Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Taste of Yiddish 7.49

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this week's proverb
נישטאָ קײַן בּעסערס פאַר טהרה ווי אַ טײַך וואַסער; ווערט דאָס אָבּער
געפרוירן קען מען אויף דעם אויסקריצן אַ צלם

nito kayn besers far taha're vi a taykh vaser; vert dos ober gefroyrn, ken men af dem oyskritsn a tseylem

the proverb actually means
when it comes to becoming pure there is nothing better than a river; should it, however, freeze, you can carve a cross into it 
(Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk)

translated to Hebrew
אין לך כנהר של מים לטהרה, אבל כשהוא קפוא, אפשר לחרוט עליו צלם (ר' מ''מ מקוצק)

*Mikveh is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism. The word "mikveh", as used in the Bible, literally means a "collection", generally, a collection of water.
Several biblical regulations specify that full immersion in water is required to regain ritual purity after ritually impure incidents have occurred. Most forms of impurity can be nullified through immersion in any natural collection of water. However, some impurities, such as a Zav, require "living water," such as springs or groundwater wells. Living water has the further advantage of being able to purify even while flowing, as opposed to rainwater which must be stationary in order to purify. The mikveh is designed to simplify this requirement, by providing a bathing facility that remains in ritual contact with a natural source of water.
Its main uses nowadays are:

  • by Jewish women to achieve ritual purity after menstruation or childbirth;
  • by Jewish men to achieve ritual purity;
  • as part of a traditional procedure for conversion to Judaism;
  • for utensils used for food.

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אַ גוטע וואָך

Chaim Werdyger
Bringing back the Yiddish language

A proverb is a short, generally known sentence of the folk which contains wisdom, truth, morals, and traditional views in a metaphorical, fixed and memorizable form and which is handed down from generation to generation

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