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The first update of Project Ben-Yehuda for August includes the… - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
August 1st, 2003
07:56 pm


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The first update of Project Ben-Yehuda for August includes the complete text of Mas'ot Binyamin Hashelishi (Voyages of Benjamin the Third), by Mendele Mocher-Sfraim (S.Y. Abramovitz). It is a hilarious little novel that presents Binyamin, a Jewish Don Quixote of sorts, complete with a simple sidekick, going on a wacky journey from Batalon ("Idleville", I might translate), a fictional east-European Jewish town, to the land of Israel.

If you can read Hebrew, give it a shot. It's excellent.

Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Ariel Horowitz -- Parallel

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:August 1st, 2003 10:13 pm (UTC)

Great news, and many thanks be due to ye !!

Can you tell me, oh ijon of Ben-Yehuda, is this one of the works that Mendele wrote originally in Yiddish and did his own translation into Hebrew?

A little lookup gives me hope, because I'm very keen on finding an author whose works I can read in both languages (as I'm acquiring a reading knowledge of YI and someday dearly hope to progress to fiction :-)
And what more "authorized" translation than one done by the author himself?!

Incidentally - a sorry note but one I'd beg your indulgence that I may share:
In Googling just now, my keyword combination of Mendele "Voyages of" gave me its purportedly helpful, "Did you mean Mengele "Voyages of"?

Brrrrrrr! and Grrrrrrrr!!
(and among the reasons I came to live in Israel...)
[User Picture]
Date:August 2nd, 2003 04:58 am (UTC)

Re: Absolutely...Brrrr. and Grrrr...

How tactless of Google...
[User Picture]
Date:August 2nd, 2003 05:10 am (UTC)

"Don't know much about History," Re: Brrrr. and Grrrr...

Yes, as the song goes, "what a wonderful world it would be" --
if when you Googled "Mengele" it would come back with,
"Did you mean Mendele?
[User Picture]
Date:August 3rd, 2003 05:59 am (UTC)

Yes, I think this is one of the works Mendele wrote in Yiddish and later translated into Hebrew. By all means, go ahead and start reading it! :)

I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by "among the reasons I came to live in Israel". What is? Google's innocent algorithm? Surely... What, then? Accidentally stumbling across Mengele's name? What?
[User Picture]
Date:August 5th, 2003 04:31 pm (UTC)

Mendele ¡see! Mengele, no, and no Thank you!

...Accidentally stumbling across Mengele's name?

Google's golem-innocence algorithmically aside, of course -- I'm not paranoiac! -- I wouldn't call this a stumbling-across, but more of a bum steer. What my erstwhile countryfolk call "in your face"... :-/

Oh, ijon, how I wish I (and we all!) lived in a world, the ethereal and RL alike, where "Mendele" -- the name, and all it signifies -- was more prevalent than "Mengele"! But let's face it: a Google search for that latter name will not come back with: "Did you mean Mendele?" (And yes, I generally understand the way that Mengele has attained the upper e-hand, relegating Mendele to the margins where he is to be found only by True Seekers of His Name...)

The best I could do was to come and live in the place on earth that in our time, seems to me the closest to that mythical "Yidland" where "Yid" is other than a derogatory epithet, Yiddish is familiar albeit not truly spoken, and the name "Mendele" has a decent chance of evoking more than an uncomprehending (or worse) stare, let alone the utterly fortuitous, but nonetheless grotesque and somewhat sinister proposal to substitute another, more prevalent name, all meaning aside.
[User Picture]
Date:August 2nd, 2003 05:12 am (UTC)

Way to go... my brother... :)

I love those "small-shtettle" stories.
It reminds me of Shalom Aleichem writings.
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