Texts & Translations

New translations into English of Yiddish language materials including poetry, stories, essays, and archival materials of all kinds. Original Yiddish texts are presented in a standardized orthography and are fully searchable.

Texts & Translation

ייִדן און ייִדיש

Essays on Yiddishism

Best known for his call to found a uni­ver­si­ty-lev­el insti­tu­tion devot­ed to Ashke­naz­ic cul­ture, which helped to lead to the found­ing of YIVO, Nokhem Shtif devel­ops his argu­ments for Yid­dishism in these excerpts from his 1920 work, Yid­dish and the Jews.” 

Texts & Translation

די ייִדיש־אַנאַרכיסטישע באַוועגונג אין אַמעריקע

The Jewish Anarchist Movement in America

This chap­ter from Joseph Cohen’s mem­oir offers a rare glimpse into the Amer­i­can Jew­ish Anar­chist cir­cles of the ear­ly twen­ti­eth century.

Texts & Translation



Sutzkev­er’s cycle of poems about his child­hood years spent in Siberia: In the light-dark snowed-under / vil­lage of my child­hood in Siberia / blos­soms bloom from shad­ows’ eyes— / count­less quick­sil­ver blossoms…”

Texts & Translation


Harsh Judgment

Mides hadin (1929) is one of David Bergelson’s most inno­v­a­tive and exper­i­men­tal works. An aura of mys­tery infus­es the open­ing chap­ter: three rid­ers go out on an evening patrol that seems more like dream than reality.

Texts & Translation

אַ לוויה אין רעגן

A Funeral in the Rain

A prose poem from Abra­ham Sutzkev­er’s 1975 vol­ume Green Aquar­i­um. A man with a heavy bag on his back approach­es a dark city in a rainstorm…” 

Texts & Translation

וועגן דעם ווערט פֿון איבערזעצונגען

On the Worth of Translations

In this 1910 essay, Chaim Zhit­lowsky exam­ines how the trans­la­tion of works of world lit­er­a­ture into Yid­dish can be a way to estab­lish Yid­dish as a kul­tur-shprakh, a lan­guage as mod­ern and expres­sive as Euro­pean languages. 

Texts & Translation

מיקווה און מיצווה

Mikvah and Mitzvah: Melancholia and the Spiritual Life

A Hasidic homi­ly from the eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry by R. Aaron of Kar­lin. The mes­sage is sim­ple and speaks to the heart of Hasidic thought: sad­ness may have some lim­it­ed util­i­ty, but depres­sion is always a destruc­tive force that inhibits spir­i­tu­al growth.