What Defines You? | Naphtali Hoff

July 31, 2014 10:36 PM

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What Defines You? | Naphtali Hoff

Languages and cultural idioms oftentimes teach powerful lessons. For example, Yiddish, a Jewish-spoken dialect that is primarily a blend of Hebrew and German, offers users a few different ways through which to inquire about another's well-being.

My maternal grandfather, a centenarian and Holocaust survivor who grew up in pre-WWII Romania, told me that it was common practice for people in his community to respond to the question "What do you do?" with a simple "Torah u'mitzvos." ("I am fulfilling God's Torah and commandments.") Regardless of...

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