Alte Zachen / Old Things
Alte Zachen, Yiddish that translates to Old Things, poignantly captures the memories of the immigrant adjusting to the new world and the devoted if disparate attachment between the young new-world grandson and the aging old-world seemingly irascible grandmother.
While gathering the basics for the Sabbath meal, adolescent Benji quietly and protectively accompanies his Bubbe through the city and into neighborhood stores, where she critically comments on prices, behavior, and everything that seems different to her. Meanwhile, her thoughts revert to past history of exodus from Europe, aging and loss of loved ones, and the stinging regrets she has experienced.
Grandma’s past memories are pictured in faded pastel hues, while the current city views are drawn in the grey and blacks resembling news print. The graphic depictions admirably express the essential emotional background and the simple text guides the reader along this touching story.
The Yiddish expressions are ones I fondly recollect from childhood in an immigrant New York neighborhood, while these words can be translated, the warmth and sense of belonging that these expressions carry may well be lost to those unfamiliar with the tongue. A story of binding love and attachment, not only for the young but for all ages.
|Author||Ziggy Hanaor, Benjamin Phillips|
|Page Count||72 pages|
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