Wednesday, June 06, 2012

On Miriam Markel.

I came across this really nice volume on Google Books. It is Hayehudim Be-anglia by Miriam Markel (1841-1920), a terrific translation of that 1861 classic Die Juden und die Kreuzfahrer unter Richard Lowenherz, published in Warsaw in 1869. 

Markel, who was the muse to whom Yehuda Leib Gordon dedicated his infamous Kutzo Shel Yud, gained fame in her time (and since) as one of the few women who were proficient Hebrew writers.

In any case, a nice thing about the particular copy of the book is that it inscribed by the author herself to Isaac Rülf (an associate of R. Yisrael Salanter). So you can see her nice handwriting.

Here is Ruelf:

Another point of interest is that on her dedication of this book to her parents and husband Anschel she refers to him as ishi rather than ba'ali (c.f., Hosea 2:18). Go Miriam! 

Finally, I noticed that Markel translates Cheapsidestrasse (Cheapside), where the tale begins, as רחוב שעפזידע. I guess she didn't know English, or to be more accurate, she knew the sound /ch/ makes in English, but not how to pronounce "Cheapside."


  1. Is she wearing a shaitel? It's hard to tell.

  2. Can't tell either, but it is absolutely possible.

  3. For comparison:

  4. I have this nagging memory in my head of noting (in my head) the usage of איש v. בעל in a context like this and I am almost positive it was on a prior post of yours. I remember wondering if you noticed it.

  5. Joe in Australia2:14 AM, June 07, 2012

    Re: the possible sheitel. If a woman of the period seems to have impossibly lush hair she may not be wearing a sheitel; you may be seeing her own hair wrapped around one or more "rats" of hair purchased from a hairdresser or collected from her own hairbrush.

  6. Seeing as we're on the topic of Jews in England, the following article may be of interest (albeit it relates to a later date):



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