Musik & Theater

20 years of the “Jiddischer Kulturherbst” (Autumn of Yiddish Culture) – Chief Rabbi Paul Chaim Eisenberg

* abgespielt

My original intention for this year’s culture week was to create an event with the title “KInderlach” (children’s laughter). There are a great number of songs and anecdotes about small Jewish children. But afterwards I was concerned that this may not be enough to provide a full evening’s entertainment, and I remembered an old saying which poses the question: How can it be that so many lovely children grow up into adults who are not quite so lovely? And so I decided to expand the topic to include children, adolescents, young adults and the old and – first and foremost – how they interact within the family (or “Mischpoche” in Yiddish and Hebrew).

Sometimes Yiddish words are adopted into German slang, and a small shift in meaning can occur during the process. And that’s how it is with the word “Mischpoche”. In the pure original Hebrew, the word “Mischpacha” certainly has no negative overtones. In German slang, “MIschpoche” is sometimes used to describe – and not always in favourable terms – a clan. But I sing about the Jewish family and describe it as it really is – a truly wonderful thing.