4/3/08

Titsher!

Katle Kanye brings shalekh-mones (Purim gifts) to a neighborhood English teacher (a titsher is an instructor for secular subjects among Yiddish-speaking Chasidim). Translation mine.
We rang the doorbell and the door was opened by a Jew of about sixty, short, with a pointy beard, in a white shirt without a tallit katan, and with a black yarmulke - but made of cloth. In other words a yekke-ish Jew. I mean, we're talking about titshers and except for a convert or a newly religious person it's really rare to see a Chasidic titsher. My nephew, as a matter of fact, has a Chasidic titsher, born and bred into holiness, who teaches the kids English - in Yiddish. If they can teach Hebrew in Yiddish, why not English? As to what they call him: Titsher Felberblum. Since he's a rebbe in the mornings what to call him is a momentous question. If they called him Rebbe Felberblum that would mean that a rebbe is teaching English to the children, something which shouldn't be seen or found. If they call him Mister Felberblum that would mean they're calling a melamed Mister - but then the people would cry out at this dishonor they stabbed our Rabbi, they knocked down our Rabbi! So then what did they do? Just calling him titsher would be fine for goyim or goyish Jews. But you can't refer to as titsher a Chasid with a gartel and shoes and long socks, someone who calls his fellow an evil name has no part in the World to Come. A compromise was hit upon: Titsher Felberblum. This incorporates both his Jewish name and his profession of secular studies. Thus the Torah doesn't God forbid come to be shamed, and the morning melamed's glory remains in its place.

1 comment:

  1. אַזאַ כּבוד.

    What an honor! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete