Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's the wolves we have to worry about

a page from Yiddish-Hebrew-Latin-German dictionaryImage via Wikipedia
Does The Record know the difference between Hebrew and Yiddish?

I've lived in Hackensack for more than three years and, like thousands of other residents in this and nearby communities, I have never seen a bear. 

I covered semi-rural West Milford and Ringwood as a reporter 30 years ago, and I didn't see any bears then, either.

But here they are on the front page of The Record of Woodland Park today, running across a street in far-off Riverdale, just like two North Jersey jaywalkers. 

The photo is a teaser for a story on the front of the Local section, where head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, her minions and many of her reporters remain in hibernation.

After more than a decade as editor of the former Hackensack daily, Francis Scandale still doesn't get it. It's the wolves in our midst, not the bears, we have to worry about.

Sadly, this once-great newspaper no longer cares about its local readers, who are victimized by the home-rule system, high property taxes and the greedy officials who run it.

It's also a newspaper that sells its soul every day to the rich and powerful, many of whom are friends of or do business with the Borg family and its North Jersey Media Group.

Now, the editors seem to be mounting a public relations campaign for Governor Christie, who balanced one budget on the backs of the middle and working classes, and who is working on a second that could slash the benefits of public employees in what is becoming a middle-class war in New Jersey.

Map of West Milford Township in Passaic County...Image via Wikipedia
West Milford is bear country. But bear news bores the rest of us.

Today's paper

Two embarrassing corrections appear on A-2 today.

A story on L-3 is about the deaths of two devout Jewish men who were killed instantly by a falling tree on March 13, 2010, during a fierce storm.

But the reporter, Joseph Ax, says the anniversary of their deaths is "known as yahrzeit in Yiddish." 

Why Yiddish? Shouldn't that be Hebrew? The two men attended a Sephardic Jewish synagogue, where I am certain little, if any, Yiddish is spoken and where prayer services are conducted in Hebrew.

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  1. Just an FYI from a Jewish reader: yahrtzeit (which is how I usually see it spelled) is a Yiddish word used even by non-Yiddish-speaking Jews to refer to the anniversary of a loved one's death. See

  2. Thanks.

    The entry I went to shows alternate spellings -- including the one in the paper -- but doesn't explain why non-Yiddish speaking Jews use a Yiddish word.

  3. Oy vey! My Presbyterian goddaughter used that expression in response to a recent Facebook post.


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