The Ramblings of Amazingness by Jenny J Bean

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19th Century ‘Google-ing’ January 11, 2010

Filed under: Randomness — The Ramblings of Amazingness By Jenny J Bean @ 11:31 am

After we rented and watched “All About Steve” (which was absolutely terrible), we picked from a handful of movies that dad had TiVO’d over the past few weeks. We chose “The Chosen”. I remember having read the book by Chaim Potok in middle school, and finding it really interesting. It is about Jewish friends, one Hassidic and one secular. Their public figure fathers have conflicting viewpoints about the formation of the state of Israel just after the Holocaust. One father fights for the creation of the state of Israel, and the other father vehemently opposes the creation of a Jewish ‘state’ by anyone other than the Messiah.

This topic is particularly interesting for two reasons. The first is the age-old debate about the legitimacy of the existence of the state of Israel– which I have always been extraordinarily intrigued by.

The second, which is of infinitely more interest to me, is that of my maternal grandmother’s ancestry. I don’t really know much, but I do know that my Great-Great Grandfather Reuben Asher Braudes was a major player in the Zionist movement for the creation of the state of Israel in the late 19th century.

I really don’t know much about this. I learned what I do know in college, but didn’t get very far. I guess now is as good a time as any to see if I can find out more. I’m going to look this up now…

Okay, Google says that he was exiled from Romania for his outspoken support of Zionism in a Yiddish weekly periodical, “Yehudit” (which, ironically, is my mother’s given name. I wonder if they knew that when they named her). Ummm… a member of my family exiled for talking too much? Cool! He later became the co-editor of the Yiddish edition of “Die Welt,” the official journal of Zionism founded by Theodore Hertzel in 1897.







My given name is Yosepha Yakova after two of my great grandfathers, Joseph (Reuven’s son) and Jacob. With the two ‘J’ names, my parents decided to name me Jennifer Jill in English.

Anyway, it says that he wrote in Hebrew and Yiddish (although all of the books by him in the Brandeis stacks are in Yiddish). I should explain how I know this– once upon a time (in college), I took a Yiddish class. I’m not really sure why I decided to take Yiddish. It was one of those “It could be cool” / “I need a language credit” moments. Maybe it was beshert (meant to be). Either way, I signed up. (My memory is foggy, but somehow I found out that there were 7 listings in the library for books written in Yiddish by him at Brandeis.) Because they were in Yiddish, I didn’t get very far. My professor offered to help with bits and pieces, but with only half a semester of Yiddish, I was totally useless…

The titles that I can find are: “The Two Extremes” and “Religion and Life”, which, according to Google, discuss the clash of extreme orthodoxy and the demands of modern day life for modern (late 19th century) Jews and possible solutions.
Most of what he wrote were novels and short stories.

And the amazing discovery of the day… an online English translation of a short story he wrote “The Misfortune or How the Rav of Pumpian Tried to Solve a Social Problem”.
More cool discoveries to come (hopefully)…



Extremely grateful to Google,

Yosepha Yakova Bean

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One Response to “19th Century ‘Google-ing’”

  1. Adel Devorah Fulton Says:

    Cool! Please let us know if you find any more English translations of Braudes. Kudos to Microsoft for making a digitized version of “Yiddish Tales” available to the public.


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