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    Pro schnapps

    Over the last little bit ive been thinking. Why do we use the language of the goyim??? Why??? Shouldnt we stop with the english and only speak lashon hakodesh?? Let us move on!!! Kedoshim tehiye!!! Yidden!!!! WAKE UP!!!! עורו עורו!!!! Lets make a mecha against this noitzri language. אנה !!! בבקשה !!!!! רחם אלינו !!!!!


    I have heard that the Yaavetz paskens that we should not use Loshon Hakodesh as a speaking language until Moshiach comes. But I just heard it; I have not seen it inside, nor do I know where it can be found, if it indeed exists.


    Modern Hebrew is not different than Turkish or Farsi – it is the language of a secular culture complete with all those things that we want to stay away from. The fact that some of those who speak Modern Hebrew are religious Jews is not different than the language of any country Jews are in where they speak the language of the land. The point is to stay away from the language of the land and only talk the language of the Jew.

    The Radak (Sefer HaMichlol, introduction) writes that Loshon HaKodesh is all but forgotten to us, and all we have left is what is in Tanach.

    Maran Hagoen Rav Elazar Shach told American educators that Yeshiva boys should be taught Chumash in Yiddish, even if the boys speak English amongst themselves. He furtermore said that both boys and girls should learn to be comfortable in Yiddish. He also said that Yiddish is spoken by “all jews” (that is his phrase). He referred parents to send their children to Yiddish teaching yeshivos. And there is good reason why Rebbes and Rabbonim give ma’amarim in Yiddish.

    The Chasam Sofer notes that while Chazal used many words and phrases borrowed from the Greeks and Romans, they never coined a new word, as has been done in modern hebrew, for in their holy opinion it was preferable to use other languages rather than create even a single new word that did not have its like, its example, in the Torah, since it could not be rooted in sanctity.

    The Chasam Sofer EH 2:11 says that in ancient times Jews used to use a modified version of the non-Jewish languages for everyday (divrei chol) talk, similar to what Yiddish is.

    The Rambam writes that even in the days of Ezra they had a translator to explain the Torah readings to the people – clearly, they did not speak Loshon Hakodesh, even before the Churban.


    The Chasam Sofer writes that the reason Jews do not speak Loshon Hakodesh as a speaking language is because it is inappropriate to use a holy language while enveloped in Tumah, which is our current status. The Rambam writes that a love song in Hebrew is more repulsive to Hashem than the same song in Arabic, for instance, because the pollution of the Holy language is an additional crime. If someone wants to store pornography in his house, thats bad enough. But to store it in the Aron HaKodesh is unspeakably worse. So to cause Loshon HaKodesh to be used as a street language, complete with all the disgusting ways it is used today in Israel, is just more of a reason why we should make sure it never gets into the streets. For our Creator to look down at the world and see His holy language – or even elements of it – used in magazines such as are sold in Kiosks on Yaffo or Dizengoff Street, or spoken by the lowest of the low trying to make a sale, is not something that he or we are happy about.

    The Kuzari writes that Avrohom Avinu, therefore, spoke two different languages. One for holy speech – that was Loshon HaKodesh, and the other for mundane speech – that, the Kuzari says was some non-Jewish language that Avrohom Avinu took and changed around a little on his own. And thats the idea behind Yiddish. It is a non-Jewish language that we took and twisted a bit in order to make it exclusive among us.

    Even though there are Yiddishistin who speak Yiddish, they took it from us, not vice-versa (as is the case of Modern Hebrew), and since we do not live in a country or society dominated by Yiddish-speaking shkotzim, there is no benefit of Lo shinu es leshonam by not speaking Yiddish. But there is such a benefit by not speaking Hebrew.

    Little Froggie

    I’m almost sure the notzrim did not speak English


    Other reasons why MH is not the “language of the Jew” are:

    (a) Its origin is actually anti-Jewish. The creators of MH did so because “it is not possible to be a nation without a national language” (see Eisentein’s encyclopedia, ‘Ivrit’). This of course is Apikorsus, because Jews are a nation not like other nations – whereas other nations need a common spoken language, we only need the Torah to make us a “nation”. We are no more or less an “am” if we have or do not have a common language, common food, or common geographic boundaries. The idea was that MH will make us into a “nation like all nations”, in the same way that some fool may say that all Jews should eat bagels and lox because without doing so, we will be less of an “am”. And even though those who speka MH in Bnei Brak today do not subscirbe to this heresy, we do not consider this language the “Jewish language” because it was created to actually change the definition of what “Jewish” means. In The golyon Maharsha, quoted by Rav Reuven Grozovsky in “Bayos HaZeman”, there is brought a responsa of Rav Yaakov Sasportes, a great combatant in the fight against the Shabse Tzvi y”s. He says 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 Halachha, since its origins came through Shabse Tzvi, we should not do it. The same applies, all the more to making MH our “national language.”

    (b) The changes in Loshon HaKodesh that were made, both in accent and content, are unacceptable. The changing of accents from Ashkenaz to Sefard for Ashkenaz Jews is wrong. Rabbeinu Bachye writes that if you change even a komatz to a Pasach in the language, it will lead to heresy. Also, certain words in Hebrew are definitely against the spirit of the Torah. (Ben Yehuda once said that he designed the language specifically to “shtoch” the religious). Example: “Chashmal”, which means electricity in MH, comes from the Loshon HaKodesh word found at the beginning of Yechizkel which is the name of the Angel of Fire. The idea of taking the name of the Malach of AIsh and using it to mean “electricity” was the implication that whereas in the olden days we believed in angels as explanations for things, today we believe in technology. It would be the same as calling penicillin, for instance, “Rephoel.” The Debreciner Rav ZT’L actually discusses if it is permitted to use this word.

    MH does have its roots in Loshon HaKodesh, but its adjustments of it make it the worst of both worlds – since it has Loshon HaKodesh elements we dont want to use it for our mundane purposes – and since it has non-Loshon HaKodesh elements, we do not want to accept it as our national language. So to speak MH is one thing, but to say it is the “language of the Jew” is just not so. Neither is Yiddish the “language of the Jew”, any more than a black hat is the “clothing of a Jew.” But just as the purpose of the hat is “lo shinu es malbushayhen” – we want to dress differently than the seculars – thep purpose of Yiddish is “lo shinu es shemom” – we want to talk differently than the seculars.


    There is no Mitzvah to speak in Loshon HaKodesh. Without the modernizations, its not much of a speakable language (we don’t have that many words). And if you do add in a bunch of words and tweak it, youll just end up with another Yiddish, but based on Loshon HaKodesh, which is only a bad thing, not good, as per above. Plus, the Responsa Chavtzeles HaSharon (I:OH:10) writes that Loshon HaKodesh is only Kodesh if its used exclusively for holy things. Once you start using it to speak mundane things, its not holy anymore. It’s like an Aron HaKodesh – once you use it to hold your model racing car collection and not Sifrei Torah, its not an Aron HaKodesh anymore.

    In the Sefer B’Tuv Yerushalayim it relates that the Maharil Diskin refused to speak to a certain Talmid Chacham of Yerushalayim because he used to spek only Loshon HaKodesh. Said the Maharil Diskin, “For generations we are accostomed to speaking Yiddish, not Loshon HaKodesh.” He saw in the speaking of Loshon HaKodesh a contradiction to historical percedent, which originated based on the ideas in the aforementioned issues. The Chasam Sofer is in his comments on Shulchan Aruch, OH #65 – the reason we do not speak Loshon HaKodesh is to prevent undesirable people from speaking it, plus to prevent its being used in Tameh places. The posek Hagaon Rav Akiva Yosef Shlezinger in his Sefer Lev HaIvri says we should not change our spoken toungue from Yiddish, and he draws parallels with our usage of Yiddish in modern times, to our usage of Aramaic in ancient times.

    What about giving a Shiur or Dvar Torah in Loshon Kodesh? The reason that was not done is because Loshon HaKodesh is very hard to use in a speaking manner – its much more suited to writing. Would you start a sentence with “hinei”? And even when Divrei Torah are writen in Seforim, they add in many Aramaic words and expression, to the point where someone who only know Hebrew but not Gemora language would have a hard time understanding it. There simply aren’t enough words or expressions in Loshon HaKodesh to do that. Its awkward even when it can be done. So since theres really no reason to do it – there is no Mitzvah to speak Loshon HaKodesh – but there is a Mitzvah to understand your learning as best as you can, it was deemed by Klal Yisroel better to use foregn language – or at least a combination of Loshon HaKodesh and foreign language, which is really what is needed to get a complex Torah idea across.

    Remember – the Gemora itself was done in Aramaic – a foreign language, and not Loshon HaKodesh. And thats because it was more easily understood. Foreign languages still are. And the point of the Chavtzeles HaSharon by saying that Loshon HaKodesh loses its holiness when spoken for mundane matters was that doing so is a Bizayon for the Holy language and it therefore should not be done. Historical precendent is valid only when the past generations could have done somethign but clearly chose not to. Speaking Loshon HaKodesh was an available option for them just as it is for us – and they could have created a “speaking language” out of it if they wanted – just like they did recently. The fact that they didnt shows that they chose not to. We should, too. But Loshon HaKodesh – with the Aramaic and foreign words mixed in, which is what is used for Torah – is not really speakable. But it woks best from the written Torah word. Its not a coincidence that after thousands of years, those who finally came up with the idea to speak Hebrew were atheist Apikorsim who did it specifically for heretical reasons – because in order to be a “nation” you need a language.

    Reb Eliezer

    We discussed Yiddish before, where Jews used their own language intermixed with lashon hakadash. The Torah contains aramaic words like ויתא ראשי עם The Chasam Sofer says כי פי המדבר עליכם – בלשון הקןדש Josef showed the brothers that he did not change his language. ויבא יעקב שלם – שם, לשון, מלבוש distinguishes us. The Maharam Shik called himself שיק – שם ישראל קודש. Maybe that is why there is an Artscroll in loshan hakadash. When there was a Forward in Yiddish, the Debretzener Rav, Rav Stern ztz’l was asked, if you are allowed to take it into the bathroom? He answered, the question is if you are allowed to remove it?


    What about giving a Shiur or Dvar Torah in Loshon Kodesh? The reason that was not done is because Loshon HaKodesh is very hard to use in a speaking manner – its much more suited to writing. Would you start a sentence with “hinei”?

    It would be an interesting experiment to spend a month speaking nothing but Loshon Kodesh, possibly limiting it to actual verses from the Tanach.


    Pro Schnapps: Are you going to say not to learn gemora? I mean, that’s not written in loshon hakodesh?

    Reb Eliezer

    The word מאימתי is aramaic instead of ממתי teaching us that Hashem is with the one who learns gemora as the malochim don’t care for aramaic.

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