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This category contains articles written by Wex as well as those written about him and his work.

A Q & A with the Jewish Week

With Rhapsody in Schmaltz coming out in a couple of weeks the interviews are coming in thick and fast. Here’s one Wex did for Steve Lipman at The Jewish Week. Over the last decade, author-translator Michael Wex has become the public voice of Yiddish culture — especially for the non-Yiddish-speaking public. A native of Canada’s Alberta province […]

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Donald Trump and Yiddish

“It may not be good for the American political system, but at least it’s good for Yiddish. A bissel, that is.” The Jewish Week got hold of Wex at Yiddish New York for his opinion on Trump’s recent use of the word “schlonged”. “If Donald trump is using Yiddish, we have failed,” he said. But, as Yiddish logic […]

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NYC Diamond District Yiddish Slang

Ben Schott’s piece The Secret Slang of the Diamond District is published in the New York Times today with a little help from Wex. The street has its own vocabulary, honed over generations and still used today. The prevalence of Yiddish reflects the historical influence of Jewish craftsmen and dealers. But the diamond business is international, and […]

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Alice Munro kvetches like a mentsh

Since Alice Munro was named as the Nobel Prize winner for Literature today it seems like a good time to repost this piece I wrote for the Huffington Post about when she turned down the Giller Prize. Enjoy. “How do you make a writer kvetch?” It’s a riddle that’s been going around for years. I first […]

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Chutzpah is the new charisma

Wex was recently interviewed by Maseena Ziegler for her article in Forbes about chutzpah. He gives the Yiddish perspective of the word (chutzpah being a bad thing – meaning you’re ill-mannered and rude) versus the English usage which is usually more positive in the sense of being “ballsy”. You can read the article in full here: Why […]

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Growth of a Tiny Mind

In order to relieve the tedium induced by weeks of reading nothing but the Bible, the Talmud, and sundry commentaries on tractates Avoyde Zoro and Khulin, including some fairly complicated sections of the Shulkhan Orukh and its successors, I’ve had to pick up the pace of my non-work-related reading. Science fiction has acquired a new […]

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And We Owe It All To Income Tax…

Passover’s done, Bob Hope’s on the TV, serenading Jane Russell with “Buttons and Bows,” it’s overcast and slightly rainy in Toronto, but Jane Russell has just taken over the whole of my fifty-one inch television screen–my ancestors thought that they got manna from heaven?–and life is pretty much back to normal. First thing Monday morning, […]

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