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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

Nadirisms: 98-100: Three Views on Jewish Precarity

98th Nadirism:

I was on my vacash (vacation) and was sitting under an acash (acacia) when a man of my nash (nation) handed me a page from a newspaper, in which it was clearly written: “According to a certain proporsh.

At first I couldn’t exactly understand what proporsh meant. Then I realized that it’s trendy these days for Jews to circumcise words in their old age, and people had probably performed such an operash and cut the “on'' off of proportion (which is an ugly word, anyways) so that it became….well you know the question is whether the plural of proporsh will be proporshs or proporshes? Seek repentance!

Ikh bin geven af mayn vakats (vakatsye) un bin mir gezesn unter an akats (akatsye) hot mir eyner fun mayn nats (natsye) derlangt a togblat, in velkhn es iz geven befeyresh geshribn: “loyt a gevise proports”...

In onheyb hob ikh nisht farshtanen akurat vos dos vort proports badayt. Nor ikh hob mikh gekhapt, azoy vi es iz haynt a mode bay yidn mal tsu zayn verter af di eltere yorn, hot men mistome do oykh gemakht an operats un opgeshnitn dem “ye” fun proportye (vos iz beklal a grob vort) iz, ir veyst dokh shoyn...itst iz a kashe tsi vet der mertsol fun proports zayn properts, tsi propertsn? Abkesh tshuve (אבקש תשובה)!

99th Nadirism:

Reb Shamtshe wore glasses with brass arms. The arms were always quite strained and it seemed as if they were crying--crying that they had to spend their old age perched upon such a crooked and frankly unsafe nose--from which they could at second fall and break their necks...the left, slightly raised lens always looked at the arms to see whether they were still there, and never seemed to quite believe that they could be trusted.

Reb shamtshe hot getrogn briln mit meshene shpizlekh. Zenen di briln zayne ale valye fartsoygn gevorn un epes vi geveynt--geveynt, vos af di eltere yorn darfn zey zitsn af aza krumer, nisht-zikherer noz--vu men ken yede minut aropfaln un brekhn haldz-un-nakn...un s’link, a bisl ufgehoybene glezl, hot keseyder gekukt tsu di shpizlekh, tsi zey haltn zikh, un epes nisht gegleybt, az men ken zikh af zey farlozn.

100th Nadirism:

[Note: A kashket is a kind of hat. It is the classic Tevye hat in Fiddler and is, according to both wikipedia and this very strange instragram post, now mostly worn by hasidic children.]

Yesterday, in a shop window I saw an emerald green kashket with two distinct stripes round the front and jolly red leather trim going around the entire brim. It was exceptional. “Who would buy this kashket,” I thought to myself, “except for a madman.” I stood there for awhile contemplating this green cephalic instrument until a great feeling of pity overtook my heart. I understood that if not I, no one would buy it, and it would remain in the window forever.

I went in and bought the kashket.

Nekhtn hob ikh in a fentster fun a gesheft gezen a toyt-grinem kashket mit tsvey bazundere shtrayflekh fun fornt un a royt-freylekh leder pasikl arum dem gantsn rand. Es iz geven oysergeveyntlekh. “Ver vet koyfn ot aza kashket,” hob ikh getrakht, “saydn a meshugener.” bin nokh a bisl geshtanen baym fentster un batrakht di grine kop-keyle un a groys rakhmones hot arumgenumen mayn harts. Ikh hob farshtanen az oyb ikh vel dos nisht koyfn, vet es kholile azoy blaybn shteyn do af eybik.

Ikh bin arayn un gekoyft dem kashket.

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