This is a jewel, I mean the Targum Yehoash is a masterpiece of the living Yiddish language collected into the diachronical and synchronical existence of dialects in the Yiddishland – it seemingly disappeared but does survive and even revives. In Jerusalem, I spend my time collecting the editions of the “Tanekh/תנ”ך) and some Yiddishists and book collectors have my mobile and do contact me.
Basically, Yiddish shows how alien Christianity is to Judaism and at the same time, because Yiddish developed in a “christened” context, it gathers in all the possible capacities and opportunities that would allow Jews and Christians t oreally “uncover” the concealed ties that do overshadow time, space and tragedies in how to proclaim the Reign of the Creator. This makes no sense to do in Hebrew or at least it is a way to slide down on parallel ways with different goals. Hebrew cannot be used in the Church the way it is mainly used at the present, i.e. by people who do not have the Talmud as their mother tongue and stay afar from the deep connection that irrigates the power of resurrection shown in Modern Hebrew. On the other hand, Yiddish copied and pasted the parlances and speeches of the Gentiles as such, as their being non-Jews and foreign to initial revelation. By using the words and mixing them with the fundamental Aramaic and Talmudic oral style, Yiddish does reveal how close the destiny of Christendom can be to Jewishness. This is why my first task and march in serving the unity of the One Most High and Word has been to translate the Holy Mass into Yiddish (recognized by the Catholic Church and checked by late Fr. Kurt Hruby) and later to translate the Holy Liturgies of the East into Yiddish. Ever since, I always pray the Psalms and some readings in this exceptional translation. It also makes sense in Israel and among the newcomers who have the language because Yiddish shapes the soul into a unique and “oral” medium between holiness and ordinary days”. ז”ל און אין אייביקער רו.
Today is Simkhes Toyre, so we thought we’d commemorate the poet Yehoash’s Yiddish translation of the Tanekh (Jewish Bible), which was first published in full in 1941, fourteen years after the translator’s death. Here’s what Yehoash wrote about the task of biblical translation into Yiddish:
“A Tanekh in Yiddish, I have said, must not begin from today or from yesterday. It must take in all the old-fashioned sap from old holy books. The entire idiomatic wealth of old translations, ethical tracts, storybooks, proverbs, folk-sayings, etc. must be exploited for the present work. So, in addition to modern precision and economy, the text too should have all the essence,heymishkayt and tradition of the “tsene-rene” language. A Yiddish Tanekh must fix, to the extent possible, certain words and expressions, which otherwise will go extinct. Beautiful, juicy words, which the Rebe used in kheyder, and which disappear along with kheyder. Yiddish Tanekh-loshn should also be the loveliest synthesis between all the dialects of our mame-loshn. Every dialect should bring its own unique words to the building of a Yiddish bible.”
You can explore all of Yehoash’s Yiddish Tanekh here: https://archive.org/details/nybc200109