Briv funem Arkhiv: A Peek Inside Our Inbox

The Editors


In geveb​’s briv funem arkhiv (let­ters from the archive) series high­lights archival finds that are too good not to share. You can learn more and sub­mit your own briv here, or see all briv posts here.

While we usually conceive of the archive as a place to learn about the past, today we’re looking at a repository that can tell us about the place of Yiddish in today’s world full of rapid digital communication… and spam.

Spam emails are a vital part of the work that In geveb does to foster community around Yiddish. So much of our time is spent combing through these emails to make sure we didn’t miss an important message from our readers. (In fact, in some cases we do miss them amidst the barrage of spam — for which we apologize!). But sometimes very significant missives make their way to us in the guise of spam, offering us new approaches to our work and our field. We offer the following examples as a live, vibrant, and entirely genuine record of our overflowing inbox.

1. As a result of this email, we will no longer need to apply to any grants or foundations for the coming years.

“Dear friend, My names is Mr. Gunter Luz Gram, I’m a lawyer base in Vienna Austria i hope you and your family are safe from this Covid-19. Well, i have previously sent you an email regarding a transaction of US$9.2 Million left behind by my late client before his tragic death. However, I am contacting you once again because after going through your profile, I strongly believe that you will be in a better position to execute this business transaction with me. Please if you are interested to proceed with me, kindly respond to my email urgently for more detail. Please Stay Safe and I look forward to your response.”

2. We briefly considered asking the author of the below email to write this very Purim post, but ultimately decided against it, an indication that our publication has now grown to a stature where we can afford to be a bit more selective.

“Wonderful day to you!

My name is Jennifer James, and I’d love to write for You wouldn’t have to pay for the content, but I’m also unable to pay for placement.

If you are open to that, can you give me some topics you would like me to write content on? I’m willing to write about whatever you would find valuable on your site.

Let me know your thoughts!”

3. The following email arrived in our inbox a few months ago, together with an attached invoice for Inge and Wiggo, who are installing office furniture in Denmark. We’re excited to begin setting up our satellite offices in Copenhagen just as soon as travel is a bit easier.

“Hej Inge og Wiggo.

Hermed fremsendes overslagspris på levering og montering af højskabe i entre.

Med venlig hilsen”

4. This email really grabbed our attention, and as a result we are rethinking our practices as a publication. We are indeed doing pretty cool work, but we honestly don’t know what happens when someone stumbles across our journal. Do they vanish without a trace? How many potential Yiddishists have drifted into the ether, never to be seen again? And do they reappear in the form of a dybbuk, possessing unfortunate furniture buyers in Denmark? Not good. That’s why we’re setting up this instant texting feature - so we can check in with our readers and make sure their souls are still attached to their bodies after they’ve clicked away from our site, and they aren’t left drifting between two browsers.

“Cool website!

My name’s Eric, and I just found your site - - while surfing the net. You showed up at the top of the search results, so I checked you out. Looks like what you’re doing is pretty cool.

But if you don’t mind me asking – after someone like me stumbles across, what usually happens?

Is your site generating leads for your business?

I’m guessing some, but I also bet you’d like more… studies show that 7 out 10 who land on a site wind up leaving without a trace.

Not good.

Time is money when it comes to connecting with leads – the difference between contacting someone within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes later can be huge – like 100 times better!

That’s why we built out our new SMS Text With Lead feature… because once you’ve captured the visitor’s phone number, you can automatically start a text message (SMS) conversation.”

5. When we first received this email we fell on the floor laughing at the idea of In geveb leggings. Shortly thereafter, we started selling them ourselves. Go figure.

“Hi there,

I hope you’re doing well, I handle influencer relations for LeggingsHut. Great to meet you!

I stumbled across your account and thought your content would be perfect for us. If you feel we’d make a good fit, I’d love to invite you to our referral program.


LeggingsHut Judy”

Editors, The. “Briv funem Arkhiv: A Peek Inside Our Inbox.” In geveb, February 2021:
Editors, The. “Briv funem Arkhiv: A Peek Inside Our Inbox.” In geveb (February 2021): Accessed Apr 22, 2024.


The Editors