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Eight Days a Week. The final Yiddish Proverb/ Chanukah post (#8)
I hope you didn’t think I was gonna leave you in the lurch, and not give you one, final Chanukah/Yiddish proverb post. I know I have been sporadic in my entries the past year. And the stuff I have been publishing has been largely G-centric, because, well, I can’t help but kvell over the little pisher

But for this week, I wanted to be a little more consistent, a little less mommy bloggy. It’s a point of inspiration that was meant to last only one day, but really lasted eight. It’s a Chanukah miracle!

I have spent the last week asking everyone I know for their favourite Yiddish proverb, with mixed results. You won't be surprised to note that we most easily remember expressions/insults (largely to do with banging one’s kettle and sticking your head in the ground to grow like an onion).

But I was looking for proverbs. And by the end of the week, the shortlist spilled well beyond the 8-night quota. There was a plethora of adages addressing riches v. poverty; fools v. wise men, and dozens of quips advising you to keeping your mouth shut. Ah, shtetl life.

Fellow kinder-gym attendant and neighbour had these two faves:
Life’s like butter. It goes well with bread.
Leben iz vi puter, s’iz gut mit broit.

Sleep faster, we need the pillows!
Shlaf gicher, men dahrf hoben dem kishen

A former co-worker has this one from her dad:
Today we drink for tomorrow we may be dead.

A current co-worker writes: You never know when you're having good luck.
I’ve never heard this as a Yiddish proverb, but I like it all the same.

My old manager at the mothership wrote:
God created people because he loves stories.
How awesome is that?

My other faves?
A man too good for the world is no good for his wife.
Don't throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water
If there is bitterness in the heart, sugar in the mouth won't make life sweeter.


And this nugget to live by. Let's make it the honorary final proverb of the holiday:
Kindness is better than piety. Gutskeit iz besser fun frumkeit

Time to pack away the menorah, and as so many of the proverbs advise me, shut up for a bit.
If you keep on talking, you will end up saying what you didn’t intend to say.
Az me redt, derredt men zich.

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12.9.2010
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Previous Posts
20 Things I Wish I Could tell My 20 Year Old Self About Work
G's First Guest Post
Things I saw on my summer vacation
The radical beauty
Us Then and Now
Cursive

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post #1517
bio: adina
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12/9/2010
22:38

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