What words from the Yiddish language could be used in an ABC Book on The Devil's Arithmetic?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that you will be able to generate some good leads from the words of the Yiddish language featured here.  I don't think that you would find someone who would put together all the letters of the alphabet for you, as I think that you might have to do most of the heavy lifting on this one.  Yet, this might operate as a good starting point.

The Seder dinner is the basis for the novel's beginnings.  A sacred moment for the Jewish people, it is used to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and the Pharaoh.  Part of the ceremony involves the singing of the Dayenu, a song that praises a benevolent God.  Additionally, a significant part of the ceremony involves the Haggadah, which involves the telling of the Passover story.  Hannah is not keenly interested in all of this.  Yet, over the narrative, she begins to understand the importance of realities such as the shull and what it means the Jewish people.  As she is transported back in time, the people with whom she bonds with help to form a shetl, or village, and how Aunt Eva serves as a Reb, or wise person for her.  For Hannah, she now understands the spiritual significance of the Yarmulke, the cap that Jewish men wear out of respect, or the mivkah, a purifying bath.  Hannah recognizes through her experiences the importance of the klezmer band, who commemorate the happy times, or the malach ha-mavis, that Hitler and the Nazis represented.  In the end, she is a zugangi, or newcomer, to her own faith and identity.

Read the study guide:
The Devil's Arithmetic

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question