Utterly Charming News About the Continued Non-Death of Yiddish

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Really, just delightful:

"Yiddish intrigues me with its majesty and its enigmatic, refined musical tone. I have no explanation for the fact that I have always felt a connection to this language."

Contrary to what you might expect, the speaker of these lines is not a Polish poet or German philosopher. He is Yusuf Alakili, 50, from Kfar Kassem, currently investing much effort in his studies for a Master's degree in literature at Bar Ilan University's Hebrew. Alakili studies Yiddish on the side for his own enjoyment.

How did this affair start? "In the 1980s, I worked with a Jew of Polish origin who lived in Bnei Brak, and Yiddish was the main language there. I was captivated by its musical tone and decided to study it in earnest. My dream is to read Sholom Aleichem's Tevye the Dairyman [the inspiration for Fiddler on the Roof] in its original language."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/utterly-charming-news-about-the-continued-non-death-of-yiddish/263642/