I am curious why the editors decided to run “Beloved language is as vital as ever” by David Klein of Religion News Service (Sept. 17). It is about Yiddish and a summer camp featuring this Jewish dialect. It had nothing to do with Anabaptism, Christian faith or even Jewish faith. It was a light piece about Jewish culture. At a time when AW is seeking to broaden its appeal to worldwide Anabaptists, this seems like an odd choice.
Steve Carpenter, Harrisonburg, Va.
Editor Paul Schrag responds: Continuing a tradition from Mennonite World Review, articles in the Wider World section offer perspectives on the world and faith beyond Anabaptism — usually, but not always, about Christianity. We notice similarities and differences between Mennonites and other religious groups — for example, Methodists debating policies on LGBTQ inclusion.
Anabaptists have our own dialects, like Pennsylvania Dutch and Low German. The story on Jews preserving Yiddish caught my attention because of its contrast with the fading knowledge of Low German among North American Mennonites of my generation whose parents spoke it.
Thanks for the question, Steve. We invite more questions from readers, which we’ll answer here as space allows.