web analytics
January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Outwitting History, The Amazing Adventure of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books


Title: Outwitting History, The Amazing Adventure of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books
Author: Aaron Lansky
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.

 

 

This memoir, from the founder of the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, relates Lansky’s experiences learning to speak and read Yiddish in college, only to discover that “his” new language was in danger of passing out of existence.


Most of the Yiddish speakers of his time were old people; mainly refugees from Nazi Europe, and when they were gone the language – and their libraries – would be gone. Some of the other Yiddish speakers are chassidic, and very unlikely to read novels and other texts in Yiddish that are not seforim, holy texts.


Lansky relates that almost as soon as he became competent in the language, he discovered to his horror, that many thousands of books of all kinds, on all subjects, were being thrown out and put in dumpsters in the name of “cleaning up” and modernizing. Even brand new books were being discarded, filling up landfills all over the landscape.


Aaron Lansky had an epiphany – he was going to rescue these abandoned libraries, most of which their proud possessors brought to America as their only link to the “alte heim” or as a rare asset that survived the Holocaust.


Of course we can expect this tale to be a mystery story full of surprises, a “cliff-hanger” with unexpected developments along the way. Certainly, it is a jolly, rollicking tale of unexpected consequences, such as frequent gustatory experiences along with almost every rescue. The proud possessors of the treasures that Lansky was rescuing from oblivion each made him or his many proxies, first sit and ess a bissel, before they could escape. Whether it was gefilte fish, chopped herring or bagels and lox, each contributor demanded the humanity of accommodated at the table, before their “children” would be taken from them.


Lansky and his cohorts learned the real “language” that was never part of the vocabulary or the grammar of Yiddish.


Lansky was quite successful and established a beautiful headquarters/warehouse/library in Eastern Massachusetts, where efforts are being made towards the dissemination of newly-printed books and magazines in his “adopted” language.


About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Outwitting History, The Amazing Adventure of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the crumbling Yisrael Beiteinu party.
Lieberman so Frantic for Votes He Calls for ‘Disproportionate Response’
Latest Sections Stories
Resnick-012315-Artist

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

Respler-012315

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals.

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Often both girls and boys compare their date to their parents.

We love the food, the hotels, and even the wildlife. We love the Israelis.

More Articles from Aharon Ben Anshel
book-Lincoln

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

book-disambiguation

While still a student in a small Midwest college she learns that her aunt in New York has passed away, resulting in her life turning topsy turvy.

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

Green was an American volunteer in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, but something happened In Israel that has haunted him ever since.

Witnessed by Theodore Herzl, who was a journalist for a Viennese newspaper covering the trial, the cause célèbre became the spark that eventually caused the rise of the State of Israel in modern times.

These eleven nursing home residents and their accompanying staff from the Connecticut nursing home could represent any of us or our own loved ones…

There are three kinds of travelers: there are tourists, there are businesspeople, and then there are historians like Ben G. Frank.

The last kind doesn’t simply go from here to there. They try to relive history and find the real meaning behind what they experience.

Behind “the news” there’s almost always a story that isn’t being reported, and certain kinds of phenomenon occur almost simultaneously all over the world in almost every era.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-outwitting-history-the-amazing-adventure-of-a-man-who-rescued-a-million-yiddish-books/2006/04/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: