To Orwell Today,

Good day. I was wondering if you could let me know if there has ever been a Yiddish or Hebrew edition of Animal Farm and, if so, would you have images (jpeg) of the cover illustration(s)?

Dr L Luciuk

Greetings Dr Luciuk,

Godcidently, the day before receiving your email enquiring about a Hebrew or Yiddish translation of ANIMAL FARM, I read an article in the newspaper (an obituary actually) about a Jewish-Polish-Canadian translator of 'holocaust survival' books from Hebrew into English and vice-versa. It turns out she's a former wife of Henry Morgentaler who won the Order of Canada for performing thousands of illegal -- and legal -- abortions. See ABORTION HOLOCAUST CANADA'S PRIDE

"Yiddish is my own language, as near to me as the skin on my body"
Writer's work informed by Holocaust
National Post, Feb 9, 2011

YiddishWriter YiddishWriter2

Chava Rosenfarb, a preeminent Yiddish writer who created most of her work during her 50 years in Montreal, died on Jan. 30. She was 87. She passed away in Lethbridge, Alta., where she moved to be near her daughter, translator and writer Goldie Morgentaler. Rosenfarb was born Feb. 9, 1923, in Lodz, Poland, to working-class parents, and attended a Yiddish secular elementary school and a private Jewish high school, where the language of instruction was Polish. She began writing poetry after she and the rest of her family were herded by the Germans into the crowded Lodz ghetto during the Second World War. After the ghetto was liquidated in August 1944, Rosenfarb and her family were taken to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen death camps, where she was liberated in 1945.

She met and married Henry Morgentaler in Belgium in 1949 and the couple immigrated to Montreal in 1950. Morgentaler became a physician and played a leading force in liberalizing Canada's abortion laws. They divorced in 1975. She later married Bono Wiener of Melbourne, Australia. Her Holocaust experience affected her profoundly and was an integral part of her prolific works of poetry, novels, short stories, plays and essays, mainly penned in Yiddish. For that reason, as Montreal writer Elaine Kalman Naves has remarked, Rosenfarb "is the greatest Canadian writer you probably never heard of...perhaps the greatest Yiddish woman writer."

Her most famous prose work is The Tree of Life: A Novel about Life in the Lodz Ghetto. Considered her masterpiece, it won the Manger Prize for Yiddish literature in 1979. The book followed the fates of 10 Jewish inhabitants of Lodz from before the war until after the ghetto's liquidation. While most of the characters are fictitious, some are based on those who were there, including the controversial Chaim Rumkowski, appointed by the Germans to head the Judenrat, or Jewish council. She followed with Bociany, published in Yiddish in 1982. It traces the early life of some of the characters in the Tree of Life, and Of Lodz and Love and Survivors, a short-story collection. Her own English translations of these two works won the John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation in 2000. Writer and literary critic Joel Yanofsky said of her work: "Like all great fiction, it takes you into a world that you didn't know, a reminder of where I came from that I couldn't have otherwise."

Rosenfarb not only felt it was her duty to write in her mother tongue, she felt it was in that language that her voice resounded to its highest quality. As she wrote in The Gazette in August 2009: "Yiddish is my own language, as near to me as the skin on my body. "In my youth, when I voraciously read the work of the great European writers, they all spoke Yiddish to me, because I read them in Yiddish translation." Luckily, Montreal after the Second World War was a haven for Yiddish writers and poets, and the daily newspaper the Keneder Adler ( Daily Eagle) often featured their work. Among her many awards, in 2007, she became the first Yiddish writer in Canada to be granted an honorary doctorate, from the University of Lethbridge for her "significant and enduring contributions to Yiddish culture and to humanity in general." She is survived by her daughter Goldie and son Abraham Morgentaler of Boston, two grandchildren and her sister Henia Reinhartz of Toronto.

~ end quoting from "Yiddish is my own language" article ~

In his 1936 book KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING Orwell spoke out strongly against abortion, saying that if the Marxists/Leninists got their way (in England) there'd be "free abortion-clinics on all the corners". See ORWELL ASPIDISTRA ON ABORTION

That's figuratively the situation in Canada now, since Morgentaler opened his first abortion clinic here in 1969.

Morgentaler - a recipient of Canada's highest civilian award - was in the news as recently as last month regarding his ongoing lawsuit against a provincial government for refusing to pay for abortions performed in his clinic there (although they're paid for in his clinics in other provinces):

Abortionist lawsuit against New Brunwick lanquishes, Times & Transcript, Jan 22, 2011 (The legal battle between Dr. Henry Morgentaler and the New Brunswick government continues with no end in sight, nearly a decade after the abortion rights advocate launched a lawsuit against the province to have it pay for abortions performed at his clinic. A spokesman for the Department of Justice said pre-trial procedures are still in the process of being completed and no trial date has been set.... After knocking down barriers to legal abortion across the country, Morgentaler turned his attention to obtaining universal public funding for abortions. Abortion isn't covered by medicare in New Brunswick unless two physicians certify in writing that it's medically required and it's performed by a specialist in an approved hospital. Morgentaler, 87, has argued that women are being denied full access to abortion in New Brunswick and that such a denial is a violation of both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canada Health Act....An abortion at the Morgentaler clinic costs between $600 and $800, depending on how far along the woman is in her pregnancy, which includes the services of a general practitioner, an ultrasound, counselling and contraceptive advice....

Because the abortion debate stirs passions on both sides of the political spectrum, Wright said governments avoid the issue as much as possible....Department of Health spokeswoman Mary Moszynski said the department couldn't comment on the matter as the case is ongoing. Premier David Alward, however, publicly stated while in opposition that he is against abortion. "I believe life begins at conception," he said. "I was proud to have been part of a government that fought to see the Morgentaler clinic not be funded in New Brunswick. Abortion services are provided already." However, the lengthy litigation has so far mainly sided in Morgentaler's favour. The New Brunswick government had disputed Morgentaler's right to represent women in a lawsuit, but lost a court challenge and a subsequent appeal on the issue. In 2009, the province decided not to pursue an appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada.)

In any event (getting back to your question) it seems Morgentaler's former wife didn't translate Orwell's books into Yiddish.

Next I pulled a book from my Orwell shelf that has photos of ANIMAL FARM covers from various translations to see if there was one in Yiddish or Hebrew - but no luck.

There were ANIMAL FARM covers in Ukrainian, Polish, Japanese, Burmese, Vietnamese, Russian and Swahili. Soon, for the benefit of readers, I'll post the images in a new ORWELL TODAY page entitled ANIMAL FARM BOOK COVERS.

Previously I've posted ANIMAL FARM covers from Italy, Argentina, Latvia and Russia. See ANIMAL FARM DRAWINGS COLLECTION


Then, not wanting to disappoint an ORWELL TODAY reader, I searched the web and, lo and behold, a Yiddish edition does exist, can be purchased, and there's an illustration of the cover at:

Der Khayes-Folvark (Animal Farm, the unforgettable story by George Orwell now available in Yiddish; a must for every Yiddish reader; List Price: EUR 12,00; Our Price: EUR 16,00; Availability: Usually ships within 2-3 working days...). Jewish Web Sight

All the best,
Jackie Jura

To Orwell Today,


-Dr L Luciuk

ABORTION PSEUDO-MEDICINE FRAUD (reader Karol says abortionist Morgentaler is a pseudo-medical fraud with only three years of medical school to his name)

Abortion protester freezing in prison (prayed/held sign outside abortion clinic). NationalPost, Feb 14, 2011 (Linda Gibbons’ story began in 1994...This 63-year-old grandmother must be a very dangerous person: She has spent almost all of the last 20 years locked up in jail....)

Yiddish writer's work inspired by Holocaust (former wife of Canada's abortion founder), Montreal Gazette, Feb 9, 2011

Abortionist's lawsuit against Canada lanquishes (Morgentaler demands gov't pay for abortions), NBrunswickTimesTranscript, Jan 22, 2011



22.Doublethink & 30.Love Instinct & Family


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~