Tag: Micah


  • And Beyond Cursing There is Absolute Love: The Portion of Balak

    I grew up in a world of blessings and curses, and I mean a world of radically elaborate blessings and curses. I speak of course of the Yiddish world, the world of Jews from Eastern Europe. It surrounded me and was in the air all the time. The incredible creativity in describing problematic people attests to the chief complaints about women and men. The sheer number of names for a useless person, a shlemiel, a shlemazel, a shmendrik, a pisk malocheh, and much worse, all very colorful. Jews never held anything back in their criticism of each other, which naturally psychologists might see as internalized persecution.

     

    Some people I knew had a very hard life with bitter disappointments and losses. They used to call many people “chaleria”, which later I would learn meant roughly, “a piece of Cholera”. Many people were requested to …

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