Born on July 13, 1939 in Slonim, a city in Poland (between the two world wars), Rachel Ertel is unquestionably the most distinguished scholar of Yiddish culture in France. Yiddish culture filled her with pride from a very early age, and she has brilliantly strived since then to revive and keep it alive. She is the daughter of Riwa Mirski (1916–2001), a former student at the teacher-training school of Vilna, and the daughter of Moishe Waldman (1910–1996), a Yiddish poet. Riwa Mirski is better known as an author of novels and short stories under the pen name of Menuha Ram, an acronym of Rachel (her older daughter), Aron (her step-son, b. 1938) and Myriam (her younger daughter, b. 1949). Her best-known works are Vayter fun trakt (Further than thought), Le Vent qui passe (The passing wind, 1974) and Exils (Exiles, 1993).