The Loves of Judith/Meir Shalev


The Loves of Judith or Four Meals by Meir Shalev

Wortschatz auf Deutsch und Italienisch/Vocabolario anche in tedesco e italiano – vedi sotto-

The Loves of Judith or Four Meals by Meir Shalev an israeli writer and cousin of Zeruya Shalev. Zayde, which means

„grandfather“, is the narrator of this compelling, if  a bit crazy story. It is written, for me at least, breathtaking prose. The

story  takes mainly place betweenthe first and the second world war in Palestine.  Through the eyes of Zayde we are

shown the repetitiveness of village life. He makes us observe our human nature  and nature such as the behaviour of

crows real close. The mysterious Judith who comes to the Valley after her husband  has taken their daughter to America.

She works for Moshe Rabinovich, a widower, who is still looking for his childhood braid. She  brings up his children

Naomi and Oded and lives in the cowshed  together, especially with Rachel the androgynous cow which she, Judith

protects as if it was her daughter. This Judith is Zayde’s mother.

breathtaking

atemberaubend

qu. che ti prende il fiatto

widower

der Witwer

il vedovo

crow

die Krähe

il corvo

cowshed

der Kuhstall

la stalle delle mucche

What’s a braid?

"That cow you'll never get, Globerman," said Judith (chapter 58)

“That cow you’ll never get, Globerman,” said Judith (chapter 58)

Judith not only attracts Moshe but also Jacob Sheinfeld the canary tender, who is married to the most beautiful woman in the

village, who finally lives him because of his infatuation for Judith and the rich, cunning and rough cattle dealer Globermann

with whom Judith drinks Grappa on a regular basis despite the fact the he continuously tries to convince Moshe to sell him

the useless cow which doesn’t give any milk. Moshe eventually sells it when Judith is absent but when she comes back and

realizes what has happened she goes and gets her beloved cow back due to which Zayde is born in the first place. We ,however,

do not know who the boy’s father is; he seems to be a bit alike all three men in question. Judith dies untimely

and all three men take care of him as if  he was theirs. I would like to cite some sentences from the book so that you can

get an idea of this writerstyle and the book’s content.

I especially love Jacob’s speeches while he is preparing the delicious food for Zayde .

Vocabulary/Wortschatz/vocabolario

cunning

durchtrieben

scaltro

canary tender

Kanarienvogel Pfleger

una persona che si occupa di canarini

cattle dealer

Tierhändler

commerciante di animali

despite

trotz

malgrado

untimely

zu früh

troppo tardi

What’s a compelling story?

Eat, Zayde, you don't have to stop eating to listen, that's good about a meal, that you can eat and also listen.

Eat, Zayde, you don’t have to stop eating to listen, that’s good about a meal, that you can eat and also listen.(chapter 59)

During the third meal Jacob says: “it’s important to do many things together. To work with two pots and a skillettogether on

the stove, cause that way you use the time good.” “Not just in the kitchen,” he added later. “People think time goes just with

them and just for them. But at the same time that you’re milking the cows in the village, in the meantime the grapefruits on

the tree are turning ripe, and the laundry on the clothesline is drying, and somebody’s soul is leaving him really slow.

And while you’re sleeping the earthwormes are working in the ground, and the clouds are slowly sailing in the sky,and a

child is growing in his mother’s belly, and somebody in America is riding on a train to another woman.

And in summer, real slow, the fruit on the roof dries.

So know, Zayde, at the same time that one apricot is drying itself out, a bird has time to lay eggs,to grow chicks, and to look

for a new bridegroom. I read in the paper the Allies are attacking on all fronts. I liked that a lot. At the same time and on all

kinds of fronts, all the Allies are attackingall together. Just imagine, if every one of them would start only after the other one

got through till today, the war would still be going on.”

What’s a skillet?

Vocabulary/Wortschatz/vocabolario

earthworm

Regenwurm

lombrico

laundry

die Wäsche

il buccato

bridegroom

der Bräutigam

lo sposo

roof

das Dach

il tetto

"Look, please, at the crows in the sky, everywhere they act the same way. Here and in Italy. The crows are the wisest birds.

“Look, please, at the crows in the sky, everywhere they act the same way. Here and in Italy. The crows are the wisest birds. Look and  learn how they woo.”

”When Zayde was studying zoology in Jerusalem she said:

“The laboratories of Terra Sanct and the Russian Compound bored me. Out the window I saw the crows gathering and hat-

ching eggs in the thick pine trees, and my soul yearned to climb up and peep into their nests instead of into the preparations

placed under my microscope. “I hate their microscopes, “ she said to Naomi. Everything I need to know can be seen with

an eye.”

 

What’s the meaning of yearn?

to be bored

gelangweilt sein

essere annoiato

to gather

sich versammeln

riunirsi

to peep

kurz schauen

guardare

to hatch eggs

Eier brüten

covare le uova

pine tree

die Pinie/Kiefer

il pino

P1010424

There is also Jacob’s Italian worker and master of imitation, an escaped prisoner of war,

who teaches him everything about the three important activities- COOKING, SEWING and  DANCING-whose knowledge

is a must,  if he wants to win Judith.  He tells Jacob and us the reader not only how to prepare  Zabaione but he teaches

him/us everything about the tango.

“Numbers come from the brain, and the brain, don’t forget, isn’t good for the tango. A waltz is a dance for the brain, a

one-step is for the brain, a Charleston is also a dance for the brain, for the stupid brain, but s

till for the brain, Even our tarantella is for the brain. But the tango that says touch, a tango is a dance for here, here…….

And all of a sudden the POW’s body moved like a broad quiet flash, and he was standing behind his student, his black-

smith’s chest clinging to the back of Jacob’s neck, the strong belly to his back, the big hands to his ribs, and from there

he slipped down hard to Jacob’s waistand to the bulging bones of the loins, and above them he slipped to the sensitive,

scared inside of his thighs. “Here,” He said. That’sthe tango. To touch.”

 What’s the meaning of SEW?

brain

das Hirn

il cervello

blacksmith

der Schmied

il fabbro

bulging

hervorstehend

avanzando

clinging

festhaltend

aggrappandosi

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