The Vortsman: Mondays, Thursdays, and Disagreements

As promised, disagreements about montik un donershtik —Monday and Thursday.

The Vortsman had opined that the phrase, meaning repetitive events of any nature, stemmed from the schedule of the High Rabbinic Court in the post-Second Temple era. Hold on there, said former Exec. Secy. Eric Gordon:

“Most Jews know that in shul a portion of the Torah is read every Saturday morning during the Shabes service. But that’s only the Shabes reading…the other two days of the week on which a Torah portion is read, actually part of the upcoming Shabes reading, are — wait for it! — Mondays and Thursdays…”

Another reader made the same point.

To which The Vortsman, a decidedly NON-expert in matters of ritual, asks with curiosity: “Yes, but where did the Mon-Thurs schedule in current practice come from? Could it be from the ancient High Court in Jerusalem?”

Moving on, sort of: Uncle Ruthie Buell, recalls Les Wellins, an AR/WC member who spoke with a thick Scottish burr, delightfully intoning “mitttin drrrrinin.” And another reader thought the phrase discussed previously, in mitn derinen (or d’rinen) meant “just like that.” Not really. The Yiddish for that would be punkt azoy or, depending on context, ot hostu dir (colloq.: t’ostu dir)—there, you’ve got it.

And to put that phrase to bed, The Vortsman was reminded that some Yiddish speakers add to the humor of the saying by deliberately mis-pronouncing it: in mitshke derinen.

Next time, please, new queries and/or disagreements (not limited to Mondays, Thursdays, nor to sudden intrusions). We’re waiting.

The Vortsman welcomes queries—and disagreements—from readers about Yiddish words and phrases. Send them to