Isaac Bashevis Singer – 22 years after his death

 As we have seen in recent posts, there is a strong connection between Yiddish and Modern Hebrew. The most famous Jewish author that wrote the majority of his works in Yiddish is Isaac Bashevis Singer. This month we commemorate 22 years since his

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passing.  Singer was a fiction writer who initially began writing in Hebrew, but since his audience in Poland mainly read Yiddish, he decided to switch over to his audience’s preferred language. His incredible work over the years earned him worldwide recognition and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978

Singer was born on November 21, 1902 in Poland. Until the age of 12 he was a typical Orthodox Jew, who never read anything other than religious books. As he grew older his practices changed, and while he still maintained a firm belief in God, his commitment toward keeping the commandments waned.

The Hebrew Bible

Singer’s personality shines through in his writings, depicting a man who held strong, emphatic beliefs about a range of topics; today I would like to share with you some of them. It’s really important to mention that Singer left his wife and his son in Poland in 1935 for the United States, where he remained until his death in 1991.

About authors, Singer said:

“עמוק בלבו רוצה כל סופר לספר את האמת”.

“Deep in his heart, every author wants to tell the truth”

Singer also said that a book must not be more than 1000 pages long and that if a man needs to make an effort to read a book, the book probably isn’t that good! Furthermore, he claimed that authors must write about their roots and not about every subject; that only an amateur would attempt to write about every subject

:Singer had some strong thoughts about God and Judaism as well

“בתנ”ך אין מספרים לך מה חשב האדם. רק מה עשה. זו גם הסיבה שאנשים קוראים עיתונים בעניין רב יותר מאשר ספרים.

“In the Bible you aren’t told about what man thinks, only what he does. This is the reason why people read newspapers more often than books!”

Singer said that he had a special relationship with God, a relationship of protest. He looked at God as silent God that had a good reason for silence, probably because of the Holocaust.

About the Yiddish Language, he said that, “Yiddish has not yet said its last word. It contains treasures that have not been revealed to the eyes of the world. It was the tongue of martyrs and saints, of dreamers and Kabbalists — rich in humor and in memories that mankind may never forget. In a figurative way, Yiddish is the wise and humble language of us all, the idiom of frightened and hopeful humanity.”

Want to hear more about Yiddish? Visit http://eteacheryiddish.com/

English-Transliteration- Hebrew

Author- Sofer- סוֹפֵר

Writing- Ketav- כְּתָב

Newspaper-’itton- עִתּוֹן

Book-Sefer- סֵפֶר

Connection-Qesher- קֶשֶׁר

Hebrewsocial@eteachergroup.com

One Response to Isaac Bashevis Singer – 22 years after his death

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m busy studying Hebrew at the moment, and find it very difficult when I try to read the Hebrew words, if they don’t have vowels. How does anyone know what to read?

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