Old McYankel Had a Farm
With 200 acres, a love of the mamaloshen, and little by way of experience, a dreamer starts Yiddish Farm
Last summer, 18people paid anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000 to plant cucumbers, scrub potatoes, and build a chicken coop on 200 acres in Goshen, N.Y., all while speaking in a language few of them know. They were enrolled in the first full session of Yiddish Farm, the brainchild of 26-year-old Naftali Ejdelman. Ejdelman comes by his Yiddish honestly; he is the grandson of the late Yiddish professor Mordkhe Schaechter and grew up speaking the language at home. His farming experience, however, is less extensive (as he’s the first to admit). That didn’t stop him from procuring land, recruiting a partner, Yisroel Bass, and launching the first and only Yiddish-language-based shomer-shabbos working organic farm. In September, Vox Tablet sent reporter Nina Porzucki to find out how the farm, and its farmers, were faring. [Running time: 10:40.]
I’d left Orthodoxy. But as I waited for HIV test results, I looked to God and the Talmud for comfort.