Nadirisms 55-58: On Jewish Obstinance, Head-Banging, Holy Tongues, & English Wit
Just look at how many Jews keep up with “art” and “criticism,” to see what stubborn people we are!
Az me zet vi fil yidishe mentshn haltn zikh ba der “kunst” un ba der “kritik,” zet men ersht vos far a folk fun akshonim mir zenen!
It’s not advisable, my dear Yitskhok Reyz! Banging your head against the wall--when the wall, too, is made of living men--has brought you nothing, nothing.
S’iz dir nit gerotn, yitskhok reyz, mayn tayerer! Dayn shlogn zikh kop in vant--ven di vant bashteyt zikh oykh fun lebedike mentshn--hot dir tsu gornisht gebrakht, tsu gornisht gebrakht.
In my opinion, loshn koydesh ought to be our language. But we ough speak loshn koydesh in Yiddish…
Loyt mayn meynung, darf loshn koydesh zayn undzer shprakh. Nor me darf loshn koydesh redn af yidish…
Some Classic English writer, I don’t remember which, once said about a colleague’s work: “That which I understand of it is excellent. Therefore, I can infer that that which I don’t understand is also excellent.” There are certain writers, who veil themselves as if with fog, about which it can be said: “The little bit of their work I understand is not good. It must therefore be assumed that that which I do not understand is also not better.”
Ikh gedenk nit velkher englisher klasiker hot gezogt vegn dem verk fun zaynem a kolege: “dos vos ikh farshtey iz oysgetseykhnt. Derfun dring ikh, az dos vos ikh farshtey nit iz oykh oysgetseykhnt.” vegn gevise shrayber, vos shleyern zikh in neplen, kon men zogn: “dos bisl vos ikh farshtey fun zey is nisht gut. Derfun iz gedrungen, az dos vos ikh farhstey nit iz oykh nit beser.”