Michael Wex





Michael Wex



Michael Wex is a novelist, professor, translator (including the only Yiddish translation of The Threepenny Opera ), and performer (of stand-up and one person shows). He has been hailed as a Yiddish national treasure and is one of the leading lights in the current revival of Yiddish, lecturing widely on Yiddish and Jewish culture. He lives in Toronto.

Average rating: 3.55 · 1,318 ratings · 217 reviews · 10 distinct works · Similar authors
Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Lan...

3.55 avg rating — 1,072 ratings — published 2005 — 18 editions
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Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Ev...

3.71 avg rating — 91 ratings — published 2007 — 5 editions
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Rhapsody in Schmaltz: Yiddi...

3.75 avg rating — 56 ratings — published 2016 — 3 editions
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How to Be a Mentsh (And Not...

3.24 avg rating — 42 ratings — published 2009 — 9 editions
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The Frumkiss Family Business

3.42 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 2010 — 5 editions
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Shlepping the Exile

3.07 avg rating — 27 ratings — published 1993 — 4 editions
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Classic Yiddish Stories of ...

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4.44 avg rating — 27 ratings — published 2004 — 3 editions
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The Adventure of Micah Mush...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2007
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Born to Nosh: Jewish Food i...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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Classic Yiddish Stories of ...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2011
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“In one of the extras that come with the DVD version of the movie (Groundhog Day), Danny Rubin, who came up with the original idea and then wrote the script, says that the movie is about “doing what you can do in the moment to make things better instead of making them worse.” Which might not sound like very much, but it’s just about all you can do in life.

Which only proves that the world itself runs on Yiddish-speaking principles: the best way to get what you want and make all those bastards out there so jealous that they’ll want to poke their own eyes out is to go out of your way to be nice to those bastards. That’s the way to show them. That’s how a mentsh gets revenge.”
Michael Wex, How to Be a Mentsh (And Not a Shmuck): Secrets of the Good Life from the Most Unpopular People on Earth

“Not only do Judaism in general and Yiddish in particular place an unusual emphasis on complaint, but Yiddish also allows considerable scope for complaining about the complaining of others, more often than not to the others who are doing the complaining. While answering one complaint with another is usually considered a little excessive in English, Yiddish tends to take a homeopathic approach to kvetching: like cures like and kvetch cures kvetch. The best response to a complaint is another complaint, an antiseptic counter-kvetch that makes further whining impossible for anybody but you.”
Michael Wex, Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods

“If the first chapter seems to talk more about the Bible and Talmud than bupkes and tukhes, it’s because the Bible and Talmud are to Yiddish what plantations are to the blues. The only difference is that blues left the plantations behind, while Yiddish—try as it still sometimes does—never escaped from the Talmud. A”
Michael Wex, Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Its Moods



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