From the Annals of Narrishkeit

by Noah Kulwin

Covering the Yiddish beat at the New York Times is no easy task, as everywhere a New York Times reporter walks there’s something Yiddish happening.

And yet, some alarming news from the court system:

The [mistrial] decision came after a week and a half of testimony that included reports of cash-stuffed envelopes delivered as bribes, boozy visits to strip clubs and a scheme that teamed a developer desperate to reduce his own likely prison sentence with an undercover federal agent known as Raj.

And the proceedings fell apart because of Yiddish.

[P]rosecutors had failed to turn over promptly to the defense more than 70 hours of wiretapped conversations, about a third of them in Yiddish, and translating and digesting them would require jurors to serve longer than some could manage.

The Yiddish revival: bupkis?

Noah Kulwin is The Awl’s summer intern.