Rabbi Shafran, whose latest book is “It’s All In The Angle” (Judaica Press), blogs at rabbiavishafran.com.
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Yiddish’s Favorite Disease

There are many ways to tell someone off in the mamaloshen, but only one medical metaphor that really stings

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From Yiddish to Outer Space: On the Origins of One Mysterious Word

What’s in a glitch? You’d be surprised.

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Much Ado About Garnisht

The wonderful Yiddish word meaning, well, nothing

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Forget Twitter: These Days, It’s All About Tzitter

Meet the Yiddish word that perfectly captures our frightful moment

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On Volcanoes, Chickens, and Plumbers

And the Yiddish word that unites them

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To Farblondje Is Human

Confused? Mistaken? Lost? There’s a Yiddish word for that.

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As California Suspends Assisted Suicide, a Jewish Perspective on the Sanctity of Life

The Riverside County judge was right to overturn the law

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On Milchig, Fleishig, and Pareve

The Yiddish words to describe the things we eat have a complicated history of their own

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How the Yarmulke Got Its Name

The true story of one of Yiddish’s most misunderstood words

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Meh, Feh, Shmeh

To disdain and dismiss, there’s nothing like Yiddish

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Why We Daven

No, really: What does the word mean? And where did it come from?

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In Yiddish, Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Unless, of course, you’re a pig

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The Duck in the Long Johns

On the origins of a particularly popular winter undergarment

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Is Your Passover ‘Gebrokts’?

Get to know the holiday’s most under-rated term, which, strangely, has to do with not eating matzah

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The Dog Days of Yiddish

What’s the difference between a hound and a human? Just ask the mamaloshen.

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The Birth of Shtick

We all know the word, but do we use it correctly?

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Frustrated by the State of the World? Yiddish Has the Perfect Expression for You.

The perfect idiom for our time involves a practice now long gone

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Whence the Gogel Mogel?

From Tolstoy to ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ a mysterious Yiddish drink intrigues. But what’s in its name?

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How a Holocaust-Era Yiddish Song Became a Women’s March Slogan

The strange and inspiring history of “Mir Velen Zei Iberleben,” or “We Will Outlive Them”

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A Goy, a Yid: What’s in a Name?

How did one Biblical tribe come to give all Jews their name? And just who are the goyim? A guide for the perplexed.

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The Reform and Conservative Movements’ Jerusalem Problem

If you oppose moving the embassy to the holy city to avoid offending the world, and oppose Jews praying on Temple Mount to avoid offending the Palestinians, you may also want to consider the feelings of Orthodox Jews

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On the Third Anniversary of His Death, Remembering Leonard Fein

What began with an angry letter to the editor bloomed into a friendship that transcended ideological barriers and brought an Orthodox rabbi and a secular, liberal Jew together

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Skeptical About Evolution—And Not Because of Religion

A new study challenges—but doesn’t slay—one rabbi’s lifelong ‘heresy’

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The Jews’ Jews

Anti-Semites paint Jews as different and strange; many Jews do the same to the so-called ‘ultra-Orthodox’

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