Worth Considering

In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Say what?

By Andrew Silow-Carroll

A new study of how American Jews use Hebrew and Yiddish tells us who we are. Nu?

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm 10, and growing up in the suburbs. I go to temple, not synagogue, and definitely not shul. I wear a yarmulke (rarely), not a kipa. We don't "daven" — we pray, or worship. My dad calls me a vahntz (lit., Yiddish for cockroach, but meaning "rascal" [I hope]). He teaches me a Yiddish phrase meaning "It helps like giving medicine to a corpse."

After college, I become more observant. I start attending a havura, not for "services," but for Shaharit or Minha. I don't reach for a prayer book, but a siddur. Studying Humash (never "the Bible") I learn the phrase "kol v'homer," meaning "all the more so," as in, "If watching thirtysomething is forbidden on Shabbat, kol v'homer it is forbidden on Yom Kippur."

I'm married, with little kids, and living in Israel. Even when speaking English, we refer to something terrific as yofi and an unmanageable mess as a balagan. Davka fills a huge hole in our vocabulary, meaning an action that precisely underlines the irony. ("I have to get a flu shot and davka the clinic goes on strike.") The kids call us Abba and Ima (rhymes with Lima).

I move to New Jersey, to a neighborhood popular with Orthodox Jews. A "drash" is not only the rabbi's sermon, but a word meaning any good explanation. ("You've heard Mark's drash on the health-care bill?") When someone tells you to talk tachlis, it means he wants details. My American-born neighbors speak what I've come to call the Jewish future present tense, as in "You're here for Pesach?" On the Little League team, the infielders are named Matan, Yoni, Ezra, and Noam.

And that is my Jewish biography in language. For years I've thought a good linguist or sociologist could tell everything there is to know about me by studying my Jewish vocabulary. It turns out, I'm almost right. Hebrew Union College has released a survey of "American Jewish Language and Identity." Sarah Bunin Benor, an assistant professor of contemporary Jewish studies, and Steven M. Cohen, the go-to Jewish demographer, did an e-mail survey. Their 25,000-strong sample of Jews isn't random, but rather a revealing snapshot of the speech patterns of "Jews with strong Jewish engagement and social ties."

The results are a little like a Malcolm Gladwell book — somewhat obvious when you think about it but still really interesting. Older Jews are more likely to sprinkle their language with Yiddish phrases like heimish, macher, and nu (homey, big shot, and, well, nu). Younger Jews, especially those with stronger Jewish ties, have brought more Hebrew into the Jewish-English vocabulary, with words like yofi, balagan, and davka. And when you dig down into the younger religious population, Yiddish stages a comeback.

The survey results, then, can be seen as another sign of the continental drift within the Jewish community, and our separation into groups and sub-groups. Diversity is good, I suppose. But I also hear in how we speak the ways in which we no longer speak — that is, to each other.

I'm in this weird place, personally and professionally, where I slip in and out of different Jewish identities. With old friends and family and non-Jews, my Jewish vocabulary is no richer than "klutz" and "chutzpa." In my synagogue, stocked with Jewish professionals and frequent travelers to Israel, I can get away with a phrase of untranslated Hebrew. And I can decipher my town's Orthodox synagogue listserv without an English-Yeshivish glossary.

The HUC study suggests that a core of engaged Jews, like me, is using more Hebrew and Yiddish words than a previous generation. But in that previous generation, I'm willing to bet, more Jews shared a common vocabulary and a common set of references.

I love my Jewish journey, and every new word I use is a souvenir of where I've been and gone. But I'm also a kvetch, and in some ways I regret what we've lost, davka, along the way.

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JWR contributor Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor in chief of the New Jersey Jewish News, where this article first appeared.

© 2010, Andrew Silow-Carroll