פֿון װאַרנער באס
The task of revitalizing our nation will be a difficult one, requiring among many other things, a re-education. Proficiency in the Yiddish language is imperative if the Yiddish nation is to ever become “...a member of equal standing in the family of nations constituting humanity…”
However, the prospect of educating our English speaking youth in this country prior to Revolution is not looking very good. The door is constantly being shut on Yiddish in favour of the Israeli tongue at separatist institutions like Jewish day schools. This, it should be pointed out, occurs even when there are available curriculums and teachers available.
But even if there were the possibility of our youth learning Yiddish in their schools, would this be a sufficient way to rebuild our nation to greatness? I am reminded of a line in Plato’s Republic where he states, “compulsory learning never sticks in the mind.” I have seen firsthand the frustration of my fellow students when they are forced to learn a “foreign” language, even when that language is “theirs”. The way something is imparted on someone, can easily make them hate it, and become disillusioned. When learning is voluntary, however, you never hear someone yell “I hate this!” following a session of education. Freedom of choice is one of the most powerful motivators of humanity.
The initial re-education of the Yiddish Nation should therefore be completely choice driven. Those who want to become fluent in our great language will only be those who want to learn Yiddish. Those with no interest, will either learn the language poorly or grow a, dare I say, hate for it.
The individuals that make the correct choice should be afforded teachers in their communities, and learn the language in neutral places like parks or dining rooms.
These initial groups will be the spark by which the kindling of our nation is to be lit aflame, to shine bright once again.
The offspring of this group will speak Yiddish as their first language. With that “inborn” knowledge, they will have a huge edge in being able to strengthen our nation in the Diaspora. A granted knowledge of the Yiddish language will present itself as a barrier against the evils of a compulsory education. Unlike their English speaking counterparts, these particular Jewish children will be able to “ride out” a forced Yiddish education, because of the integral role it will play in their lives. A comparison can easily be seen with the English language of today’s American Citizens.
Assimilated American Citizens are raised with English as their first language. They have no choice in this matter, and simply pick it up. Those children the attend schools where their language skills are broadened and perfected. They may not like English class, but their going to have to learn something in order to properly function in an English speaking society. The same will have to be true of Yiddish education.
The advantage to being born a Yiddish speaker is even if one remains, however unlikely, illiterate, he or she will still be able to form Yiddish thoughts in the Yiddish tongue; which in itself is a noble accomplishment for the Revolution.
The construction of Yiddish clubs and other social institutions will be extremely important in keeping Yiddish relevant in this strange land. If life can be conducted just as well in English, then the all our efforts would be in vain.
In our present state, this form of re-education appears to hold the most potential in providing a prestigious future for our people in the Diaspora. With a youth speaking Yiddish as their first language will come all the fruits of a proud and strong nation. A inspired intelligentsia will rise up and led our people into the future.
פֿון װאַרנער באס