We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
During the first day of Hanukkah, two elderly Jewish men were sitting in a wonderful deli frequented almost exclusively by Jews in New York City. They were talking amongst themselves in Yiddish - the colorful language of Jews who came over from Eastern Europe
A Chinese waiter, only one year in New York, came up and in fluent impeccable Yiddish asked them if everything was okay and if they were enjoying the holiday.
The Jewish men were dumbfounded. “Where did he ever learn such perfect Yiddish?” they both thought. After they paid the bill they asked the restaurant manager, an old friend of theirs, “Where did our waiter learn such fabulous Yiddish?”
The manager looked around and leaned in so no one else will hear and said... “Shhhh. He thinks we're teaching him English.”
When in Israel, I told a variation of this joke to my host.He, then, invited me to meet him for lunch the next day at the members’ club of the Tel Aviv diamond exchange.The maitre d’ was a 6-foot tall Chinese man, who spoke in Hebrew, he being the husband of a Jewish woman diamond merchant who’d met him at the Hong Kong diamond exchange.Israel, like the US, is a population drawn from around the world, initially speaking a polyglot of languages, but adopting a common language and culture.
My hardworking Yiddish speaking immigrant grandparents owned a tailor store in downtown Brooklyn.Their presser for several decades was a Black man who spoke Yiddish to the customers.When I was a small child, he always had time for me.I learned as much Yiddish from him as from my grandparents.Famous books by Leo Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish and The Joys of Yinglish, are hundreds of pages of words that many non-Jewish Americans use or hear frequently and are chock full of definitions and jokes.
A measure of the contribution to America by various ethnic groups is the degree to which its language and culture enters common usage.There are about as many Moslems in the US as Jews, yet sadly the only Islamic word most in the US have come to know is “jihad.”