Wednesday, February 20, 2013

לשנה־טובֿה, בײמער Trees

‏ It is nearly a month since khameshoser, The New Year for trees, and you know what that means.  The joyous and beloved feast of Peysekh is hurtling toward us like whatever that thing was that just smashed into Siberia.  And, like that thing, whatever it was, the danger is great but precious jewels are to be found in the rubble.
In Yiddish, trees are examples of strength (shtark vi a boym), solitude (aleyn vi a boym), and trembling (treystlen zikh vi a boym), among other things.


אױף אײן שלאַק פֿאַלט קײן בױם ניט אײַן
Af eyn shlak falt keyn boym nisht ayn.
A tree does not fall from one blow (Rome was not built in a day)

אַז עס רײַסט זיך אָפּ אַ צװײַגל װײנט מען, אַז עס פֿאַלט אַ בױם שװײַגט מען. ‏
Az es rayst zikh op a tsvaygl veynt men, az es falt a boym, shvaygt men.
They cry when a branch falls, but are silent when a tree falls (there must be an English  saying for this, but I can't think of any)

איבער אַן אײַנגעפֿאַלענעם בױם שפּרינגען אַלע ציגן ‏
Iber an ayngefalenem boym shpringen ale tsign
All the goats jump over a tree that has fallen (nothing fails like failure; nobody knows you when you're old, down, and out).
אַ בױם בײגט זיך נאָר װען ער איז יונג
A boym beygt zikh nor ven es iz yung
 A tree bends only when it is young (you can't teach an old dog new tricks)


2 Comments:

Blogger Lao Qiao said...

One can compare somebody very old to a tree that is so rotten that powdery rotten wood is coming forth from it:
Es shit fun em shoyn prukhne.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I've been enjoying your blogele ever since a Google search turned up your "Bottom of the Bag Brown Bread," but I've never had anything to say but "thank you."

So, thank you. I'm a fan. And regarding your second proverb, I think the closest is "One death is a tragedy, a hundred deaths is a statistic."

3:36 AM  

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