in the ocean
by Cameron Methner
“Never marry a goy and never let a shiksa goddess take your man,” my grandma tells me often enough when she mentions my boyfriends or dates.
My grandmother, Nanny, speaks Yiddish fluently. It comes out when she is cleaning the stubborn ring around the bathtub drain. In normal conversation Yiddish presents itself in unwanted advice and constructive criticism. As with any good Jewish grandmother, it also appears when she is stuffing knishes or pickled beets down my throat.
Recently I decided that I should try to learn a little more about the language I hear mumbled so often from the bathroom. Soon, I was seated at a computer at the National Yiddish Book Center , my goal was to find a way to talk back to my grandmother, and maybe find some more vocabulary.