the Editor's Desk
The Third Resurrection
Yankl Halpern (Tokyo)
A full year has gone by since the last issue of our newsletter was published. You have probably wondered what happened to the Der Yapanisher Yid; has it fallen ill, or, God-forbid, has it passed away? The truth is that its "parents" have become extremely busy and could find no time to take care of their child.
I, as is normal with lexicographers, have several urgent projects that I must complete by the day before yesterday :-) -- that is the fate of a life of compiling dictionaries. I am now in the last phase of completing my Kanji-English Learners Dictionary, and am busy with developing Chinese input systems.
Tsuguya Sasaki, who until now has been our trusted assistant editor, got a letter of ultimatum from the Hebrew University that he must complete his dissertation as soon as possible, so that he has no time to continue as the assistant editor. He deserves a big yasher-koyekh for his efforts.
Today I have the pleasure to announce the "Third Resurrection" of our publication. That is, twice it was on its deathbed, but we managed to rescue it just before the funeral. Finally, we are publishing the eleventh issue, written mostly with the help of my students. In this issue, my students write about their interest in Yiddish, about Japanese pop-culture, about a trip to Birobidjan, and even an original humorous story.
Though I have been extremely busy the whole year, I am very glad that I have kept up the Yiddish classes in the JCC in Tokyo every two weeks. I am happy to announce that the Yiddish club has become an official activity of the recently-established Tokyo Institute of Jewish Studies.
By the way, Tsuguya Sasaki's plans to teach a Yiddish course in a university in Osaka did not work out for bureaucratic reasons, and he is now teaching Yiddish privately to a Hebrew student of his.
An important activity of the Japan Yiddish Club is our annual participation in Yugentruf's Yidish-Vokh that takes place in Copake, New York. Those who were at the Yidish-Vokh last year will remember that a Japanese delegation of seven "invaded" the camp in Copake. Though this year we were only three, we are full of enthusiasm and, God willing, will continue to participate in Yidish-Vokh every year.
The Yidish-Vokh is always an unforgettable experience for us, full of music, dancing, singing, shmoozing, carousing, boating... fun and pleasures that go on and on. Personally I haven't the slightest doubt that I would rather spend a Yiddish Month or even a Yiddish Year!? I hope that we can continue to participate every year, and I wish to thank Yugentruf's organizers for their efforts.
I wish to thank our esteemed readers all over the world -- from Japan and Birobidjan to Mexico and Lithuania -- for your patience, and I hope that from now on we can publish the newsletter on time.