Yiddish Vinkl for November 20

Tunkl (TOON-kl)

Meaning: dark

• “Der Tunkeler” (the dark one) was the pen name of Yosef Tunkel, a beloved artist and humorist; his most famous work was

“Spinoza in Warsaw,” depicting Spinoza trying to make a living there.

• (Yiddish Proverb): “Day’ne oygn kenen dir makhn di velt tunkl oder likhtik. Azoy vi du kukst af ir, vet zi dir forkumen/Our eyes can make the world dark or light. In the manner you look at it, that’s the way it will appear.” (bit.ly/2IDEr8k)

• “Forget about tall (hoykh), dark (tunkl), and handsome (sheyn) men. Good news (Gut nayes) for shorter men when it comes to longevity. A study of 8,000 men has found that those of lesser height (heykh) live longer than their taller peers. Those below 5 feet, 2 inches, lived the longest.” (bit.ly/38JalLC)

• (Making a Chanukah-themed drink) “On the first night, there is only the one candle (two if you count the shamash candle). Not a lot of light. Since tunkl is Yiddish for dark, we have: Tunklberry cocktail made with 1 ounce blackberry whiskey, blackberry Manischewitz wine, lemon-lime soda and ice.” (bit.ly/38EwMlj)


Shaker Heights resident Harold Ticktin prepares “Yiddish Vinkl” for the CJN.

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