June 15, 2021 8:17 am at 8:17 am #1983224
Philosopher, there are different ways to transliterate ח. Some transliterate it as “h”. Some write “Ḥet”. Some even write “x” as that is the pronunciation in the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. See the Wikipedia article “Romanization of Hebrew”.June 15, 2021 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1983263
Avi k, some Sephardi/Mizrachi Jews pronounce the ח with an “h” sound instead of the “ch” sound and I would like to know which communities/community this pronunciation/dialect originates from.June 15, 2021 1:44 pm at 1:44 pm #1983319
Philosopher, this goes back at least to the time of Chazal (Megilla 24b). According to the Jewish Virtual Library, this pronunciation is used by Persian communities. Interestingly, Rabbi Hiyya was for Babylonia, which was part of the Persian Empire.June 15, 2021 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #1983365
Thanks for the info. So I am deducing from your info that currently Jews originating from Persian communities, Iran and Iraq pronounce the ח with an “h” sound. Some Sephardim I asked said that it’s the Yemenites who use the “h” sound but perhaps I am mistaken, I believe I’ve heard Yemenites say the “ch” sound. However Yemenites do speak Persian so maybe I misheard and they do pronounce the ח with the “h” sound.June 15, 2021 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #1983416
Two Yemenites told me they speak Persian but Google says Yemenite Jews spoke Judeo-Yemeni Arabic, a distinct version of Arabic, so I don’t know what they really speak between each other…but anyway, doing some research, it seems as if the Yemenites also pronounce the ches as hes. I guess Mizrachim, not Sephardim say/said hes.
Anyway, getting back to the topic of Yiddish, it’s definitely not going away and English is not taking over Yiddish at all. Everyday spoken Hebrew is very successful these days as a Jewish language. English is only only a first language for America and Candian with the exception of most Chassidishe.June 15, 2021 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #1983441
Avi K, please be more tolerant of our diversity – I was trying to reproduce his Galicianish .. And it is well known that Moshe Rabienu was Galician because the Torah starts with “buru”. Local Hungarians please correct me if I am wrong here
philosopher – it does sound like a sad story, but then also as a great story. this old man was earning for loshon kodesh all his life, and you should see how happy he was. Can you imagine keeping a dream alive for 60 years through Stalin/Hitler/etc.
I am just inconsistent speller, mostly a Litvak with some Ganzaic/Yakkish and also a Cantonist ..June 15, 2021 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #1983469
Always ask, and here I thought you were a Mizrachi…Are your ancestors from Lithuania? Very few Lithuania Jews survived the Holocaust.
If you are telling a story about a Jew from the USSR then the Galican dialect is not relevent. The Russian and Galician dialect are different. And where do the Hungarians come into the picture. You are all over the place.June 15, 2021 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #1983506
Greater Lita, if you wish – from Latvia – Riga (more Yakkish) and Zhagori on Lithuanian border, as well as Minsk gubernia.
That elderly gentleman was, I think, either from Moldova or from Western Ukraine. You tell me which dialect it is, but he did say “buru”. I can’t forget this moment.June 16, 2021 9:54 am at 9:54 am #1983652
1. Why can’t a Yemenite speak Persian or any other language? The Yemenites I have known, though, call their language Yemenite. In fact, each Arab country has its own dialect of spoken Arabic. Someone once told me that he had an aunt who was a professor of Arabic. After the Six-Day War, she tried to speak the literary Arabic she knew in the Old City market. Her interlocutor told her that he did not understand English.
2. I would imagine that descendants of Persian Jews in Israel use the Israeli pronunciation as that is how they are used to speaking.
3. Yemenites differentiate between ח and כ as well as ק and כּ. The ת is pronounced like “th” in English. This is probably the original pronunciation as this is how it is transliterated in English (e.g. Ruth). Most likely the Ashkenazim softened it to “s” and the Sephardim hardened it to “t”. BTW, originally the Ashkenazim pronounced צ like a hard “s”, as do some Eidot haMizrach. Two of the Baalei Tosafot are רבי אליעזר ממץ (in French it is pronounced Messe) and השר מקוצי (Coucy). This is obviously the original pronunciation as “stadium” in the Gemara is אצטדיון (the א was added because our ancestors could not pronounce a sheva nach at the beginning of a word). There are also some communities that pronounce ד (without a dagesh) like “the” in “breathe” – which is the only way to elongate it (SA OC 61:6).June 16, 2021 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #1983698
Avi K, of course Yemenites can speak Persian, the question is if they are indeed speaking or spoke that language. Persian is not Arabic at all and is completely different. No one speaking Arabic would say they are speaking Persian and vice versa. Perhaps the people who told me they were speaking Persian between themselves were wary of saying they were speaking Arabic. I’m not saying Wikipedia is the authority in everything and everyone but someone who is familiar with the subject wrote on the page of Jewish Yemenites that they speak Judeo-Yemeni Arabic and Arabic is different than Persian and if there are any similarities at all between the two languages, certainly the Judeo version of Arabic is an even greater difference from the Persian language.
The descendents of Mizrachi Jews in Israel have indeed mostly adopted the Israeli accent which is Sephardi. And that’s why I was confused where this accent is from. After you told me that Persian Jews pronounce the “hes” I’ve done more research which and learnt that many older Mizrachis in Israel and some Israeli singer retained the “hes” but most of the rest of Mizrachi dropped the Mizrachi Jewish dialect and are speaking with the Israeli Hebrew dialect. That’s why I was confused where that dialect is from since some Mizrachis still spoke with that accent and some didn’t.
Ashkenazim have a soft and hard ת.
Regarding some communities pronouncing the “ד” with the “th” sound, I have read an article where a Yemenite said that their pronunciation of the LH letters were the original pronunciations and he gave an example that according to halacha the letter “ד” from the word “אחד” in Krias Shma needs to be drawn out but that is only possible if it is pronounced with the “the” sound. ( I tried it but it’s hard for me to do, firstly because Ashkenazim were taught to draw out the ח and secondly the “the” sound is not easy to stretch out but still doable as opposed to the hard “d” sound)June 16, 2021 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #1983707
Always ask, The dialect of the Jews from many Slavic speaking countries like Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and was different from other primarily Slavic speaking countries like Galican, Poland and Lithuania, of which the dialects were also different from each other. I don’t remember the pronunciation of the kumets as in the word ברא with the Russian dialect, perhaps they pronounce the kumets with the “ooh” sound like Galicians (and Hungarians) like I believe you meant to write that the person from USSR pronounced the word buru, did you mean like booroo? I can’t remember, how Lubavitche pronounce the kametz, that would be the Russian dialect. The difference that I know for sure though is that in the Russian Hebrew/Yiddish dialect tzeirie is pronounced as ay like in “they” while in the Galican (and Hungarian) dialect it is pronounced like a fast “I”. Also the chirik in Galician dialect is ee while in the Russian dialect it’s oo. The Galician LH/Yiddish dialect is the same as the LH/Yiddish Hungarian dialect and different from the Russian/Ukrainian/Moldovian dialect.June 16, 2021 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #1983775
I meant Galicia or Galician. I don’t know why it’s coming up as Galican, maybe I can blame spell check here…June 16, 2021 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #1983834
philosopher, we are talking about areas that changed hands a lot…
Moldova is more or less Romania, Western Ukraine (ie Lviv) used to be Poland or Austro-Hungary, they are Russian-speaking as much as Soviets moved population there. I don’t think there is “Russian” Yiddish as much as Russia proper did not allow Jews into the country. After Russia and others divided Poland at the end og 18th century, there was a Pale … You got to be a merchant, a doctor, or a Rabbi to be allowed in.June 17, 2021 3:49 am at 3:49 am #1983912
Lubavitche and Sqvare are considered to be Russian and there many other Russian Jews. They were perhaps prohibited from certain cities, perhaps St. Petersburg and the like ( I’m not sure, I didn’t look it up, I’m taking a wild guess here because you say Jews were not allowed in Russia), but certainly Jews were not expelled from the the whole of Russia.In fact, the Russian progroms were pretty notorious and caused thousands of Jews from Russia to escape to the US in the late 19th and early 20th century. Also, there were the Cantonists, there were Jewish Russian Communists… there was continued Jewish presence in over Russia for centuries.
You are partially right about Moldova. I made a mistake regarding I thought they speak Russian but they speak Moldovian ( or Romanian) and Russian and Ukrainian in different regions in Moldova. I thought they are exclusively Slavic but they not. However Moldova was part of the Russian Empire and I believe the many regions were the Jews lived in Moldova were dominated by the Slavic population and culture. If you do research you see there’s a lot of Russian influence in the records of names, organizations, etc. of Jewish communities. And so I am not saying for sure that I’m right, but I do believe Moldovian Jews had directs at least similar, if not identical, to Russian and Ukrainian Jews.
So being Romanian and close to Hungary it makes sense that they said ooh for the kumets, but for sure they pronounced the tzeirie as ay, not I, and the chirik as uh, not ee, like the Hungarians and Galicians do. Perhaps they were influenced by their Jewish brothers in Russia being close to them geographically as well.June 17, 2021 3:56 am at 3:56 am #1983942
Philosopher, according to the Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East of SOAS University of London there is a sizeable minority of Persian speakers in Yemen as well as Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE. I think that this is probably due to the influence of Persian culture on the Ottoman Empire as well as immigration. It could also be that those Yemenite Jews to whom you spoke are actually children of marriages between Persian and Yemenite Jews.June 17, 2021 8:02 am at 8:02 am #1983963
Jews were allowed in Russian Empire inside the “Pale of Settlement” – former Polish and other territories – Belorussia, Baltics, Ukraine. True, they understood where they are. During Napoleon wars, most Jews were pro-French, while “Alter Rebbe” bet on the Czar, not just because he did not like modernity”, but presumably he understood that his territory will still be part of Russia. He died while running away from Napoleon, I recall… Jews were allowed fully inside Russia proper after Czar.June 17, 2021 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #1984132
Avi K, that is very interesting. I always thought the Yemenite Jews were a homogeneous group with the same culture and language but perhaps that is not the reality at all.June 17, 2021 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #1984136
The Pale of Settlement was the entire western part of the Russian Empire which includes proper Russian territory as well. And Jews lived in Moscow continuously since the 17th century and were never banished form the city. The point I’m trying to make is that Russian Jews were proper Russian Jews 😉June 17, 2021 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #1984228
I don’t want anyone to misread my last post with the emoji. Maybe I’m misreading it myself the wink looks like I’m joking about Russian Jews, but I’m absolutely not. Anyway, I should’ve made a smiley 🙂June 18, 2021 9:26 am at 9:26 am #1984283ujmParticipant
Hungary lost two thirds of its land after World War I. Large parts of Romania, all of Slovakia, parts of Serbia and even a small piece of Austria as well as most importantly for Jews the Ruthenia/SubCarpathian-Rus area which includes Munkatch, Ungvar and other very large populations of Chareidim and Chasidim which became part of the newly formed Czechoslovakia, all were part of Hungary for many centuries until the end of WWI.
The Yidden from those former parts of Hungary spoke Hungarian and considered themselves part of Hungarian Jewry.June 18, 2021 9:26 am at 9:26 am #1984284
Philosopher, there are two main groups the Baladim, who follow Mishneh Torah on everything, and Shamim, who follow the Shulchan Aruch. Within the former group is a subgroup called the Darda’im, who oppose the Zohar and later Kabbala. Some other Yemenites consider them to be apikorsim. Rav Ovadia, however, cleared them of the charge.June 18, 2021 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1984423
philsopher, I do not understand what you are saying. 10 Jews might have lived in Moscow in 17th century, this does not make a community. Until 20th century, those who could settle beyonf the Pale were merchants, former cantonists, professionals. Some were illegally, of course. They mostly continued minhagim of where they came from – Lita or Ukraine. Restrictions were lifted by liberal Russian revolution, but then religion was banned by the commies same year, so there was not much time to develop “russian” minhagim or yddish dialect. what we call “russian Jews” is a combination of previous minhagim with Soviet lifestyle and propaganda.June 20, 2021 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1984724
ujm, also after WW2 Hungary lost more land to Ukraine as well. I have met an ethnic Hungarian who speaks exclusively Hungarian ( and English) and she calls herself Hungarian even though the Hungarian region she lives in is now under Ukrainian rule. There were the Jewish communities in Hungary like Hojdunanash which is part of that region that is now under Ukrainian rule but the Jews who lived that region until the Holocaust, and their descendents, are still considered “Hungarian” Jews since the region was part of Hungary for 1,000 years until Ukranian takeover and so the Jews living there were part of the Jewish Hungarian culture.June 20, 2021 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1984730
Avi K, that was very informative, thanks!June 20, 2021 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #1984734
They were banished to the Pale of Settlement for only 120 years but they lived in Russia for over 1,500 years! 120 years does not wipe out 1380 years of Jewish Russian history and in any case, the Pale of the settlement included proper Russian territory which was in the western part of Russia. There are Russian Jews and they are not Lithuanian Jews or Ukranian Jews, they are Russian Jews. Jews who immigrated from Russia before or after the Holocaust or after the Holocaust were considered Russian Jews and their frum descendents follow their minhugim. There were many different Russian kehillos. I am assuming Russian immigrants who stayed frum in their new lands either assimilated into the Yeshivishe world but the Lubavitche and Skvere ( although very many married Hungarian Jews) retained all their minhugim.June 20, 2021 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #1984786
philosopher, there was no Moscow Russia 1500 years ago, you might be drinking too much vodka. Kiev Rus existed ~ 1000 years ago, that’s where modern Ukraine is. Pale by definition was areas previously belonging to other countries. Lubavich become pro-Russian, rather than Russian during Napoleon wars, still it did not move them from Belorus, which used to be part of Lita.June 21, 2021 1:58 am at 1:58 am #1984812
Always ask, I am not sure what we are arguing about. Are you trying to say that there was no such a thing as Russian Jews?
Kindly point me to where I’ve said Moscow was around 1500 years ago. I said no such thing.
The official state, Rus started in the year 863 on what is today part of Russian proper. However, Jews lived in the Slavic populated region of what would officially become Russia since 1500 years ago. Rus was only partly on what is now Ukraine.
Forcing Jews to the Pale was only for approximately 150 years while the history of Russian Jews started centuries earlier and is still ongoing. The Pale was in any case in the WEST OF RUSSIAN EMPIRE on Russia proper and partly also included land what is TODAY states not considered part of Russia.
Lubavitch was established in the 18th century in what is today Liozna, Belarus which was at the time of Lubavitche’s founding part of the Russian Empire. Belarus was controlled by various states over the years before, including the original Russian Rus, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and other states, but the Russians Empire regained control over Belarus over 200 years ago. Eventually the state gained its independance from the Soviet Union after it’s dissolution. Lubavitche are considered to be Russian Jews.June 21, 2021 8:35 am at 8:35 am #1984831
There are other Russian Jews besides for Lubavitche and Skvere, there’s Karlin-Stolin, non-Chassidish Russian Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Russian Jews, the Mountain Jews, Bulgarian Jews and Georgian Jews.
Current states and borders does not mean that Jews coming from the region where the states changed does not mean they aren’t anymore Russian or Hungarian or other groups of Jew and their descendents for Jews are influenced by the surrounding ethnic culture that was there for centuries and in some cases over a millenium, and these vultures still continues to exist (to some extent at least) despite decades under new rule. Some of these states changed control of government numerous times, again, and it’s the surrounding majority of the race of the people, the language, the food, the centuries of cultures that influenced the Jews as well as the minhugim they themselves adopted over during the centuries living in a particular region that makes them the Jews they are. Current politics does not change that.
Bobova and Sanze Chassidim are still (very much) Galicians despite that today it’s part of Poland and before that part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
Munkaze are still Hungarian despite the town now being part of Ukraine.
Etc, etc.June 21, 2021 8:36 am at 8:36 am #1984836
ujm, thanks for bringing up the fact that regions, towns and villages came under different ruling states while the people stayed the same! While I was arguing about Belarus, I had forgotten that the same happened all over Europe.June 21, 2021 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1984929Reb EliezerParticipant
Speaking of Munkatch (Munkacs) there is joke where someone arrives to the next world. They ask him what have you been doing? He says, I was born in Czechoslovakia, got married in Hungary and died in the Ukraine. So must have moved around? No, I did not step out of Munkatch.June 21, 2021 11:50 am at 11:50 am #1984973
That is a really cute joke. I am sure there are other towns you can joke about in the same way, they changed hands so often. I think the legitimate rulers would be the ones the Jews considered themselves to be, Jewish Hungarians, Russian, Galician, etc.; that is a sure way to know who the town or region belongs too 😉June 21, 2021 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #1985001ujmParticipant
Reb Eliezer, you botched the joke ah bissel. Actually, for many it was no joke, it is their reality:
I have been born in Austria-Hungary, I have been married in Czechoslovakia, I have given birth in Hungary, I have lived with my family in the Soviet Union, I reside currently in the Ukraine,… And I never have left the city of Munkatch.June 21, 2021 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #1985015
that’s not all of Munkatz – I recall they are also in Petach-Tikwa near rehov Chafetz Chaim (that was named for the apartment bought for Ch. Chaim)
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