Meineh Yungeh Yorn (My Early Years)

June 2013HenyaChaiet-100

Yiddisheh kinder hert zach tzu ich vil redden mit eyech hynt fun meineh yungeh yorn. (Listen and I will tell you about my early years.)

Ich haub zich gehaudevet in oremkeit, auber ich haub alleh mol geven tzufreeden mit vos haut pahsert. Der far vos ich haub gehat mein mutters mishpaucheh zayernaunt. I was raised in (financial) poverty. However I was always happy with what was going on. I believe this was because we lived so close to all of my mother’s family.)

Meineh chaverim zeinen geven meineh koozeenez. Mir flegen zen dee Baubeh un Zaydeh kimat yeder taug. (My friends were my cousins. We would see Baubee [our grandmother] and Zydee [our grandfather] almost every day.)

Heint iz ahn andersheh velt. Yeder mensch gait vuh zein parnahseh iz. Mishpauchehs zeinen aus gehsprayt iber der ganser velt. Ah sach kinder vaynen veit avekfun zayer bubbeh un zaydeh. (Today the world is very different. Everyone goes to where their work takes them. Families are spread over all the world. Many children live very far from their grandmothers and grandfathers.)

Heint redden zay offen Internet. Zeinen zeh tzu freeden? Ich freg eich. (Today they speak to each other on the Internet. Are they happy? I ask you?)

Henya Chaiet is the Yiddish name for Mrs. A. Helen Feinn. Born in 1924 ten days before Passover, her parents had come to America one year prior. They spoke only Yiddish at home so that is all she spoke until age five when she started kindergarten. She then learned English, but has always loved Yiddish and speaks it whenever possible. Chaiet lived in La Porte and Michigan City, Ind., from 1952 to 1978 and currently resides in Walnut Creek, Calif. Email:

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