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Alter Druyanov
1870- 1938
(From "Yahadut Lita", third volume, pages 147- 148)
Druyanov Abba- Avraham- Asher (Alter) was the son of Eliyakum- Pesach - Getzel.
Author, folklorist and Zionist public official. Alter was born in Druya in 1870 and studied in the Volozhin Yeshiva. Later he moved to Odessa and was the secretary of Chu"Z. Member of the center of the Russian Zionists. Editor of "HaOlam","Reshumot" and "Miyamim Rishonim". Published "'Ktavim Letoldot Chibat Zion Veyeshuv Eretz Yisrael", "The Book Of Tel Aviv" (1935), "Pinsker and his times", three-volume anthology of Jewish humor,
Sefer HaBdikha ve-HaKhidud [Book of Jokes and Wit]
He also edited the chapters of Modern Hebrew literature, folklore and geography of Eretz Israel in the Hebrew and German Encyclopedia "Eshkol". He died in Tel Aviv. A collection of his assays "Ktavim Nivcharim" was published in two volumes in Tel Aviv.
Information of Alter Druyanov from the Internet;
by Elisheva Schoenfeld
The writer and public servant Alter Druyanov was born in 1870 in Druja, a district of Vilna. After serving as a secretary of the Va'ad le-Yishuv Erets-Yisrael [Committee for the Settlement of the Land of Israel] for five years in Odessa, he migrated to Palestine in 1906.
Unable to earn a living there, he returned to Russia in 1909 and became editor of the Hebrew- language newspaper HaOlam, a position he filled until 1914. In 1921, he settled in Erets-Yisrael
and joined Bialik and Y.-Kh. Ravnitski in editing the first four volumes of Reshumot (1919-1926), a Hebrew journal devoted to Jewish folklore. Druyanov's own writing covered
many genres, including feuilletons, critical essays, and journalistic articles on subjects of public interest.
Druyanov is chiefly remembered today for his three-volume anthology of Jewish humor,
Sefer HaBedikha ve-HaKhidud [Book of Jokes and Wit]. This work appeared at a time when other notable Jewish folklore collections were published: Die Sagen der Juden (1913-1927) and Der Born Judas (1916-1922) by M.J. bin Gorion (Berditshevski), Sefer Ha-Aggadah by Khayim Nakhman Bialik and Y.-Kh. Ravnitski (1924), and The Exempla of the Rabbis by Moses Gaster
(1924). Innumerable anthologies of Jewish jokes have been published, but Druyanov's Book of Jokes and Wit, first published in 1922, remains unparalleled. The much enlarged 1951 edition
(of which the familiar 1963 Dvir edition is a reprint) with its more than 3000 entries reflects Eastern European Jewish life in the 19th and the first quarter of the 20th century and to some extent also encompasses Jewish life in Nazi Germany and in the renascent Land of Israel.
Prior to the 19th century the Jews were "God-fearing and faithful" and presumably avoided jesting -- homiletic and ethical writings abound in commands warning the pious to avoid laughter and levity. However, the Haskalah [Enlightenment] severely criticized the social
condition of Jewish communities and their prevailing religious institutions and practices. The joke appeared together with the criticism.
The situation of the Jews produced a distinct kind of humor, one that subsequently came to occupy a special place in world humor. "It is the result of particular religious, historical and
social tendencies and therefore also a key to Jewish history," writes Lutz Roehrich. (Lutz
Roehrich, Der Witz, seine Formen und Funktionen, Munich, 1977, p. 275). Druyanov claims that Jewish humor "enables the Jew to escape from reality, to take the measure of all things and,
for a moment, to drink deeply from the intoxicating cup of freedom. At the same time, it enables
him to raise and exalt his 'simple ego' above everything" (Druyanov, vol. 1, p. 10). More narrowly, Jewish humor, including the joke, is a key to the way Jews in Eastern Europe lived in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, their occupations, institutions and
relationships with their surroundings. The 1951 [and later] Book of Jokes and Wit, fuller than the 1922 edition, treats its subjects in considerable detail and sharply reflects conflict with
conventions, with the surroundings, differences between various Jewish groups, between youth and age, between the urban and the rural Jew. Highly varied though they are, the subjects of the
anthology can be divided conveniently into six major groups, each of which can again be
A) Jewish trades and occupations: merchants, peddlers, bankers, hotel and restaurant owners,
tax-gatherers, craftsmen, clerks, doctors, lawyers, teachers (of small children), rabbis, cantors,
public servants, beggars and writers.
B) The life-cycle: birth (legitimate and illegitimate), circumcision, kheder, yeshiva,
kindergartens, schools, match-making, wedding, married life, family, old age, death.
C) Holidays and Sabbath: faith and reason.
D) Groups: hasidim and mitnagdim, Karaites, maskilim (intellectuals), Zionists, urban and
rural Jews, small-town Jews, heretics, renegades, various ethnic groups.
E) Types: fools, illiterates, ignoramuses, wise people, clever people, gluttons, drunks,
thieves, liars, misers, profiteers, idlers.
F) The larger world: Jews and non-Jews, clergy and rabbis, war and revolution, renaissance
of the Land of Israel.
The anthology entries show a diversity of settings: street, restaurant, inn, synagogue, kheder,
yeshiva, law court, war front, kibbutz. Since locales such as the legendary town of Chelm [also
spelled Khelm], inn, restaurant and railway are necessary backgrounds to many jokes, I have
assembled related texts under rubrics of place within the framework of the general index. They
appear under the headings: "Chelm and Its Simpletons", "The Inn and Its Guests", "The
Restaurant and Its Customers", and "The Railway and Its Passengers". A separate index of
geographical places is added.
Apart from ideal types specified by a single quality or trait (such as "the glutton," "the
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drunk," "the miser", "the thief," "the liar", "the rich man," "the pauper," "the scholar," "the
illiterate," "the gentile," "the priest," "the wag," "the wit"), Druyanov gives us individuals who
are identified by their nicknames (such as: "Benny Simpleton", "Gimpel Naif," "Meir Yozi"
[thief], Khoyzek Simpleton, Motke Thief [cf. Shalom Asch's novel Motke Ganef] Shmaye Idler,
Yeke Fool and others. For the most part they are not historical persons and are often stereotypes.
Historical persons are alluded to in many entries dealing with wedding jesters, preachers, rabbis,
writers, artists, scientists and politicians. Many of these historical figures express themselves by
a humorous tale, a parable, an aphorism or a pun, but their principal medium is apt quotation
from a sacred text -- principally Bible, Talmud, Passover Haggadah or Prayer Book.
Foremost among the historical personages is Hershele Ostropoler, the court jester of the
melancholic Rabbi Barukh of Mezbizh (d. 1811). Many sayings and jests relate to Hershele
himself, but there are also those that are associated with him because of the similarity of his
personality to that of other wise fools such as the Flemish Til Eulenspiegel and the Turkish
Nasreddin Hodja. Druyanov has 30 entries on Hershele, about a third of which are variants of
internationally known tales (e.g. no. 2145). There are also unique sayings of jesters who were
well known in their communities, such as Leybele of Fiorda (no. 2127), Hersh-Lev the Jester
(no. 2129), the writer Ayzik-Meyer Dick (no. 2453) and Kalev the Joker (no. 2166). A partial
list of historical persons is included at the end of the third volume of 'The Book of Jokes and
Wit" (1951).
The greater part of Druyanov's Chapter XXI, "Between Man and His Maker," deals with
unbelievers whom we would today call "secular." Among the non-religious who smoke on the
Sabbath, eat on fast days and are apprehended in non-kosher restaurants, Shmerl Shnitkaver fills
a prominent place, appearing in no fewer than 30 entries (e.g. nos. 1792, 1833, 2154).
Rabbi Ayzel the Sharp-Witted, immortalized in 18 entries, seems to have been a well-known
and venerated person. According to the texts, this sharp-tongued individual (see nos. 570, 571)
was authorized to give imprimaturs to young writers for printing and distributing their books.
The preacher of Raytsa used to spice his sermons with parables (e.g. no. 463). From a notebook
of the unusual personality, Yeshaya "the doctor" (he seems to have been a popular healer), we
learn how to treat toothache, stomach ache, and aches and pains in general (nos. 893, 896).
Ignorance of Jewish scriptures and customs turns the president of a Jewish religious school
[Talmud-Torah] in the United States into a comical figure (nos. 3090, 3094).
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Druyanov introduced a variety of genres into his collection. He recorded jokes told to him or
written out for him, used books of jokes, memoirs, quotations, biographies, proverbs, parables
and aphorisms as well as the collections of stories on Chelm and on Hershele Ostropoler.
Druyanov followed a chronological order as far as possible in his entries on famous
personalities. Many of the anecdotes and sayings are no longer intelligible to us, their time and
place being outside our consciousness (e.g. nos. 2384, 2393, 2405).
The difference between the joke and the short humorous tale is not only in their shape but
also in their historical and sociological background (see Roehrich, pp. 8-10). The humorous short
story appears at the end of the Middle Ages, whereas the joke is much younger. Before the 19th
century, the humorous tale was didactic, which the joke has not been. Didacticism is found in
Druyanov's anthology in the parables of the preachers (e.g. no. 485), beggars and rabbis. The
humorous story may involve comic situations, foolish actions (e.g. tales of the "wise" people of
Chelm), lies and exaggerations of travelers, as well as parables and satires styled according to
"pilpul" and "Aggadah" (e.g. nos. 2197, 2646).
Roehrich claims that the joke, unlike the humorous tale, is spiritual. The joke is built up and
sharpened towards its clearly marked point. The humorous tale is based on the material side of
life. The joke shows no respect for anyone or anything, not for old age, sickness, ideals, morals,
high-ranking officials, rabbis, scientists. It juxtaposes those who are socially and educationally
unequal: the soldier and the officer, the teacher and the pupil , the judge and the culprit, gentile
and Jew, hasid and mitnaged, urban Jew and shtetl Jew. Comic conflict between two persons
may be expressed by aggression or by illogical repartee. Repartee is a quick and unexpected
means of defeating the aggressor. The collision between different norms is seen in jokes of
conflict between Jews and gentiles (e.g. no. 1960), rabbis and priests (e.g. no. 1954), a despotic
community head and a simple citizen (e.g. no. 363).
Another type of joke is a "competition" between two or more contenders where the winner
finally loses. Hasidim compete on the holiness or magic power of their respective rabbis (no.
607), or they compete with a strong-minded mitnaged (no. 613).
Apart from some practical jokes (nos. 1958, 365), there are many other jokes depending on
verbal play:
A) a comparison two things that have no common denominator (e.g. nos. 1493, 1585, 1578,
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B) play on words. or their spelling. or on abbreviations. (The punsters are often known
persons). Four subdivisions may be recognized:
1) The point of the joke is based on a word that has different meanings in different
contexts (e.g. nos. 670, 500).
2) A customary abbreviation is "interpreted" according to a specific situation (no. 398).
3) One letter is changed in a word of a well-known saying, obtaining thereby a new and
surprising meaning, (e.g. nos. 427, 1793).
4) A letter is changed in a single word, and the "error" (usually by an new immigrant)
results in a comic situation, (e.g. nos. 2905, 2960, 2640).
The joke often appears as a comic question that can only be answered by the questioning
person himself. Comic questions are plentiful in Druyanov, particularly when the answers are a
phrase from the Bible or other sacred texts. It seems that questions and answers have been
formulated by men well versed in Jewish studies and particularly by skilled jesters, (e.g. nos.
211, 859). As a whole, phrases from the Talmud, the siddur [prayer book] and the Passover
Haggadah are abundant. There are almost no changes in the texts themselves because of their
sacred status. They only appear to be comic in the context, the elevated language of the text
juxtaposed with a prosaic account of an ordinary event. The differences in the two levels of
language are a source of humor. The very few changes and faults in the venerable texts appear in
the speeches of thieves and liars (e.g. nos. 1273, 1336). Phrases from sacred texts are used as a
biting reply (no. 1117), as an answer to a stupid question (no. 1157), and as help to a man who
can't decide which of two girls to marry (no. 1495).
Druyanov's Chapter XXXIII presents sayings of children from village, kibbutz and town. 43
of its entries seem to be authentic (the child's age is given and in a number of entries the
occasion, e.g. nos. 2922, 2925, 2933). 25 additional entries deal with children learning in a
kheder or with their fathers. These children reveal keen minds and lack of respect for adults on
the one hand, and on the other, naivete and inexperience. It seems that some of these remarks
were uttered by adults for adults and were assigned to children to hide their own contempt
towards certain teachers and rabbis.
Political jokes abound in the anthology. They are directed against despotic leaders, and the
underdog usually defeats the man of power. Druyanov recorded several jokes dealing with the
Russian Revolution as well as with the Nazi period in Germany. World War I items mock the
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Russian czar and his army. The political joke is bound to time and place: Russian Revolution
period jokes deal with famine, shortages of supplies, a population fed up with government
promises (no. 2826). Druyanov also gives us in-group jokes that play on the perception of a
largely Jewish Bolshevik leadership (no. 2799). During World War I, the Jews in Russia admired
the German army and ridiculed the Russians and their czar (2763). The jokes dealing with the
Nazi regime (nos. 3062, 3063) were apparently created before the full truth of the Holocaust was
Druyanov was puritanical and included almost no jokes centered on sexual themes in his
anthology. He wrote: "It [i.e. sex] is the subject of an immense number of jokes told by all
peoples and in all languages, particularly by the Jews…. Sometimes our joke is so keen and
biting as to 'hurt the ear'. In its special language, it reveals what is hidden in the innermost heart.
However, I do not want to hurt anybody's ear and therefore specialists of the Jewish joke will
find my selection of the sexual jokes diluted and pale." And, as though to save his reputation as
a folklorist, he adds: "I have gathered a great number of Jewish jokes in that field, but only a few
of them could be published in The Book of Jokes and Wit. However, it must be admitted that they
are of special value from the folkloristic point of view." [Druyanov. vol. 1, p. 16]. In fact, the
few sexual jokes in the collection deal with an adulterous husband called to the rabbi, a
pregnancy out of wedlock, a birth "too early" after the wedding, and a mishap during
While many of Druyanov's entries have lost their meaning to the modern reader, many more
continue to speak to us. Ayzik-Meyer Dick's observation on the similarity between an official
and a headless nail has not lost its point: "once lodged in place, it cannot be moved" (no. 361).yiddish.haifa.ac.il/reference/druyanov/drinteng.pdf
Druyanov's Jewish Humor and Folk Tales:
Druyanov's book is arguably the most comprehensive collection of classic Jewish humor - late 19th century and early 20th century East European humor. It is on the whole more subtle and far richer than what passes in the United States for Jewish humor. However you had better be well versed in Jewish sources to comprehend it, let alone find it funny. Unfortunately, I can't find Druyanov's work on the Net, so I'd take the liberty to breach copyrights and translate a small sample of those jokes.
Druyanov arranged the jokes according to topics, and I would roughly follow his categories. Some of the jokes are of the kind that can't make your elderly auntie blush, but they all illustrate some aspects of Jewish humor.
Starting small
Two wealthy investors in the Romanian bourse were walking along the river on Saturday. One of them noticed that a kid was trying to steal the handkerchief of the other one and warned him about it. - It's ok, let him do it, we also started small...
Hershele sold a wealthy lady anti flea powder. After a while she told him he was a cheat, his powder is awful. Not at all madam, retorted Hershele, my powder is excellent, it's your fleas that are awful...
Buying the Shteitel
The gentile owner of the Shteitel (the term for a small village in East Europe) saw Hershele walking slowly, deep in thoughts.
- What are you thinking about Hershel?
- Well, I was thinking about buying the Shteitel off you.
- You idiot, the Shteitel costs about five million Rubles while you haven't got 10 kopeks to your name.
- My dear Lord, does the fact that I can't afford to buy it means that I also can't afford to think about it?
Moishe asks his friend - when are you going to pay me back the money you owe me?
Haim: What do you take me for, a prophet?
100 damn Kopeks
Moishe demanded from Haim that he paid him back the 100 kopeks he owed him, but Haim denied it altogether. They approached the rabbi and he requested that Haim swears on the Bible that he doesn't owe Moishe anything. Haim did swear and thereby was absolved of his debt. When they left the rabbi's home Moishe said a shame on you, for 100 damn Kopeks you lied on oath. A shame on you answered Haim, for 100 damn Kopeks you forced me to lie on oath...
A Polish nobleman borrowed a fortune from a Jewish lender and 'forgot' to pay. After a while they happened to meet. The nobleman said long time no see, you must have assumed I was dead already. Heaven forbid, answered the Jew, I know you are slow in carrying out your duties...
Flying horses
The old horses were slow and the passengers were getting impatient. Perhaps you would ask your horses to hurry up a bit before it gets too dark? When my horses want to they can fly 100 miles per hour the wagon-driver boasted. Well, said the passengers, so why on earth are they so slow? Well, they never actually want to fly that fast...
Jewy Jew
A goy tells a Jewish friend - I wonder why a Jewy Jew like you is stuck with the same boss for 30 years instead of starting his own business? What can I do but my boss is also a Jewy Jew and knows all those tricks...
Why do they hate us?
Hershele entered a wealthy benefactor in order to ask for a small donation. You tell me, questioned the wealthy man, how comes the poor live off us rich yet still hate us? Well, answered Hershele, it's like the angel of death. Lots of people make a living off him, yet everybody hates him.
A Kosher Pig
Someone approached a rich man asking him for the secret of wealth. Simple, become a pig for 12 years, said the rich man. And then? Then you will get used to it and stay a pig for the rest of your life.
Potty Pregnancy
A rich man lent Hershele a pot. The following day Hershele returned the pot to his neighbor with a tiny pot inside it. What's that? It's yours, your pot was pregnant and gave birth to that tiny one.
The following week Hershele borrowed a frying pan. He promptly returned it with two little frying pans inside it. What's that, smiled the rich neighbor. Your frying pan happened to be pregnant and gave birth to twins this morning.
In the height of the winter Hershele asked his neighbor to lend him his fur coat for his daughter's wedding. The neighbor happily obliged, expecting one or two tiny fur coats the following morning. Alas, Hershele failed to return the fur coat. The rich neighbor knocked on his door and angrily asked, where is my fur coat. Hershele started whipping, it died a couple of weeks ago while giving birth. You swine, screamed the rich one, have you ever heard of fur coats dying? Or giving birth? Have you ever seen pots and frying pens doing so asked Hershele...
Dividing the Load
A couple of Socialists approached rabbi Rabinowitz, the Minsk rabbi, explained to him their social justice theories in great detail, and asked for his help. Happily, said the Rabbi, but lets divide the load. You will convince the rich to give away their money, I will convince the poor to accept it...
That's my business
A beggar entered a merchant office to ask for a donation. I am much too busy with business said the merchant as soon as he saw him. I also came to talk business with you said the beggar. Oh, sorry, I thought you were a beggar. Sure I am, and that's my business.
Why are the rich more likely to donate to poor and disabled rather than to poor scholars? Because they can become poor and disabled if hit by bad fortune, but can't imagine they can ever turn into scholars.
Beating the Lord
A beggar to Rothschild: I know you aren't that fond of beggars, me lord, but lets make a bet. I'd bet you 100 Francs that I can get something that you can't. Lord Rothschild took from his pocket 100 Francs and placed them on the table. The beggar took the coins and put them in is pocket, taking out a certificate. I can get a certificate for being poor, you can't...
An old beggar: had I been the king I would have ordered not to have high rise building so I could go on begging without climbing so many stairs.
Grandfather, said the beggar, give a coin to a blind beggar and god will bless you. If you are blind how do you know that I am old, wondered the old man. Apologies, give a coin to a deaf and dumb beggar and god will bless you...
Untarnished Profit
A crooked rabbi accepted 10 Rubles bribe and passed judgment accordingly. How can a righteous rabbi like you sell his soul for 10 Rubles? Well, I had already sold my soul beforehand, and for 500 Rubles, so these 10 Rubles were untarnished profit.
Prenuptial tears
A bride didn't cry on her wedding day. Her mother reproached her, saying that shedding tears is essential on wedding day. Why should I cry, my groom should weep for marrying me...
Growing up
A young widow went to her husband's grave and cried on his tombstone. An insect got into her shirt and started tickling her. Mendel, Mendel, protested the widow, you have been down there for over two years and haven't grown up yet...
A man and his wife had endless quarrels. They approached the rabbi and asked for a Get (divorce). The problem was they had one child and couldn't agree on who would have him. The rabbi suggested that they go away and return in 12 months, after having a second child, then each would take one child. What if we have twins, questioned the husband? The wife chuckled, look at this procreator rabbi, had I trusted him I wouldn't even had our only child...
A wife came to the rabbi asking for divorce. Which fault have you found in him, asked the rabbi. Well, said the wife, I suspect out youngest child isn't his...
The price of freedom
A man approached the Rabbi asking for a Get (divorce). That would be 50 Rubles said the rabbi. So much for a Get asked the man? Well, arrange me a Get from my wife and I will pay you 100 Rubles on the spot replied the rabbi.
A fair swap
How much would you give me for my wife, asked Moishe. Nothing, said Haim. Ok, she's yours.
A merchant told his friend, crying: yesterday I returned home and found my partner and my wife making love on the stool. The friend got angry and said you must give her a Get right now. I can't, I have got sons and daughters from her, what would people say? OK, so get rid of your partner. I can't, he has got all the money. So what are you going to do for god sake? Well, I intend to sell the stool...
Cardinal sins
Rabbi, asked a father in law. I made a terrible mistake with my son in law, you have to arrange a divorce for my daughter. What fault have you found in him? He doesn't know to play cards. Is that all? I wish all the people of Israel wouldn't know how to play cards. Of course rabbi, but my son in law never stops playing, and losing...
why is it that those who convert to Judaism are poor poppers while those who convert to Christianity are Rothschild rich? because the formers have goyish brain but Jewish luck, while the latter have Jewish brain and goyish luck...
the righteous rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev was told that a seventy-year-old Jew has just converted to Christianity. Ribono shel Olam, (God in heaven) he appealed, look from the sky how faithful the people of Israel are. for 70 years this good man followed you to the letter...
A quacking fish
a catholic priest converted a Jew. the following day he caught him eating a duck roast on Friday, where Catholics aren't supposed to eat meet. calm down said the convert, it's a fish. not only have you sinned, you are also a liar said the priest. not at all, I just followed you. as u sprinkled pure water on me and said until now a Jew, from now on a catholic, I also sprinkled water and said, until now a duck, from now on a fish...
Get a life
a Jew praised his own wife to a friend. a kosher wife she is, blessed be the lord, may she live to 119. why 119? why not 120? well, all I ask is one year of life...
Size isn't everything
A shop owner from the provinces came to the big city and was stunned by the size of a giant superstore. What's the matter asked him the general manager, haven't you ever seen so many people or so much merchandise? Neither, answered the shopkeeper, I was just wondering - I have got a small store and a sizeable debt. You have got a giant superstore so you must have infinite amount of debt...

Index to Druyanov's Book of Jokes and Wit
Elisheva Schoenfeld
edited by Leonard Prager
with the help of Marina Goldstein and Adam Prager
Preface and Introduction
Editor's Preface (Hebrew) [to come]
Editor's Preface (English) [to come]
Introduction (Hebrew)
Introduction (English)
General Index, Alef to Taf
Alef Bet Gimel Daled Hey Vav Zayin Khet Tet Yod Kaf
Lamed Mem Nun Samekh Ayin Pey Tsadi Kof Resh Shin Taf
Special Indices
1. Index to "Famous Persons" [Druyanov, chapter 27]
2. Index of Persons
3. Corrections to the "Index of Persons" in Druyanov, vol. 3, pp. 354-381]
4. Index of Places
5. Correlation with Story Types in Aarne-Thompson
6. Motifs Correlated with the Motif Index of Folk Tales

Editor, Di Velt fun Yidish: Leonard Prager
Senior Consultant: Meyer Wolf
Editor, Yehoyesh Project: Matthew J. Fisher
b. Elisheva Schonfeld's comprehensive Hebrew indexes to Alter Druyanov's
annotated _Sefer habedikha vehakhidud_ ['Book of Jokes and Wit']
(Tel-Aviv: Dvir, 1963) may now be consulted in _The World of
Yiddish_/_di velt fun yidish_/_haOlam haYidi_ website
[http://research.haifa.ac.il/~yiddish]. They are the first of a number
of items in what hopefully will be an entire section devoted to Jewish
humor in Yiddish or with a Yiddish connection. Druyanov's three-volume
collection of jokes is in Hebrew, but its predominant source language is
undoubtedly Yiddish. Druyanov transformed a lively colloquial Yiddish
into an elegant and often quite formal pre-State Hebrew. While his
manifest service to Hebrew was in some measure a disservice to Yiddish,
he must be credited for gathering in one publication a large corpus of
humor which might otherwise not have been so well preserved. Moreover,
Druyanov's classic anthology served an entire generation of _sabras_ as
a wimdow to Eastern-European Jewish life and is widely regarded with
affection. The anecdote given here is recorded in a number of variants.
I give Ravnitski's Yiddish version and the considerably different one in
Druyanov. Readers are invited to comment on the differences they see.

.....As Porath notes, when Peters makes reference to Asher Druyanov's collection of early Zionist settlers' writings, she does not mention "the many passages in his two volumes referring to the presence of Arabs living in the areas where Jews had settled."3 .....

3 Yehoshua Porath, "Mrs. Peters's Palestine: An Exchange," New York Review of Books, March 27, 1986 (online at <http://www.nybooks.com/articles/5172>). I have been unable to verify Porath's claim about the passages in Druyanov's work referring to the presence of Arabs, as the letters in the book are mainly in Hebrew, with some in Russian and German. Peters cites Druyanov's book several times: see her note 53 for p. 201, p. 503 note 74, note 81 for p. 204, and note 64 for p. 252.

..We will briefly examine the case of Yiddish versus Hebrew, or the emergence of a native Hebrew culture in Palestine after the 1880s.2 The following is an anecdote (no. 2636) published by Alter Druyanov in his collection of anecdotes (Alter Druyanov, Jokes and Witticisms (Hebrew) (Jerusalem, 1945 )
which will illu strate the case:
Tel Aviv, Herzl Street. (It happens before World War I -- I.E-Z). A group of children pour out of the Herzlia Gymnasium. Two famous Yiddishists [zealous of Yiddishist ideology], are passing by, having come to visit Palestine, and the elder one says to the other: "The Zionists boast that Hebrew is becoming a natural tongue for the children of Palestine. I will now show you that they are lying. I will tweak one of the boy's ears, and I promise you that he will not cry out "Ima" [i.e., mummy in Hebrew] but " mame" in Yiddish.
So saying, he approached one of the boys and tweaked his ear. The boy turned on him and shouted: "hamor" [donkey, in Hebrew]. The Yiddishist turned to his friend and said: "I'm afraid the Zionists are right."3
Chemerinsky, Hayim (Reb Mordechele). Ayarati Motele [Motele My Shtetle]. Edited by Alter Druyanov with advice from Hayim Fialkov . Glossary by Yom Tov Levinsky. Tel Aviv:
Dvir, 1951. (First appeared in Reshumot Vol II, 1927 pages 5-124.) 209 pages.
Hebrew. This 1917 deathbed classic provides an excellent description of Jewish Motol of about 1865 - 1880. It also provides some background about earlier decades and impressions of how Motol changed by the early 20th century. The author describes his
own family’s immediate genealogy in some detail. He also describes several dozen individuals. Unfortunately, many names were altered by the editor. I have been told that a new edition was published recently.
A new Hebrew edition of Ayarati Motele was published in 2002 by the Hebrew
University Magnes Press with a forward by Dr. David Assaf.
A reasonable attempt to translate the book into English can be found at the YIVO Library
in New York. It seems to be a photocopy of a word-processed document. I am trying to obtain an electronic version.....
Alter Druyanow wrote in Hapo'el Hatza'ir newspaper in 1908; About the harsh living conditions in the ancient port, how they yearned to create a city of "beautiful houses, and a garden to each house, and a big garden in the middle of the neighborhood and public buildings in the middle of that garden,"

A10 Druyanow, Alter (archives) 1870-1938 1.2
A9 Druyanow, Alter (collection) (1882-1933) 1.8

Laskov, Shulamit (editor). Documents on the History of Hibbat Zion Movement and the Settlement of Eretz Israel.(Hebrew) [originally edited and published by Alter Druyanow]. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Tel-Aviv.
Volume 1: 1870-1882, 1982. Volume 2: 1883-1884, 1985.
Volume 3: 1885, 1987. Volume 4: 1886, 1987.
Volume 5: 1887, 1988. Volume 6: 1888, 1990.
Volume 7: 1889-1890, 1993.
Zionist Archives - Guide To The Record Groups
the collection of Alter Druyanow
Financed by their own savings and a loan from the Jewish National Fund, the coterie's dream city was designed by the Viennese court architect Wilhelm Stiassny. A year later, in 1910, the suburb's main streets, named after Theodor Herzl, Ahad Ha'am, Judah Halevi, Moses Lilienblum, and Baron Edmond de Rothschild were laid out, though not without a struggle with the Turkish authorities and the Jews' former Arab landlords in Jaffa. Both groups resented the Jews who had the gall to vacate their apartments and build their own quarter in the sand.The visual history of early Tel Aviv was captured by the city's first resident photographer. .....
Druyanov, Alter
1919 "Shalom Yaaqov Abramovich," in Masuot (Odessa), 551-580 [in Hebrew