Is Yiddish Holy?

Home Coffeeroom Bais Medrash Is Yiddish Holy?

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  • #589269

    ames
    Participant

    yiddish is basicly a mix of old german, polish, and hebrew (I guess now you can add english to the list), and I can’t think of any reason it should have any kedushah.

    #1254432

    zaltzvasser
    Participant

    bump.

    #1254467

    Moshe1994
    Participant

    The only holy languages are Lashon Kodesh (Hebrew) and Aramaic.

    #1254521

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Actually Greek is holier than Aramaic. Greek is the only language where you are allowed to read the tprah from

    #1254554

    smerel
    Participant

    It doesn’t have kedusah per se but the idioms, colloquialisms and euphemisms are so based on Torah, chazal and Torah haskafa that Yiddish has enormous value in that sense.

    To give a random example. (I can think of many, many others)Someone who was picking up Rav Moshe Feinstein to drive him somewhere told him “In Europe (Yiddish) we said the ba’al agalah is here. In America(English) we say the car is here” Rav Moshe commented that this is a very sad difference. In Europe (Yiddish)the focus was on the person (the ba’al agalah) who is waiting outside.In America(English)the focus is on the car and your ability to get a ride.

    Ba’al Agolah is Hebrew so this idiom definitely wasn’t picked up from non-Jewsih society.

    #1254568

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Yiddish is one of the few languages where the Nivel Peh made it into american english

    #1254590

    mw13
    Participant

    Some groups have a tendencey to consider anything that (in their minds) symbolises Jewish culture to be holy. This can include anything from shtreimels to IDF uniforms.

    Personally, I think their being מניח את העיקר ותופס את התפל

    #1254719

    Joseph
    Participant

    WADR, Why should what you personally feel/think have any bearing on what the reality is?

    #1254744

    mw13
    Participant

    ?

    That’s what I think the reality is.

    #1258182

    mw13
    Participant

    …but thanks for the due respect 😉

    #1258416

    Joseph
    Participant

    Always a pleasure to make my point while being respectful. 😎 (Really my point was that, depending on the issue, they could be correct in that it symbolizes Jewish culture and contains elements of kedusha.)

    #1258570

    huju
    Participant

    Yiddish is moly, not holy. Same for Aramaic. Hebrew is holy because Hashem spoke it to create the world. He never spoke Yiddish or Aramaic or used either language.

    #1258604

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Greek is holy because the emperor Ptolemy wanted a copy of the torah in Greek for his library in Alexandria. He then asked 70 Rabbanim to translate the torah into greek. He put the 70 Rabbanim in seperate rooms unable to communicate with other. They each made the exact same translation of the torah into Greek including I belive 5 changes. Like during creation, The torah says “Let us make man” they all translated it as “I shall make man” and the Emperor’s wife’s name sounded like the hebrew word for Rabbit and the torah says something not nice about a rabbit, so they changed that as well.

    Since all 70 translations came out exactly the same inclduing the changes. It was seen as a miracle (and a bad thing to some as they thought now the non-jews could read the torah) from Hashem, so you can read the Torah in Greek.

    #1258605

    lesschumras
    Participant

    At least there are tefilos in Aramaic, I.e.the kaddish. There are none in Yiddish. However, Yiddish has a lot of curse words; I don’t know of any in Aramaic

    #1258629

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    “At least there are tefilos in Aramaic, I.e.the kaddish. There are none in Yiddish. However, Yiddish has a lot of curse words; I don’t know of any in Aramaic”

    There are many tefillos in Yiddish.

    And that you do not know of something is far from being conclusive proof.

    Vdal

    #1258624

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    All languages have nivel peh, Its just the nature of the life and if it doesnt, they will borrow them from another language. Hebrew borrowed them from Arabic.

    Aramaic probably has those words too, however Aramaic today is only spoken by assyrian christians in Syria and there were not many of them before. Now with the Syrian civil war those people are probably someplace else .

    #1258627

    Chortkov
    Participant

    Greek is holy because the emperor Ptolemy wanted a copy of the torah in Greek for his library in Alexandria.

    I thought the Gemara learns it from a posuk יפת אלקים ליפת וישכון באהלי שם. Do you know of any valid source that connects the translation to Greek to the fact that you may read a Greek Torah scroll?

    #1258634

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Nisht, educate me. Name one prayer we say everyday, in a siddur that’s written in Yiddish. I’ve never seen one. A different, I’m talking about a regular siddur, not Tserena

    #1258652

    Joseph
    Participant

    Gut funn Avraham

    #1264212

    YonasonR
    Participant

    Yiddish, in my opinion has some Kedusha, because of the fact that so many Gedolei Yisrael and Talmidei Chachamim used it to discuss fantasic chiddushei Torah

    #1264234

    Chaver
    Participant

    Torah and other holy talk were spoken in many other languages, does that make all the languages holy?

    #1264323

    mw13
    Participant

    Yeah, how about Arabic? That’s what the Chovos HaLevavos and the Rambam’s Pirush Mishnayos were written in.

    #1264401

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Yiddish, in my opinion has some Kedusha, because of the fact that so many Gedolei Yisrael and Talmidei Chachamim used it to discuss fantasic chiddushei Torah

    There is probably today more Chidushei Torah in English , than there is in Yiddish, certainly more seforim today are written in english than yiddish

    #1264402

    Chaver
    Participant

    If Yiddish is holy because its a “jewish” language then Ladino should also be a holy language.

    #1264441

    Joseph
    Participant

    True. Ladino also contains elements of kedusha.

    #1538298

    MasmidInTraining
    Participant

    What’s the צד that it is holy?

    #1538420

    RSo
    Participant

    See Shulchan Oruch, Even Ho’ezer 126:1 where the Remo writes that Hebrew and Aramaic “were both given at Sinai, they were linguistically related, and they are like one language”.

    #1538424

    yrechnitz
    Participant

    ייִדיש איז טאַקע בעסער פֿון העברעיִש, ווייַל ייִדיש האָט געמאַכט אַן אומריינע שפראַכן אין אַ הייליק שפּראַך, און העברעיש האָט געביטן אַ הייליקסטע שפּראַך צו אַן אומריינער שפּראַך.

    #1538418

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Let’s start from the very beginning for a thorough discussion:

    theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/the-importance-of-yiddish/page/1

    #1538487

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Aramaic is holy. The Torah is written using Aramaic letyers. The original Hebrew/Lashon Kadosh was written uding proto-Hebrew letters. When Ezra came back , aming the revisions he instituted ( i.e. laining on Monday and Thursday ) was switching to Aramaic block letters.

    #1539205

    RSo
    Participant

    lesschumras, that happens to be a matter of dispute in Gemoro Sanhedrin 22a.

    #1539216

    lesschumras
    Participant

    technically it’s PaleoHebrew and it actually coexisted in a limited role until Bar Cochba. Hasmonean and Bar Cochba coins have inscriptions in PaleoHebrew .

    #1539981

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    As pointed out above, the argument that Yiddish is holy because it was the language used to learn Torah is flawed because there are many languages used to learn Torah, and no one is going to claim that they are holy.
    I have a different take, inspired by ChabadShlucha’s thread on holiness:
    If we define kodesh as something set aside, separate, then one can argue that Yiddish is Kadosh because it separated the Jewish people from others- although similar to German, it was the language of the Jews, it made them distinct from their non-Jewish neighbors for many years, and also bonded Jews from different regions- at least those hailing from European countries. Same with Ladino in its time. (My father once taught Russian immigrants recently arrived in the US in the 1990s. He was able to communicate with them by speaking Yiddish with some of the old timers, who then translated to the younger ones). One can also argue that as Yiddish loses this function, it loses its status as Kadosh.

    #1540649

    ” many Lithuanian Jews also pronounced the word ‘Shibboleth’ as ‘Sibboleth’. As a result of their enunciation, other Yiddish speakers .. referred to the Lithuanian dialect of Yiddish as ‘Sabesdiker Losn’.”

    #1540799

    In the Sefer B’Tuv Yerushalayim it relates that the Maharil Diskin refused to speak to a certain Talmid Chacham of Jerusalem because he used to spek only Loshon HaKodesh. Said the Maharil Diskin, “For generations we are accustomed to speaking Yiddish, not Loshon HaKodesh.”

    p.s. However it seems that R’ Sonnenfeld later regretted this position.He even answered the Mandate language replying he spoke hebrew

    #1540800

    typo Mandate Language census

    #1540802

    the Debreciner Rav ZL was asked about about english and he replied that our “Yeshivishizing” english suffices to fulfill what the Chasam Sofer wanted. We borrow many expressions from Yiddish, Aramaic (as in l’chorah, memaileh etc) and Hebrew (like mamsh), as well as changing the usage and syntax (The usage of the word “by” in “I was by so-and-so for Shabbos” does not happen in the English language).

    Rav Reuven Grozovsky in “Bayos HaZeman”, regarding making Modern Hebrew our “national language.”brings a responsa of Rav Yaakov Sasportes, a great combatant in the fought against the Shabse Tzvi He relates that Shabse Tzvi actually intorduced some positive, even obligatory practices into Judaism. [Performing Birkas Kohanim daily, even in Chutz La’aretz, was foremost among them. But, says the Ohel Yaakov, even though this is a good and positive practice, and perhaps even obligatory according to Halacha, since its origins came through Shabse Tzvi, we should not do it.

    #1540806

    Rav Reuven in his epochal 1948 speech castigated all in isms of the era including
    Zionism ,hebrewism and yiddishm
    He declared that the yiddisher heart and holiness were seeped into the language
    and Yiddish was thoroughly redolent of them.
    However for some it could be turned into a religion and a foreign Ends in of itself

    #1540807

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Not at all. The Bundists, Jewish communists and reformers were the biggest proponents of Yiddish as a cultural medium. No holiness whatsoever in Yiddish. Moshe Rabbeinu did not speak Yiddish.

    #1540912

    Redleg
    Participant

    RMF’s position was that Ashkenazi Jews should learn Yiddish as a Minhag Kadosh

    #1540934

    Avi K
    Participant

    Winnie, many non-Jews have been fluent in Yiddish. James Cagney picked it up as a boy on the Lower East Side – and used it in two of his movies. Colin Powell learned it working for Jews. An immigrant from Russia once told me that when her mother was sitting in a park the Arab caretaker addressed her in Yiddish. He had worked for Jews as a boy in the Old city of Jerusalem.

    Tie, kol hasoneh halachot kol yom. BTW, some Sephardic groups also had this pronunciation. Apparently it was widespread in ancient times as it passed into Ancient Greek (sabbaton), Latin (sabbatum), English (sabbath and sabbatical), Spanish and Italian (sabato) and Russian (subbota).

    #1540989

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    If that is really true, show me and others the letter or tshuvah where RMF said that.

    #1540992

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Don’t be putting words into RMF ‘s mouth when he is not here to clarify. Prove your statement, RedLeg

    #1540999

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    AviK- just because some individual non-Jews learned Yiddish from their Jewish neighbors does not take away from the fact that they were speaking the language associated with Jews and spoken mostly by this community.
    If your primary language was Yiddish and your neighbor’s Polish, and you spoke YIddish at home, even if both you and your neighbor knew enough of each other’s language to sell each other eggs or whatever, still, the difference in language kept you apart.

    #1541007

    Avi K
    Participant

    Time, when Rav Charlap first came to Rav Kook’s yeshiva he addressed him in creole German. Rav Kook said “Being that you are new here I will not hold it against you. However, you should know that one does not address me in Jargon”. “Is there a mitzva to speak Hebrew ” by Rabbi ephraim Sprecher (online) where he quotes various sources, including RMF, as saying that there is such a mitzva. The Sheeta Mekubatzet even quotes the Raavad as saying that one might not fulfill the mitzva of talmud Torah in another language.
    As for Rav Reuven’s alleged speech, it would certainly surprise Sephardic and Yemenite Jews (as would being called “Yidden”).
    Shabbatai Tzvi did not institute saying Birkat Cohanim in Chul. This is the position of the Mechaber. The Gra and Rav Chaim of Volozhin also wanted to institute it but were unsuccessful.

    #1541083

    TalmudC and Avi,
    It was one of the most impactful orations of the time
    with reverberations

    Purchase a copy of Bayos/t Hazeman
    It should be in there.
    Or ask any Williamsburg , East Side, or similar oldtimer

    #1541088

    ” Moshe Rabbeinu did not speak Yiddish.”
    Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t do much of what we do having developed over the eons. One who however diverts from them[ not out of ignorance but out of contempt]
    Poretz geder yin’shache’hu nachash
    AND
    minhag yisroel Kodesh!?

    2/Chavtzeles HaSharon (I:OH:10) Loshon HaKodesh is only Kodesh if its used exclusively for holy things. That is once you start using it to speak mundane things, its not holy anymore.
    The Rambam writes that a love song in Hebrew is more repulsive to G-d than the same song in Arabic, for instance, because the pollution of the Holy language is an additional crime

    3/Though there were Yiddishistin who spoke Yiddish, they took it from us, not vice-versa (as is the case of Modern Hebrew), and as we do not live in a society dominated by Yiddish-speaking frei, there is no benefit of Lo shinu es leshonam by not speaking Yiddish.

    #1541090

    Chasam Sofer on SHulchan Aruch, OH #65 – reason we do not speak Loshon HaKodesh is to prevent undesirable people from speaking it, and to prevent its being used in impure places.

    #1541178

    Jersey Jew
    Participant

    huju,

    I believe the Gemora says Adom HaRishon spoke Aramaic.

    #1541315

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The Chasam sofer also Poskened that Droshot should only be given in Yiddish, which made perfect sense in polygot Pressberg (Bratislava) where jews spoke all sorts of language as part of the Austrian Empire and Yiddish was the only common language

    It makes no sense in either Modern Day America or Israel where the common language is English or Hebrew (Depending on the country) and most of the people probably dont even speak or understand Yiddish (And probably in Many cases, the Rabbi doesnt speak Yiddish either)

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