Meet the Makhatonim: Understanding Ashkenazic Kinship

By Naomi Seidman

Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute, December 2010

The author examines cultural differences between modern American culture and the Ashkenazi Jewish culture of past generations as revealed by the Yiddish word "makhatonim". The word describes the relationship between the two sets of parents of a married couple. While our culture has words for "in-laws" describing the relationship between one member of the couple and her/his spouse's parents, the author notes, our culture has no words for the makhatonim relationship. She explores implications of this linguistic gap.

Topic: Language, Culture, Yiddish, Family, Marriage

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Editor: Berrin, Susan

Volume/Issue: Vol.41/no.675

Page Number(s): 14

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Seidman, Naomi. Meet the Makhatonim: Understanding Ashkenazic Kinship. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute. December 2010: 14.


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