Words like Arrows: A Collection of Yiddish Folk Sayings, Edited by Shirley Kumove
Edited by Shirley Kumove with illustrations by Frank Newfeld
'A word and an arrow are the same -- both deliver with speedy aim.' From this saying comes the title of this entertaining collection of lively and engaging adages, bons mots, maxims, and proverbs -- an attractive sampling of the accumulated wisdom of the past.
The timeless Yiddish sayings in this volume -- some 1800 of them -- paint a verbal picture of the long and varied experience Jewish life in Eastern Europe and later in immigrant North America. They reflect religious, moral, and political concerns as well as the daily struggle for survival. They range from statements of the obvious to profound commentaries on subjects as varied as arranging a marriage, bearing and raising children, education them, earning a living, growing old, and dying.
In her introduction Shirley Kumove provides a concise description of the Yidding language and its development, the historical and social context in which these folk sayings were created, and an explanation of folk sayings as a form of education as well as encapsulated philosophy.
More than 50 delightful illustrations by Frank Newfeld accompany the text which is presented in Hebrew letters, in transcription for those interested in the sound of Yiddish, and in English translation.
University of Toronto Press, 1984, Reissued 2018