Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates recounts the compelling story of Moishe, a Bar Mitzvah boy who leaves home to join a ship's crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot who becomes his near-constant companion.
From a present-day Florida nursing home, the wisecracking yet poetic bird guides us through a world of pirate ships, Yiddish jokes and treasure maps. The story begins in Spain during the Inquisition, a dangerous place and time to be Jewish, so Moishe joins a band of hidden Jews trying to preserve some forbidden books. He falls in love with a young woman, Sarah, and though they are separated by circumstance, Moishe's wanderings are motivated as much by their connection as by his quest for loot and freedom. When all Jews are expelled from Spain, Moishe travels to the Caribbean with the ambitious Christopher Columbus, a self-made man who loves his creator. Moishe eventually becomes a pirate and seeks revenge on the Spanish while seeking the ultimate booty: the Fountain of Youth.