Yiddish errors

Yiddish errors

In “In finding a new network…” July 20) I would like to make two corrections to the sentence that reads “In Yiddish, cancer was referred to as ‘yenem machla,’ an affliction from the other world.”

First, the correct expression would be yene makhle, not yenem machla – a grammatical distinction that may seem trivial to your readers, but it is obvious in the ears of a native/fluent Yiddish-speaker.

Secondly, the expression yene makhle does not mean “affliction from the other world.” That would be makhle fun yener velt or something of that nature. Rather, yene makhle simply means “that disease” – the disease that superstitious people were too afraid to bring upon their lips.