Monday, March 24, 2014

Tadition* (for Tradition*)

I saw a local community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof the other night and was informed by my sister, whose old friend from high school was in it, that there were only a couple of Jews among the entire cast. Which really wasn't so surprising, though, considering it probably reflected pretty accurately the demographics of this small upstate hamlet, and the fact that most theaters nowadays don't cast parts strictly according to an actor's race, religion, or even sex. In fact, there were a couple of boy's roles in this Fiddler that were actually played by girls. Nevertheless, we giggled a bit over the goyim hegemony up on stage and from then on referred to the performance (which was really quite good) as the "All-Gentile Fiddler on the Roof." The following night I went to my monthly Scrabble potluck and no sooner had I mentioned the play than I was given an opportunity to score big with the little word Yid. However, seeing as how the Scrabble gods have traditionally frowned upon offensive epithets, I figured it wouldn't be allowed. But I was quickly corrected by our hostess: "Not only is that word acceptable, but somebody else played it just last night!" Tevya the Milkman was prone to crying "Tradition!" at nearly every turn in Anatevka, but even the traditional Scrabble dictionary is now just a little bit less so. So look out, bubeleh, this isn't your father's board game anymore. There were nine occurrences of today's typo in OhioLINK, and 125 in WorldCat.

(Aaron Zebede as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof in Panama, October 2012, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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