Devora Mason

My date in Yiddish

Yiddish is such a part of my upbringing. I don’t speak Yiddish, but I understand a bit.

Ich ken nisht redden yiddish, ober ich farshteist a bissel

As Angie Jacobs mentions in her post called “The oys of Yiddish.” We all seem to know some words and sayings just from growing up around it and being exposed to it daily.

And what better story to tell than about the date from gehenim (hell).

The Mayseh (epic):

On Muntik someone red me a shiddich.

So I went.

“Zein gezunt” I said as I ran out the door.

Luckily my shaynah meideleh was willing to babysit for her farkumte shvester of a mother. Plus with no work the next day, I felt that I could shluf gezunt the next morning.

Zol Got mir helfen!

God help us.

Little did I know what kind of a nacht awaited me. Even if I had checked the goygle (what google would be called in Yiddish for sure!) for bad dates personified, I in no way would have been able to predict that this was not a gevaldik idea. I mean after all:

Mench tracht and Got lacht.

Man plans and God laughs.

As a Canadian living in Israel and not being from the Goldenneh Medinah (USA), I have gotten used to dating lantzmen and I have mostly adapted to their ways. Believe me, I am no shmateh and I have a gutte koppe on my shoulders. I mean, how much of a shandeh and a charpeh could it really be for my family when even my great grandmother who was a Litvak married a Poylisher.

Drek happens.

I tried to explain to my mench of the nacht that I lived in yenem’s velt, no man’s land, and that he really needs to give himself a good klap on the koppe (or I could do it for him) to be willing to come and pick me up from my home off the beaten path. He told me to stop being a Plutizukt as most women are and he was on his way.

I had finally written him off as being Shoyn Avek when he rang. Oy Gevalt! I wasn’t even ready. I was all fahrklempt and my hair was so shvach!

I mean, why do I do this to myself?

Der mentsh iz vos er iz, ober nit vos er iz geven.

Men are not what they used to be!

And I have been through marriage and I doubt I would do it to myself again.

Di khasene iz a shlos, der get a shlis’l.

Marriage is a padlock and divorce is the key.

Aleyn iz de neshome reyn too.

Being alone has it’s advantages too.

I was still unsure about his picture that I had been shown. It seemed like it was from years before especially when considering his age.

Is the gantseh velt meshugah?

Am I the only sane one? I couldn’t believe this was the case. And after all,

vos iz sheyn, vos iz gefelt

beauty is indeed in the eyes of it’s beholder. Even if my date looks like Frankenstein:

besser a krumer fus aider a krumer kop.

Better a crooked foot than a crooked head.

Our date commenced in the dark which I guess was good considering that:

bei nacht zeinen alleh ki shvarts…

in the dark, all cows look black…or alike.

This is where my story ends not for lack of details.

The date should have ended the minute it started just like my story but it dragged on for another three hours.

Der gehenem iz nit azoi shlecht vi dos kumen tsi im.

Hell is not as bad as the road to it.

MY story ends without me being able to deduce a lesson or moral from it.

A mayse on a moshl iz vi a moltsayt on a tsimes.

A story without a moral is like a meal without dessert. There just is no moshl here that would enrich your lives.

I don’t pity him. He is a man where gelt is nisht kayne dayge, money is not a worry for him.

Even though people might say about me that:

zi farmacht nit dos moy, my shvaygn heist oykh geret.

That I don’t stop talking, but at this point my minimal vorts has conveyed a purpose. Let me just sum it all up:

Ladies: never take/smoke pot from someone you don’t know.

Men: You can’t win whatever you do.

And Dad: never go anywhere!

Gut Nacht. Shluf Gezunt.

About the Author
Devora Mason is a single mom of five who works in business development focusing on unique Israeli technology,and Innovation, specializing in subjects from AR/VR to the stars and back! Her life experiences lead her to write about social issues and people that she encounters in Israel. As a consultant she enjoys her work with Israeli startups and corporate entities and is currently the VP of Global partnerships at StellarNova, a female founded startup focusing on STEM blended education and media content for kids.
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