Welcome to Episode 31 of Hatradio!  My guest is Miriam Borden, a vivacious person, full of verve and a zest for life. Miriam is Lynda Kraar’sdaughter, whom I schmoozed with on Episode 11. You’ll notice the two share a certain melody in their speak and a certain speed to their delivery, generally reserved for those who think a lot. Like mother, like daughter.

I so enjoyed this schmooze. It was full of sun! Full of light!

And indeed, Miriam is a thinker. She is Ph.d student. Her major is Yiddishand throughout the show we speak about her passion for this medieval, 9th century Jewish language, including some of the quirky, uncomfortable, but to-the-point sayings. Check this one out: in response to the question of ‘how are things’ —  mi shlukt yiddin (1:03:35)Jews are being attacked (with a little shrug). Interestingly, Miriam laughs a lot and she laughed at this expression. Why? I think it has to do with her deep love for the Jewish people, and Judaism, which she calls “very rich”, and an acceptance of our plight in history. Despite the fact Jews have been so persecuted, we’ve managed to develop an entire culture, a certain intellect and a major spiritual body of work.

Miriam gets that!

At the 24:50 mark of the show, Miriam responds to the question: ‘Why Yiddish?‘. She says, “I study Yiddish because it yet another way to inhabitmy Jewishness.  I study Yiddish for exactly the same reason I studied Gemarah (Talmud)….history…and that I love Jews…it’s all part and parcel of the same landscape. It’s the same reason I want to educate my kids in a Jewish way.” Interestingly, she’s married to a non-Jew. I asked her how that works? Miriam answered freely.

Herring! At 52:28, I asked Miriam what her relationship is to herring, as she wrote a 2,000 word article, front page for the Canadian Jewish News(CJN). Well, apparently, the article started out as a joke with friends, and eventually Miriam was encouraged to offer it up to the CJN. In the article, and in this interview, we learn about  ‘herring anti-Semitism‘; schmaltzherring versus marinated herring; and of course, the many centuries of this small fish as part of the Jewish menu.

Miriam speaks a lot about food. And she’s a baker with some special and sweet insight into the character of air kicklach otherwise known as ‘nothings‘,  and tsimis,  a traditional Jewish sweet stew. It’s fascinating how she ties these foods into the Jewish pscyhe.

1:00:56:  Miriam talks about being third generation Holocaust Survivor.She accepts the responsibility that comes with it especially as Survivors are dying off. Miriam says we are now the “keepers of that knowledge. We are the living legacy of ‘those people’ “. Listen to her wonderfully crafted description of her relationship with her Boobie and Zaidy, which was very special and a tad wonky.  When asked what she would do to continue the discussion about the Holocaust, she responded, “I  think I’m doing it.” 

1:06:57:  A 5-minute play I wrote called: “Whether to to Save or Not, Jews in our Barn, in the town of Auschwitz’. I did so, in response to the question of: ‘would you be a righteous Jew/Gentile?’. Miriam and I voiced the play. Howard Pasternack, produced the show afterward, brilliantly!!! Listen to this podcast-theatre about the quandary of rescuing a life at the peril of one’s own life, the lives of one’s children.

Miriam was a wonderful interview. She was because of her celebrationof life, her laughter, her full embrace of her Jewishness and her life. In episode 31, we learn about Miriam’s deep love for her family, her husbandand really for all person-kind. And she is having fun.

Enjoy this show. It is truly inspiring, thoughtful and full of meaning.  Lynda did a great job with her daughter. Miriam did a splendid job with her Mom. I have hope in our existence, our world, because of their effervescence and commitment to the beautiful spirit that lies within all of us.

Well done, Miriam! And thank you for a fine schmooze.

Hatradio! The show that schmoozes.


Thank you David Nefesh for the Hatradio! song, and to Howard Pasternack for his brilliant post-production stuff. The make the show very special.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Measured Paces” and “Despair and Triumph” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Credit for music in commercial:
“Slow Burn” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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