christine~ (eppylover) wrote,
christine~
eppylover

Shabbat Shmooze ~ Nu?


I feel obligated to provide a shmooze... if anyone cares.
So here's something I had put on hold just in case this sort of situation cropped up and I didn't feel like bothering:

The following is an article previously published in Wex’s Kvetch column in the Jewish Week.
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I’ve been doing a great deal of research lately into the origins and history of the Yiddish word nu and have made a discovery that has changed my whole outlook on life.

If you think that nu comes from German, you’re wrong; if you try to trace it back to Slavic, you’re going to hit a dead end. As I’ve just found out, we’ve been nu-ing since we were slaves in Egypt, and maybe even before.

It turns out that Nu (with a capital “N”) was the Egyptian name for the limitless cosmic waters that precede creation; ancient Egyptian texts describe the creator as being alone with Nu before the work of creation had even begun. They also tell us that creation will one day be destroyed and all will be returned to Nu.

Nu, what does this teach us? We’ve always known that the spirit of the Lord moved over the face of the waters; now we know the sound that that spirit must have made at the instant when it hit those waters. The Egyptians seem to have misun derstood the nature of that Israelite nu.

Nu, yehi or, let there be light”: G-d wasn’t talking to the waters, He––Who is sometimes said to speak Yiddish during the week and Hebrew only on Shabbes––was simply speaking the way that He speaks.

And now we know how this world will come to an end. When the Lord utters the final nu, the one that lets meshiekh know that he’d best get a move on.
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For a guide to Yiddish pronunciation, click here.

Here's his picture.
He reminds me of a cross between Woody Allen, Stan Freberg, and Arnold Stang. Mostly Arnold Stang.


Tags: shabbat shmooze, yiddish
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