aramaic,ladino, yiddish, Judeo-___ from when & why

Home Forums Bais Medrash aramaic,ladino, yiddish, Judeo-___ from when & why

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #592559

    At what point did Jews start using Aramaic? What language did the Jews in Persia speak in Persia in the times of Mordechai, we find Persian words in the Megillah.

    Why Yiddish.Ladino,Judeo-Tajik (Bukharan, Judeo-Berber languages

    Judeo-Iraqi Arabic,Baghdad Arabic (Jewish),Judeo-Moroccan


    Direct references to Jewish Traditional Sources only please.

    No theories or opinions please.


    Seforim in Judeo-Arabic Gaonim & Rishonim

    Rav Saadia Gaon’s Emunoth ve-Deoth, his Tafsir (Tanach commentary and translation), and his siddur Rav Solomon ibn Gabirol’s Tikkun Middot ha-Nefesh

    Rabeinu Bahya ibn Pakuda’s Chovot ha-Levavot

    Rav Judah Halevi’s Kuzari

    RAMBAM’s Commentary on the Mishnah, Sefer ha-Mitzvot, Guide to the Perplexed, and many of his letters and shorter essays.


    Interesting question, SBT. I always thought it was when they were exiled to Bavel, but I suppose that Avraham Avinu spoke it in Canaan, Aram, etc. Nonetheless, Hebrew was the first and only language until the Dor Haflaga.


    The influence of Aramaic is seen as early as the time of Ezra and Nechemiah- there are several features of these sifrei tanach which show an Aramic influence (eg. the hellter Hei is used instead of Aleph to mark a word-final long a vowel, etc.). Of course, later came the Targumim, which were essentially Aramaic translations of the Torah, and of course, then in the time after the Churban Beis HaMikdash Sheini, in the era of Amoraim, Middle Babylonain Aramaic was used as the loshon hagemara and the language used by the geonim, in addition to Arabic, as noted above. This use of Aramaic arose in response to people no longer knowing loshon hakodesh, which is why I find it rather funny when people criticize translations. The Targumim were a translation of the sidrah being read; the Aramaic was the language used Jewish worship, scholarship, and everyday life for centuries in both the land of Israel and in the diaspora, especially in Babylon. Ironically, the Gemara itself is written in a language other than Hebrew, which people don’t seem to grasp when they go on rants against Artscroll, Steinsaltz, etc.

    People are most comfortable learning and understanding things in language they are familiar with. People didn’t speak Hebrew regularly until Eliezer Ben Yehuda, and even this was Ivrit, not L”K. Torah was learned in Yiddish, German, and whatever languages Jews spoke. I wish that there were tape recorders back then- we would have heard shiurim in batei midrash in a polyglot of different languages and dialects. Even today, most Litvishe roshei yeshiva give shiur in either Yiddish or in English, with yeshivishe shprach thrown in, and in Eretz Yisroel, Loshon Hakodesh is used, as well, although this is not the way things always were, for obvious reasons.

    I believe that we live in a time in which one of the only hopes for Jewish survival is education, from childhood to adulthood. Since a lot of people come back to torah as adults, the problem is that for these people, learning an entirely new linguistic system is almost impossible (we know from research that the criticial period for language acquisition ends in early adolescence). This leaves us with a predicament, and it would be cruel of us to say that those who struggle with language ought to sink or swim in the realm of torah. I believe that quality translations not only of pleasurable seforim to learn ought to be made available (i.e. Midrash, Drush, etc.), but also of rishonim and acharonim and poskim. Sure, you will not produce gedolim this way, but at least we will help people make a kinyan b’torah and understand the issues that come up through the seforim, how the rishonim understood issues in shas, etc. What should be produced, I’d say, are otzar/kovetz/likut-type publications tailored to the daf hayomi, in which the main ideas of Rashi/Tosafos/Rosh/Rashba/Ritva/Ran, Meiri, Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah, Rif, Rambam, Raavad, Pnei Yehoshua, Rebbi Akiva Eiger, Reb Boruch Ber, Reb Chaim, Griz, Tzlach, Marcheses, Kehillos Yaakov, etc. should be made available in a format understandable to people with some familiarity with learning, in English (which is essentially what a rebbe does in a shiur anyway). Artscroll says they are not interested at this point, because they feel such an idea wouldn’t be lucrative. I think that the proper individuals, benefactors, etc. should get invovled and see what can be done. For starters, to make thigns easier, they can just translate what meofrshim there are in the Kovetz Mefarshim (which I know is considered a required sefer in a lot of Chabad yeshivos).


    ? ????’ ???? ?”?

    Very interesting?, well written and thought out.

    I should have been explicit. Was the use of Judeo-Galus languages a product of the environment or was it introduced by the ?????? ????-??

    Oomis thanks for the compliment.


    It’s fine for you to request particular types of responses from other posters but no one is bound by your rules


    Rebdoniel In another thread you wrote “and know iyun in Nashim and Nezikin, Tanach, mefarshim, mussar, chassidus, etc., “

    and you did not come across anything quotable on the subject?


    There is a machlokes in the Gemara about the nature of Aramaic and its being close to loshon hakodesh; in Pesachim 87b, it is said that HKBH exiled us to Bavel only because their language (Aramaic( is similar to the language of the Torah. The Yerushalmi in Sanhedrin, however, says “One who incites to avodah zarah speaks in the loshon hakodesh, while one who seduces to idolatry speaks in the popular language,” the popular language of that time being Aramaic. Even among foreign languages, it seems that Aramaic wasn;t thought of as highly- chazal seem to have considered Greek and Persian superior to it, in Sotah 49b, Rav says, “Why use the Syrian language in Eretz Yisroel (Aramaic)? Either use loshon hakodesh or Greek.” Rav Yosef then said, why use Aramaic in Bavel- use loshon hakodesh or Persian there. Ibn Ezra actually considers Aramaic to be the first language ever spoken, the primordial language.


    The Yerushalmi in Sanhedrin, however, says “One who incites to >>>>??avodah zarah ???<<<<speaks in the loshon hakodesh, while one who seduces to>>>>?? idolatry?? <<<<speaks in the popular language,” the popular language of that time being Aramaic.



    Rebdoniel weote “Ibn Ezra actually considers Aramaic to be the first language ever spoken, the primordial language.”

    Look at wahtt I found in Yerushalmi Megila (while looking for something else)

    ?? ?,? ??? ? ???? ? ???? ???? (?????? ??) ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ?’ ???? ??’ ????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?????


    SBH, I learned that Adam Harishon spoke Hebrew. it was not until the Tower of Babel was being built, that language was diversified by Hashem in order to confuse the builders.


    oomis1105 Yes as per Rashi on ??? ???


    Why did SBH had to find a Yerushalmi. I guess he is not a Chabadnik he does his Chumash & Rashi on Shabbos.

    here is Q I posted a Gateways project

    3340 Babylonian Exile, Daniel. Aramaic becomes Jewish language. Academies of Torah study flourish in Babylon. Autonomy of internal affairs granted to Jewish community.

    I will post the answer when I get it

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.