meek ghettoJew? of following the description Immediately the peakof Jewishviolence,Asch brings us to the tent of the Cossackleader Knvonos.He is receivinga folk remedy

for his achingbones.An old woman bringsa live kid to the warriorand tells him to bathe himselfin its bloodand cover his legswith the body.It's a thoroughlydisgusting scene. The otd womantells the Cossack, "You have givenSatan due,now he will calm his himself."As if that weren'tenough, in the next line we readthat"the Cossack leadernow felt his pain relieved. The young,fresh,still palpitating little body yieldeda pleasant warmthlike the body of an infant."Ewww. Of course,it's easyto distance oneself from suchbehavior. The readeris not madeto identifuwith the Cossack leader Krivonos.But thejuxtapositionof the bloodiestscenes Jewishviolencewith of that of the Cossack bathingin the blood of a sacrificialkid is the way that SholemAsch forcedus to examineour own embrace Jewishviolence. of The final battlefinds theJewsof Zlochov in a position wherethey can avoid their own marryrdom. They have joined forceswith the Polesto successfully fight offthe Cossacks. At the momentthat the Jewsmight really triumph over their enemy,it is revealed that their Polishallies havesoldthem out to the Cossacks. Jewsare The summoned masse the castleof the en to PolishDuke andtold to not only surrender their valuables, all their but weapons. The betrayalis revealed. The first reactionof the Jewsis to massacre the Poles: "And there was a young man there from Karsoon;he was thin and tall and his eyesblazed with the vengeance God. His of ear-lockstrembledand the teeth in his jaws chattered with anger, for the wrath of the Lord burned strongwithin him. And he snatched a long knife and up cried to the Jews:'The Gentiles have betrayedus herejust as in Nemirov. Let us avenge ourselveson them with the vengeance the [ord, for God of and his Torah.'

$gt nf

Tk Oa*,*^I;ql,w 04;6;4-, H/,,r:/k Dil,r4 "l An Essay in Dzaynglo (the iewish-ingtish pinkhas



Rootless Cosmopolitan readers are probablyawareof the connection between Hasidicmen's dressand { the gqb worn by Polishnobility of I the l8b cenftry. Today,kapotes (blackcaftans) tied with gartlscan be found in Hasidicneighborhoods like Williamsburg,Boro Park and Mea Shearim. But tracingthe origin of this styletakesus on an interesting far eastof the trip Vistula.

Beginningin the l6n century, what adopted Polisharistocrats theybelievedto be the dressof this kingdom.But earlyBosphoran havingno ideawhat real had Sarmatians lookedlike, they of the substituted costume the warriors that Turkish and Tartar ChristianEuropefacedin its battleswith the Oftomans. of Polishportraiture the times heads, menwith shaved shows and lanciful caftans longwhiskers, (soundfuniliar?) Often headware like reclining theyareposed Sultans. of The Polishenlightenment the the su'eptau'a1' late l8thcentury the Ironically', cultof Sarmatism. liveson in the aesthetic Sarmatian of streets Brooklvn.whcreultralike Jewishmcn dress orthodox rrho aristocrats borrowed Catholic in from Muslirnu'arriors costumes nomadic an effortto irnitate pagans.


The milieu that gaverise to the Hasidicadoptionof the caftanwas the l8h centurvPolish/Lithuanian Commonwealth- land from the which the Baal ShemTov created a revolutionary strainof Jewish practice. The Polisharistocracy, calledthe Szlachta, had constructed nationalmyth to a justify their superiorstatus. Sarmatismwas the belief that the Szlachta were descended from ancientTurco-lranian tribeswho invadedfrom the Black Seato rule over the Slavicpeasantry. While todaythe conceptseems laughable, it was consistent with the nationalistic mythologies the of times. The Arthurian legendserved a similarpurposefor the monarchs of England.


Editori.rl It er,l congrotu)d!es Letin

on nIs,)th

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1{ i$ 0r oiz'vu)'6oo ol;ip 9.1 ot'1-.lN .Nhpo'rty;tul't uo'y't11tt1'toI'ooylvo:., y;'ilJ j?r'rro6n lo o.t:"!I'yl og;lot'),a v;iu yro 18 y;roosll lNUerJi2 e.tl.t.'ous.l.rg v;to-;ro)ytltlD'ti2 J{tt'yt;ru')-u').rg'-.polyo lo N'ryp'y'-lp Dyl,)il: v;ro:,tt otll lt6) v;10.OrljiTN'19 !'l'lJlr']0O'try:t'Ot)tttVl t ''lt'r rgl ,rytl:ry)to rv)gp ,'0ry'112.ruo'-.r4 v;lo r/')tg rNlyootl'r ;tu'/l)S:t'tN: -lyup.t-.tpol.li2 tu f -t,l'-]yglo -.l";.to .otoNoo t;'lo bt_(;lu ao'u$r?{o 1')'t !;tu oN.lt -Iy-nyor-t nlyr)Iy D'l-19 oN.t.t 60:ory)to y;lu nl''19'lyl'yl'[]l;1olu-]o ly)l,y-.|-.li71l0 p':g)o v;to-tt.l.l$ to ,o pg): .!-lpryoyg )tr y;ro'ytlo )r:rr u' ,)tlglgl oD'oogyol.lp oo')ry:t'tg:'ty;'lu't tllyoo'ol.ti2 ;.to'.1.1 oN.ll y;tu-olt.l:u y;.to o'lt)t;u,a Jyr-lt;tut6 ll

.0tyl'yg izr'lsD'll

o; l'.lc Jcrrscanavenge themselves l.ric'>.a "rrhite beard"rebukes the .\rc thcscthe merciful sonsof '.r-'mercrtul?... are Jews ;r'sgrnsrble one another! for If r trukrll thcGentiles, theywill 3\ engcthemselves the Jews on tri othercities... We will notbe liLeuo\Gentiles...We not will rvrthrevengethe ;vofane KrJdush ha-Shem whichGod rqurresof us."

It is clear from the previousvictories of (alongside the Jewsover the Cossacks decideto the Poles)that, shouldthey the keepfighting, they could massacre Cossacks' Polesand the approaching Thus the "white beard" (speakingfor not Scholem Asch himselfl)appeals so much to the halakhic imperativeof selfsacrifice, thoughself-sacrifice is requiredto avoid taking the life of anotherJew or Jews.More convincingly, Asch seeksto cultivate within his reader a disgustand distrust for the violence suchdefenseencompasses. a life Is worth living, Asch asksus, once we haveallowed our enemies reduceus to their level? to






I t

\ fer].td;nl f"'""*lta
by L. Ilands

., rewess -..i,rn with the ,-.^^^ e of saru Dfficuttieswhich Beset An historicalreview to reference her legulposition special
,--e--^4^ rr-rrlr'rrri^n rql?)


: :' '-.'


print:-11:l.Pl::,f":Xj*::',1'l;1e17) ::!t Bngland: (Bayswater, ^^^ -y J..*rl Enough. i - 6*' ;6 ' rheagunah F.Yt"i"i ;;', '-;,'f; " t;"'r' "" -J - --" Yt"i"i;; ::.lllt
is crushed *a"rit.

which Beset Jewess Dfficulties the Some
with SpiLial Reference her Legal to pamphlet; written Positionis a 16-page printedin tltZ Uya and privately mysterious Englishwoman somewhat named"L. Hands."SomiDrPculties doesindeeddeliveron its tiile's promise. ,,-_ .. ,, the Surveying Jewishlegalpositionof ,fu2*'ry* women,Ms. Handsu.curutily pinpoints the "Difliculties" arisingfrom historical reasoning appliedin the all-too-hereand-now.First and foremost among "chainedwomen"') Eventoday,so is serious the plight of the agunohwho cannotobtaina get that sheis not merely "Beset" but also "plagued,""harassed," "distressed," "embittered" saythe and to least'

:l.t:.1j:"jtuPbjnf alwaysreflected,n..t iltr"uttil;f men,and second, lack of a sensitivitvt., tv the-needs women. of rft"l"*"rrrr'rr suffering-under political opp*ion, on the.olher is likely to be a victim or !and, Not Jewsh Enough, there as i; ffi;ly a lack of Jewishrepresentation within her local gou"rnrn.nt.

*rinlr tiuiiffi""

r *ight of thousands -,,-

- .r.

oragunot(theso-ianed theseisrhecase

With respect the Moderately_ to observantand Securar Jewesses,woul I '^fro" , rr.- i^it^,,"-:,;;..*;.;:::"'.;;^:-'

-,:-: .& 'uic - r-'i - :! :rr r ':{: -'3 ,., :* - 't^

If thereis a critiqueto be madeof Ms. Hands'booklet,it is, first, that her only devolvearoundthe most examples As of religioussub-group "Jewesses." I the needhardlytell you, dearreader, and Moderately-Observant evenSecular is Jewess aboutas Besetas it is possible Ms. Hands'admirable to be. Secondly, summaryfails somehowto Providean by principleor schematic overarching Diffrculties AverageJewess' which the Reviewingthe can be understood. specificsof the casessheenumeratesPoliticalOppression, SocialConditions, Claim Divorce-The Brother-in-Law's

M,r&,estwb eH Z',"qnf

Widow,andsoo* UpontheChildless %Jb.r*gn1fu%"r* her to this leads reader ofl'er own
summation: yotu A".t"g;;*"tt it btbt**

''€ I approaches introducing himselfas "cantor phil," this is a Difficulty which 't?r 'foo is Jewish.Believeme, we haveall :''. beenBesetby Cantorphil at onetime o, -t . --: another, However,when your boss approaches to put the Hebrew *o.d, t-t' you on the company "holiday card," J carefullyiconographized without baby or but . Jesuses angels, hasfailedto nolict that Hanukkah was over two weeks dgo, _ that is a caseof Not JewishEnough.And_. _.". when you areashamed tell your boss to you don't know the Hebrewlettersor 'r' how to spell"Hag Sameakh"and you ., simultaneously irritatedbeingthe -. .,1 feel : tokencompany Jewess and youreally wish they would put the Hebrewon the ;, 0. card and get it out in time for Hanukksh, r*ri well, Dear Reader, that is a devilishcaS€ . ._ s of both Too Jewishand Not Jewish _ .., Enough.Sadly,Ms. L. Handsoffersno resolution oneBesetbv sucha to paradox. ro


, ,-

Besetby only two kindsof Difficulties, namely, Too Jewish and Not Jewish Enough.Whenyou really think aboutit, everythingfalls into one of thosetwo The agunah,for example,is categories. clearlya victim of Too Jewish,whereas political oppression almostalwaysa is

(ffiJfu,a*ltt&at 41t*7oue

Finally,to the questionof Ms. Hands' , ?- t identity.All that is known of the frl authoress that in 1920shedeliveredarr... . is paperbasedon this pamphlet Dr expanded i. ;. lr


(Beset, con't from previous page) at the Internationa WomenZionistswhich was heldin Londonin July 1920.It is conceivable that she was the Lydia Handswho, in 1880,published versionfor young a readers the Germanmedieval of epic poem, the Nibelungenlied.But a breakof published almost40 yearsbetween works seems unlikely,and unless she were very young at the time of her Mtttel phase,shewould haveto be Deut.sch ratherelderlyby the time of the 1920 conference. The name"L. Hands"does. in its simplicity,suggest pseudonym, a but arguingagainst this is the pamphlet's inscription. Distributionwasprivate, with the title pageverso marked"From Miss Hands,57, PortsdownRoad, London,W-9"; and written in by handin virtually every extantcopy,"With compliments." Why sendcompliments if the addressee couldn't be surewho you were?Thus we must assume that our friend and foremotherL. Handswas Jewess simplya rank-and-file both wellversed traditionalJewishknowledqe in and amply Besetby the attendant problems therein.


/a'y'ilot z ltt

Paul Celan (Frenchpoet born in Bukovina)

Louis-Ferndinand Celine (Frenchnovelist author of the masterpiece Journeyto the End of Night, Nazi sympathizerand all around gump) Cherles Schultz (responsiblefor the entire shataof SnooPY objets tn landfills aroundthe countrY;

Bruno Schulfz (author of The SanitariumUnder the Sign of the Hourglass)

Sidney Hillman (born in Lithuani4 yeshivarebel, legendarylabor organissl, helped found the CIO)

Sidney Wilhelm (Crroundbreaking prophetic and radical sociologisg authorof Who Needsthe Negro)

:,.*Nw Y"rl.
E6,vard Said be damned, Jews have always proudly looked " East. In Eastern Europe they looked toward Zion. In Amerrca : they look toward Eastern Europe. In Manhattanople they look i to the mysterious and enticing East. As Pinkhas llushefsky i points out in his article on Hasidic dress, Hasidic Jews came to ',

of ildr"ss the way they do now because the Orientalist of | rcndencies certain TurkophilePolish nobles.So take a whenyou're adviceand hit thesesites ,l Rootless Cosmopolitan's the East' I in N"* Yorkand seekingsomewisdomfrom
i I



j 1. tempte of Dendur, Metropolitan Museumof Art, 56 Avenueand 86& Street private weddings,supplyyour own Ksrnakian priest iAvailable for 2. Kalustyan;s Importers of Fine Spices,LexinglonAvenueand 28d'Sfeet :Forbidden ricefor sale,just don't ask the lady at the counterhow to make it. J3.Turkuaz Turkish Restaurant,Broadwayat l00thStreet , Theydo this thing with creamy eggltlant,you'll plotz 4. DaheshMuseum of Art, 580MadisonAvenue Thefinest collection of Europeanacademicart, much ofwhichfeatures Orientalist themes 5. East-West Books, 5* Avenue at l2t,, Steet Youcanfeel like a Thurman(Uma, Gandonor Robert) while buying esotericafor the wholefamily. Yogaon the secondfloo

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by A. Meydl, Anonymous Correspondent to Rootless Cosmopolitan If I had a nickel for every time I am asked why I becameso involved with Yiddish I would be rich. Halevay! The reality is that I am strugglingto survive financially by working with the Yiddish languageon a daily basis.Over severalyears,it has evolved from a firn project to a language that I mutter in my sleep. When I beganstudying Yiddish for fiur, I never imaginedthat it would becomemy profession(meshteyns gezogt).I simply liked the languageand the soundof it. I liked how a few words were familiar and how many were not. I becamefluent over a period ofseveral years,through a combinationof intensiveacademicstudy, reading music, and spendingtime with native speakers. immersedmyself further I and further in the culture until I realizedthat I could only go deeper. I love the facesof older peoplewho talk abouttheir youth in a place and time that is completelydifferent from my own- I love the soundof the Yiddish languagein the kitchen and on the stage,hearinga song aroundthe table as the sun goesdown. This is not only the Yiddish of nostalgia and badjokes - this is my own heritage. In 2003, I moved to New York - the heartof today's Yiddishlmd - to work as a Yiddishist. The life I lead now is a far cry from the boring (but stable)job, brutal winters, and cheaprents that I left behind in the Midwest. In New York, I have patched togethervarious part-timesjobs, all involving Yiddish. The resulting experience is frequentlymaddeningand occasionally rewarding. How did it happen?No strategy,really. I beganby seekingout work involving the Yiddish language,without any concrete goals other than learning,improving my languageskills, and promoting the language and culture. I found a variety ofjobs administrativework in Yiddish organizations, cataloging archiving, teaching,performing, child care.At one point last year, I realizedI had eight jobs. I was running betweentwo or three different jobs in one day, skipping dinner, trying to balancethe needsof many dernanding employers.Sincethen, it has stabilized somewhat yet I often still feel like a yeshive-bokher; eatingdays at different jobs in orderto ekeout a living. My day-to-daywork is often mundaneexceptfor the fact that it's canied out in a language that many insist is alreadydead. Composingand banslatingbilingual correspondence articles; organizing and cultrual eventsand meetings;plodding throughpiles of books - literary masterpieces, obscureself-publishedpoets, grisly Holocaustmemoirs,translationsof classics,and new (yes, new) novels and poetry; preparingnew literary and linguistic projects,strugglingwith cryptic handwritten entriesand pageafter page of Yiddish text; tediouslycatalogingarchivesand databases. I even care for Yiddish-speakingchildren playing in the snow,cooking noodles, readingbooks in Yiddish and English, and learningfrom eachother. I also perfonn as a Yiddish singer and songwriter,sometimes evenas an actor. It is especiallyexhilarating to perform for an audiencewho understands the language. I'm thrilled just to be in New York and to be working with Yiddish, but like the freshfacedyoung artist who comesto the big city to make it, I have also becomeolder and wiser - some might say cynical and disillusioned.It's a tazy life, and the instability really grateson me. I neverknow if onejob will be theretomorrow, if the organization'smoney will run out or if someone more aggressive will shouldertheir

wav to the front, while I, the ever-polite Miiwesternel' fatl $shind '""i;;h;;-[io tttat in the caPitol.of YiJC.ftf^nA, workers in Yiddish to.acceptan o.**irutlons are often expe{ted work envkollment where low ""'a,.Uf" t""k of benefitsprevail'Ithink I *"#;e I saythat rp."Jf", othsrs as woll when becomerict\ I do i,ir"tgft I don't expect to have be able to PaYthe rent' to ;;;" to lr"ul,h in***ce, and to be able aftendYiddish and Jewish ""i"""tJfv without feelinglike a Poor events at a lavish wedding' ,o*rP"r*n rareit is don't seemto realizeho*' People wlth ,tt"-.i-a"Vt to find young-people Tlgl who are commrtteelo and skills ""ii.ti"l* Yiddish' In the organizational ;;rkt"ffih the problemis funding how -"tt{ i*;f isn't is and who sets it Yiddish ;;;iltil;" mainstream *O- scteenof most "",f." ..g-izations' let alonegeneral i"*ittt funders.But even (and somehmes conhnuea Yiddish orgBnizations ".o""iuffyl wherethe worker's il;;"dil"n. order to a causeis exploited in commiEnent worker ;""eY. But when both the ;;;;; through-bad and the causeare sacrificed the takhles? *nditions, what's ;;il;g

May, 2OO4 To the cats at lleeb: . l,'



I I I . :1...t;"..I


publicity I just ftrushul issue 5 and got yortr [-[cebrelatcd m) urxlatec-mail Chcc agatn'you'vefarledto m{l cven Abe liouran tsrg fuckrng So, you sh<rcked l,i* up I tfunk AF d€l. "*p."tut,on. wrote me a similar lefter when I showed blouse uethout shaung under my arrns kr shul in a sleeveless delicate Pornt beurg, it ain t hard to shock someoneu'ith such sensibilitiJs.The man smells anti-semitism wtren the Poles below me are making Pierogtes' a Frar*Iy Heeb, you're awfully proud aboul' what? Shockrng a tallls bunch of peopleby portrayrng a nakel Chnst weanng the like a locier ioorn towel? That's really a no-brainrx ln department,if you usk me Editor in Chief Jtxhu sh<rck (irrls websitel U.u*^ [rn an interview on the Suicide "tui.n^t spreadisn't a drrect reaction to the moqe' rn that the photo isn't about fact, he iasn't even seenThe Passion The spread and the movie, he says,it's about the hype around the mon-e Listen' Jeflatrng Mel's d'ivinely inspirel pretensions6otcha. lt's an no on. i'ot", to deflate pomposity more than I do with mc. Buiyou know what I think is pompous? "u,r.utio. that yoru audience just can't handle a challengtng Deciding it' Lk" on Ir" movie iseti as well as thc hype surroundrng somcthingwith lots of words. Accordrng to You know, with Neuman, the reason i{eeb chose to ad&css the movie this photo play (rather than a written piece) is thst "Our one thal is going to pay so much a(tenlronlo g*"ruti.tiitn't ' in edrtonal and wc wantql people to pay shcntton to ttus probably move wtren reading the Yeah and their tips captions. Taking a page lrom modem advertising' Ncunm es that when you message is too imporlant-to be what are don't say it with wonls' say it with tic. And "What I think thc sprearldoes is articulatc ottr (its savrnc,? thtnr iew and;-mbivalenc€about the campaign" What t as the spreaddoes is give mc a wet one But as far (he Passton essrngarlxretyand ambivalencc about I ,*,". u ,f,**f,rn f and thought provoking way? guyr. if you have to do so much explaining as to tilybe it's not that deep to begin with -;;g, ;*p"T*on


just give up and I Sometimes think I should it th: '-",g1t1 ]"ii"",. I could just get ajob orgaruzanon:u *norl{ or evenin theJewish


enter^the fo, tn",' workethic'I could ;; if I il"J"*" ."ulm *h"t" I will beprized u li"i--Jvr" literature English).Ifr: . (in
r"*"*a"a o'J,o iy intellectuals'

are iurt"r"Midwesterners suppos€dlv

debate-about I've yet to sec l{eeb spark a genuine, intellectual fideasr. l've yet to seea Senurnelyradical thought put forth rJewish Press' may say' in your pages,despitewhat the and shrcking your eldersdoesn't Berng a-b;ct of bad asses really count for much. rn a We all know that getting Abe Foxman's boxer bricfs t*irt irn't all that drffrcult- t low about pnn(rrg something ^ AIJL Hq t that would rcally causehea( palpitations over-at What about an appreciation ofthe late Jewish histonan He wrote about the endurance of antrtutu*i"* Su**tt i"r,,it sm at a t" structural and conceptual incompatibilities to wnt€ a of Judaism and Christianity. He had the chutzpah book about it called "You Gentiles' in 1924' Maybe they've Go, talk this one over with the Suicide Grls qot something substantiveto add to the dialogLre l".{" . . I'licontinue bidding on vrrtage copiesof Jewish ;-;;G". 6 on Ebay and counting the &ys titt Heeb issue 6,**o


f"ili"'"se I w.ould':'YY:i1f,"t:.0^ I would have-a


p,n.11 p'i"' * manYacat * T: ::'.T#"H::X?]" money.Yet
as a spoken *",ft"'"gft it's alreadydead me' thatangers How:uot:u"h t;;#,and be language rendered f;"inating ;;;: only e dook"ttraiis accessible i-i ria", urittl to a few?

whose a small group of students

if haditioru onthisheYmish

Very truly Yours' RokN bas cYPrus

politics , As annoying as the

, yia[rni-i



1communiry, cofiltrdtment' and shareq and torn motivaredbY Passion ;*Jim by arnbivalence' Yiddish - you are in my blood' I can't say

of sense ttereis a powertul

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5 s, ().lcsfibn Comrnc^f'am ScnJ ia 5, bmissions? .-noKHLKgGAAIL'cor,t


BY Rokhl bas CYPrus David Mandelbaum beenmany things,from a battlarei rl,hts has youth, to a professionalYiddish actor with the FolksbieneYiddish Theatre.He is also the ne plus ultra of Yiddish soul in Washington Heights,itself a bastionof Yekkitude and little old ladiesnamedGsrt and Dot (God blessthem.) David is a beaconto me, with his beautiful Yiddish, rich family history, and almost inexplicable devotion to residing here in the lofty Heights.You can keepyour Henry Kissingers,your Ruth Westheimers, even your JacobJavitzs (hometown"heros" all.) I'm proud to saythat David Mandelbaumis my neighbor.Here, for the first time in print is the story of David and his family as they traveledthroughJewish time and space.




Cl:,|,;^,p"Lal David's parentsfall in love and marry, though not without somefamilial resistance' While his paternalgrandfatherwas the mayor of Chibin (the only Jewishmayor in Poiand) he was also a misnagid'David's on maternalgrandfather, the other hand was BresloverHasid and the town shoykhet' a Differenceswere overcomeand true love prevailed,through deportationto Siberia a iojourn in Kazakhstan' brief repatriation to potanO,a spell in Stuttga( Germany' and frnally, a home in WashingtonHeights'



.l II I'

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|tYa1l;ea, Eo*4 Arx'rrx.,t"1 170" &,ynt tt44 The ultimate Yekke yeshiva. Young David sometimeswent there to hearthe choir. By himself. 19' 9"rA ,^l E+*f, Auqa, Dr.r.l^dat Stl;U The Dombrover Ruv was fhe brotherof the Chibiner Ruv. The elder Mandelbaumhad studiedat the Chibiner Ruv's misnagdish
weqhiva in Pnlnnrl

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Heightsby The first video storeis openedin Washington Jews. arrivedRussian recentlv

191' SlMl .4.1 &1,'r;4; Ar,.ru4k4r^^otd The Mandelbaums move to this shtiblewhen they move into an apartnent in nearbyLafayette Gardens.

Ctl,4:.; A*nu t4J nT Shtd. lk Ultt tl*l at congregation l6l" WhenRabbi Weinstein's into the Bridge Steetmoved, they were absorbed Shul.

:'" A^4fu"1.*^Ar,rnu lk'f70't In a little brownstonethe son of Rabbi Judah Turnauerusedto blow the shofarlike nobody's business. David madea point to hear him whenever could. he

18 t44'1klvub t.a W*e4.r


This is where the Mandelbaums lived in their fust apartrnent.

$f S$.r4.+l Fc,lWala* A nearbyGerman-Jewish synagogue. RelationsbetweenYekkes and polish Jewswere "cordial" but also ..nonexistent."

16f tl"rrl k14'.r^B4.J4t 'f . l Aru*,rla Also congregation. Rabbi Weinstein's Boy the homeof Rabbi Weinstein's Scout troop. This is the first attendin the synagogue Mandelbaums WashingtonHeights. Purelyan as interim measure, Mr. Mandelbaum for a more intimate shtibl. searches

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Davia attendsRarnazthough l2h sade. At Ramazhe is Bar ldidah'd and has Rabbi as Lookstein (father of Haskell) a teacher-

The ftrst shtibl where the elder Mandelbaum feels comfortable' having found a of consJegation Polish Jews' inom somewereChibiner' "f

I .l


title you WhenAlibris andEbaylet you down,and you just can't locatethat obscure absolutelygotta have,friend, look no further than the Christian Patriot AssociationBook PublishersCatalog.Get the skinny on the incometax scam(T'helllegal Tax Protester Gurc and Information Book), the down-low on do-it-yourself munitions (Homemade about globalization(The Demonic Ammo) and tnrth you always suspected Homemade Oh, and they'vegot a real hard-onfor Mormons,too(Mormonism, of Roots Globalisrz). Magic and Masonry.)Wait,you sayyou couldn't carelessaboutMormons,munitionsor the taste, course, CPA has of For moneylaundering? thosewith a more ... discriminating They've got almostall my favorites,evena set of the Zohar a wide rangeof Judaica. pricedat what I'm sureis below KaballahCenterprice,but no ToldusYeshu.I'vepicked out someof the bestof the CPA titles to sharewith my RootlessCosmpolitanreaders. Enjoy!

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t 9()G23+S 2.so THE ATI-AS OF JEWISH HISTORYby Manin Gilbeft
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# 9OO{3+S


# 735{3

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AUSCHWITZ: The Final Count Edited by V. Bird
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# 902-{F9


FACTSARE FACTS by BenjaminH. Freedman
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# 646-@t


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# 918-o5ts 5.oO "FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS' by Stan Rinenhouse
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# 961-{Xr2 THE GREATHOLOCAUST TRIAL by Michael A. Holfman
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# 9Ol+19


BLOOD RITUALby PhilipdeVier
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# 941-OOt t3.oo THE GREATJEWISHMASOUE The Ass tn The or Lion's Skin by UnknownAuthor
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t 9OGl3t-S 2.oO THE COIITROVERSYOF ZION: Jewish Narionatism. Ths Je$/ishState,And The UnresolvedJewishDilemma by Geoftrey Wheatcroft
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# 918-086-5
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HIDDENGOVEFNMENT by Lt. Col, J. Creagh Scott
#918-O33-S 3.OO 1.50



# 90G32GS




THE DAMN]NG PARALLELS:of The Protocots "Forgeries'Adoptedand Fulfiiledin the UnitedStates by Jewish-Radical Leadership by Roben Edward Edmondson
* 9(l{)-?52A-S t.OO

THE HISTORY THE JEWISHPEOPLE, OF VOLUME ll: The Early MirCdle Ages by Moses A Sfiu/vass
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# 73fi74

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hq I B .hp.d by Chrirn fh. tS edury, d b in rA. Ha 2a7 ts98


THE HOLOCAUST:Let's hear both sides
# 90G244-S


Pt'fl"Wh Ho*Tk "
prov.s that thc Jc6 WirffGn aDund 1933. Gt.r. centati@ campe rn Ih. b'ct Union and,.spons'bl. tn conlrol of th. con6.. tor lh. mur&, ol mrhone ol

CPA BOOK PUBLISHER is a Christian and patriotic bookpublishing organization. It is founded upon rhe beliefs that the Bible is the WORD OF COD (YHWH) and that JesusChrist is the GOD, Saviorand King of all true Christians. CPA BOOK PUBLISHER rhereforcstrivesto sell and publishbooksthat teachTheology, Laws of God and the the historyof God'speoplesinceireation. CPA BOOK PUBLISHER alsostrivesto providebook whichreprovethe worksof darkness. Lastly, CPA BOOK PUBLISHER strivcs ro provide books which make plain thc Christian foundaiion of America. We hopeto encourage Amcricansto work towardrcstoring the ChristianRepublicthat wc oncehad.



THE JEWISHUTOPIAby MichaelHigger,Ph.D. 9.oo lr-s # 9t8-t TH€ JEWISHWORLDCONSPIRACY by Dr. Karl Betgmeister
Ih. laGuil ow. th. aultunlicity ol h. Prolocols ol lh. €ldc.s ot Zron. whrch sd p.oJfrlh 1934 ild 1935. gav. lo Jd$ look plscc in Bc.nc during lh. y.ri pubtia5lr alib,lh. oppdunity to bldon lodh jnto th. mdd thd in mud *sh.dJor ao.n., a tudgo .[d obld,v. consrdoralion, hrd pronounc.d tudgd.nl to lhr .dod rerc.lorgery. lhd lh. Prol*olr

# 90Gr89.S


THE JEWS by Hilaire Belloc
g.lb Js Jc€ Th. ctu.lty ol pts lonh lh. egumonlt r.gard.ng lh. J6s md 6on J€6 hlh lho J6 od lh. non lhoy havG hd P,sntd snd lhor s*r.li.n.ss Thtt bh suggo{ ways ol uhd.r f.om coming logGlh.t lo rdv. diffdrctu.t.

# 902-Ol 5

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CPA BOOK PUBLISHER, for over 20 yearshasstrived to bring you somcof thc mostcontroveriialand hard_tofind booksanyuvhere. belivcthat the pressshouldnot Wc bc suppresscd, that you shouldhavcihe right to read and what you want. All book are sold for academii purposes only. You may find someof our booksoffensivi.please keeplookingand we arc sureyou will find somethat arc just what you arc looking for. Thank you from CpA BOOKPUBLISHER.

# 90,G202-S


MAIL THIS ORDEF TO: CPA BOOKPUBL|SHER P.O. 8ox 596. Bo.tng, O.egon 9/009. U.S.A. 186 sPrc€ rq trac€ Wt-RY

and Positions of JEWS lN GOVERNMENT Related Powerby GeraldL K. Smilh
# 90GO4I-S 2.50
d !h. *'E by |rraol on all lho honti66 ot cMlk.CPA 8@i

Rorh JEWS MUSTLIVE by Samue/
tu eounl d lh. rrs.cul,on

8.OO # 9r8489.S JUOAICA f N YUGOSLAVIA by Milican Mihailovic
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ignoramuscan come as close to God as the greatestrabbinic scholar. He made Judoism meoningful for the mossesat a time when its humanqualities were being neglectedby its rabbinic leaders. Punk rock showedthat, similarly, any guitar and a lignoramus with accessto a iminimum of chordscould changethe of music world forever if possessed the dgfit kavonah. Ignoramusesaround the lworld cheered.

Black Hat, White Rior is the name of a recentlyreissued album by a little rememberedfirst wave punk band called the Misnagdimr. The fact that a bunch of Satmaryeshivabokherswould call themselves Misnagdim gives you an idea of the "fuck you" factor at work here. Originally released 1979,Black Hat, in Wite Rlor enjoyeda brief burst of airplay in the UK. The Misnagdim even supported DesmondDekker on his March 1979tour of the Outer Hebrides and Wales2. This was mostly due to the fact that the Misnagdim and Dekker shared samemanagement, the Leslie Kong, a ChineseJamaicanwho owned the famousBeverley's Ice Cream and RecordShop in Kingston. The Misnagdim eventuallydroppedKong after being wooed to the management of Sir Lew Grade.Sir Lew saw the potentialin punk rock and envisioned himself a JewishMalcolm Mclaren-3 It's not clear if the move to Sir Lew's management what promptedthe is band'sabrupt implosion in May 1979, but forcing the band to don Beatleswigs during their appearance Top of the on Popscouldn't havehelped band morale. The great historian Jacob Rader Marcus saysthat "Hasidism was not a revolt againstthe Jewish religion but againstits leadersand their interpretation of it. The Besht[Ba'al ShemTov] taughta new


the I Unfortunately, Misnagdim'ssubpunk nevertook off. For !g"*" of iexample,one of the best songson the ialbum, Get the hell of my bima you !bloody skinheadsQ"kiah) would seem 'to be in the vein of the popular antiracist genre.But the song is actuallya rarity for punk rock, an instrumental featuringa 33 secondshofar solo. The rest of the album is made up of clumsy diatribesand not one but two circumcisionprotestsongs:Pieceof V Thing and OrelaArgument.The low point probablycomeswith the Misnagdim's attemptto deal with the "Dea touchy subjectof inter-marriage. to my family" containsthe memorable refrain "l married a shiksas/ rebbewat to fix her/ I'm deadto my family/dead my familyidead to my family/ but hap in bed6." While the Misnagdim's one and only is release interestingto us as a curious reflectionof a very specific time and place,it is also a reminderof the challenge,and limitations, of permanent revolution as an artistic mode.

wayto worship God...He insisted spiritualperfection comesnot through learningbut throughpersonal devoutness, thusthe humblest and

Merlin Shepard ' He also apparentlyfanciedhimself a Jewish Samuel Goldwyn and a Jewish David O. Selznick, even as Jewish versions of Goldwvn and Selznick were alreadv extant.

rI1eD. Opponents ' A leading exporter ofhyphenated names and

Heb. Abomination; also, someoneblonder and skinnierthan you'll ever be o Which almost certainlydid not havea sheet with a hole cut in it