When I am in The Heart of the Old World , there is a certain pervasive sound you hear… a kind of omnipresent background music… a gently swaying ‘bed track’ to the place. It is a general all-encompassing soundtrack permeating the entire area… made up from the voices of hundreds of Jewish girls and women.
It is useless trying to explain a symphony with words,. I will at least give you a tiny taste of some of the lyrics. Try to imagine the sing-song tones blending in and through each other, above and underneath each other, mixing and intertwining, separating and repeating, like a Bach fugue.
Those who know what I am talking about are well familiar with the melodies, counter-melodies, tempos and keys. To the uninitiated, I can only say that one cannot describe a colour adequately with words… it must be seen to be fully understood. Similarly, like a Shakespearean play, the words are meant to be heard, not read. 
At the grocery store, on the sidewalk, in the coffee shop, in the parking lot… it binds us and keeps us together. It forms a warm comforting blanket around us.
And now… let us listen… and hear those precious voices all around us…
Boruch HaShem! Im Yirtzeh HaShem. B’ezras HaShem!
It’s all shtuss. It’s just a bunch of shtuss.
Yes, bli neder. Absolutely, bli neder! Of course, bli neder!
Make a brochah, Shmuley. Did you make an after-brochah?
Chas v’sholom! K’neine hora! Lo aleinu!
You hold by that? We don’t hold by that! Who holds by that?
Look at that punim! What a shayna punim! Can you believe the punim on this kid?
Where are you for Shabbes lunch? You’re coming for Shabbes dinner, right?
Where does he daven? What time do they finish davening over there?
She lives in Beit Shemesh now. Ramat Gan. She’s in Bnei Barak.
Monsey. Crown Heights. Lakewood. Boro Park.
She’s engaged? Who’s engaged? She’s getting married!
Mazel tov! How wonderful! They should know only joy and happiness.
Simchas. Only Simchas! Next by you. It should happen by you.
Narishkeit. I’ve never heard such narishkeit!
Really? You’re serious? You’re not serious. You are? Really?
When’s shkiah? What time is shkiah? When’s candle lighting?
What time’s Shabbes over? Come over for havdalah!
She’s a giyeres. They’re baalei tshuvah. Frum from birth.
They’re moving to Atlanta. It’s a very nice community there.
As my Bubbie, olav hasholom, would day, “It’s from fainting!”
Are you ready for Pesach? Oy, please. Don’t remind me!
Where do you get your challah? You make your own!?
I buy frozen gefilte fish and bake it! It’s mamish ok.
We have an aufruffen to go to. I’m at a bar mitzvah.
Nu? Shoyn? Oy, a broch! Vey iz mir!
Zeit nisht meshiggah!
Genig shoyn. Enough, already!
Again with the shtuss?
In the Heart of the Old World, as it is in any Jewish neighbourhood, this is the soundtrack to our lives!
 Bathurst Street in Toronto, between Lawrence and Wilson.
 This YouTube video, Shduss Frum Girls Say, although a comic look at the subject, gives you sort of a taste…
As does the second video in the series, Shduss Frum Girls Say 2…
And how can we leave out Passover Shtuss??…
These videos are the work of Zehava G, whose works can be found on YouTube at…
Or on Facebook, at…
Zehava… you’re the best!
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