Is Yiddish Holy?

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  • #1541324

    Joseph
    Participant

    Can someone be a “Yid” if they don’t know Yiddish?

    #1541432

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Can someone be a “Yid” if they don’t know Yiddish?

    Are Sefardim or Edut HaMizrah Yidden?

    #1542356

    Midwest2
    Participant

    I don’t know whether Yiddish is to be considered “kadosh,” or not, but it sure beats English or Hebrew when it comes to describing people, their personalities, and situations where psychology comes into play. For instance, think of the worlds of meaning wrapped up just in the word, “fargin.” I didn’t learn Yiddish until I was older, but I was amazed at its resources for describing people and human situations.

    #1542643

    From a distinguished Mashgiach
    whose primary mode of delivery and oration is Hebrew
    though he is American born and does on occasion speak and use english for Anglo-Americans poignantly said:
    “In Hebrew it’s a Hartza’ah,
    in English , a lecture,
    in Yiddish [ it will become] a Shmuess”

    #1543652

    Avi K
    Participant

    Time, “shmuess” is actually Ashkenazic Hebrew – שמועות.

    #1543653

    Avi K
    Participant

    I guess your rabbi does not know Yiddish so well. A shmuess is actually a שיחה (in English a discussion or talk) – and is so translated in Israel. There is even a book םכ Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz’ talks called שיחות מוסר

    #1544056

    Avi k.,
    chose to miss the point?
    שיחות מוסר were given over in what language?

    They were typed[ the original stencils had a lot of incendiary declarations that were deleted as per Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz’ s request] and later retyped in Hebrew,
    but for the actual shmuess only yiddish would suffice
    Presumably modern Hebrew is considered [ out come the fireworks] by comparison too shallow/superficial
    particularly with it’s over-emphasis on the latter part of the word[mil’ra]

    #1544095

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If someone grew up speaking Yiddish, then it has a certain “Ta’am” to it, However if your native language is something else, your “Ta’am” is most likely that native language.

    If you did not grow up speaking yiddish, it is about as beautiful as Chinese

    #1544146

    Nisht pooshit
    Participant

    Of course it is but if little kids don’t understand it why should the Chumash have to suffer let the social studies suffer and not be learned

    #1544145

    zdad,
    my mother’s side was avowedly yekkish/western European.
    they held Yiddish is strong contempt.
    Yiddish encapsulated a whole modus vivendi and dialectic .Even for those who were running away from it.Show me something comparable that has crossed the seas and oceans

    small humourous far from Holy sample: the Forverts, Yiddish newspaper publish August 27, 1909 article on baseball for greenhorn immigrants:
    /Translated/
    ..A similar scene takes place every day in another place – in the Washington Heights. And the exact same thing goes on in Brooklyn, in Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh, in Boston, in Baltimore, in St. Louis, in Chicago – in every city in the United States. And the newspapers print the results of these games and describe what happened and tens of millions of people run to read it with gusto. They talk about it and they debate the issues..
    So what are the fundamentals of the game?
    Two parties participate in the game. Each party is comprised of nine people ..
    One of them throws the ball to the other, who has to grab it. The first one is called the “pitcher” (thrower) and the second is called the “catcher” (grabber).

    Each time, the “catcher” throws the ball back to the “pitcher.” The reader may therefore ask, if so, doesn’t it happen backwards each time – the catcher becomes a pitcher and the pitcher becomes a catcher? Why should each one be called with a specific name – one pitcher and one catcher?

    [‘Baseball appears to have been overall one of those rare matters upon which both rabbanim and secular Yiddish cartoonists could agree upon. It is thus with great sympathy that one of the cartoonists working for Der groyser kundes cartoons portray the difficulty Orthodox rabbis in America had in trying to convince American Jewish boys to attend heder. Der kundes, a very popular and very secular satire oriented to Left Labor Zionism, lamented the disinterest the lunkheaded, .., baseball-obsessed Jewish youth. ]

    #1544189

    MDG
    Participant

    “modern Hebrew…particularly with it’s over-emphasis on the latter part of the word[mil’ra]”

    That is the way Hebrew – classical or modern – is supposed to be pronounced. If you need help with that, look at how the taamim are in the Torah. It’s not a zionist thing.

    One of my Rabbaiim (an Ashkenazi) taught that mispronouncing a word in K’riat Sh’ma could be meakev. The example he gave was saying v’aHAVta is past tense (wrong meaning), but v’ahavTA is future tense/command form.

    #1544342

    Avi K
    Participant

    Time, if you have some you can listen to Rav Nota Schiller explain the importance of baseball.

    MDG, for that matter many Ashkenazim say that Hashem was captured (נשבה לאבותינו instead of נשבע) c”v.

    #1544358

    MDG
    Participant

    Another one that he pointed out is after Barechu.
    כֻּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה עָשִׂיתָ, מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ קִנְיָנֶךָ
    Ma-l’-ah haaretz kinyanecha — the earth is filled of Your possessions
    But
    Ma-lah haaretz… — is lashon Bris Milah — the earth circumcised Your possessions

    In any event, I’m convinced that the best way to read Kiriat Sh’ma is by laining it (quietly). You’ll have the right accent and phrasing.

    #1554053

    YosefSebrow
    Participant

    The Chofetz Chaim spoke Yiddish. In siman 307 of the mishna brurah he says on Shabbos you should say shabbos shalom instead of good morning. Then he adds, or say “shabbos tov” like we say in non-holy language. IE, gut shabbos or git shabbos. So yiddish is a non-holy language as per the poseik acharon.

    #1554059

    jew boy2
    Participant

    122

    #1554067

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Shouldn’t it be considered non-holy by definition? We all know Hebrew is refered to as lashon Hakodesh. Yiddish was created so that in people’s mundane speach they could use a distinctively Jewish language that was not holy and reserve the holy language for holy matters (prayer and study)

    #1556600

    baishatalmuder
    Participant

    The Gaon in his igeres hagra that he wrote for his wife before he left for eretz yisroel writes that he has some seforim in lashon ashkenaz, meaning German, even though those seforim were clearly written with the hebrew alphabet. So the Gr”a did not even refer to it as Yiddish , but as German which is what it is

    #1557024

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Yiddish did not have an official language status in the time of the Vilna Gaon, that status did not occur until the mid to late 19th Century

    #1557381

    tiawd
    Participant

    What does it mean for Yiddish to be “holy”? Only Biblical Hebrew is lashon hakodesh, not any other language (like Modern Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Yeshivish, etc.). Knowing Yiddish is very valuable because it allows you to connect with past generations of Jews who used this language and with thousands of Jews who still use it. (This is more relevant if you are Ashkenazi; if you are Sefardi, Yiddish is basically a foreign language). But Yiddish is only a tool, not something of value in its own right.

    #1557442

    Tiawd,zdad,beis,
    Rav Reuven Grozovsky
    disagreed

    #1557506

    Avi K
    Participant

    Bais, actually it is creole German. Agnon wrote a story about a Polish rabbi who went to germany for medical treatment. Every time he spoke in Yiddish the locals corrected him.

    Tiawd, why not learn Judeo-Persian or Bukhori.

    It’s, Rav Kook disagreed with him.

    #1557530

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Given my views on Zionism, Yiddish is not the only disagreement he would have with me

    #1557523

    make a point
    Participant

    Lets be honest….. Yiddish is half hebrew, kedusha Tahara Torah holy sefarim that were written , and the other half is Nazi

    #1557539

    jew boy2
    Participant

    Yiddish Is Holy?

    #1557609

    zdad,
    Could you inform us if there is anything you happen to agree on?

    #1557628

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    One should keep Shabbos

    ITTF , you might want to look into Egros Moshe in Yoreh Dayah about Disagreement with a Gadol

    #1557639

    Shulem Lemmer
    Participant

    According to the built-in dictionary on the iPhone the word Yid is a derogatory name for a Jew.

    #1557637

    “you might want to look into Egros Moshe in Yoreh Dayah about Disagreement with a Gadol”

    How about his derashos at the Agudah Conventions?

    #1557647

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Those droshot were given before I was born in a laguage I do not speak (I can usually understand if spoken Loudly, Clearly and slowly) If it is mumbled I cannot understand it

    #1557703

    tiawd
    Participant

    Time for Truth- Do you have the text of where R’ Reuven says this? I highly doubt he meant that Yiddish is literally lashon hakodesh. Would he pasken that when the Mishnah says birchas kohanim can only be said in lashon hakodesh, it can also be said in Yiddish?
    Yiddish is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is useful to use a Jewish language to prevent assimilation and keep continuity with previous generations, but no language is holy except the language the Torah was written in. I assume R’ Reuven’s considerations were along these lines, not that he held Yiddish actually has the kedushah of lashon hakodesh.

    #1557704

    tiawd
    Participant

    Make a point- Nothing about Yiddish or German is Nazi. It’s completely coincidental that the Nazis happened to speak German. Just about every language has been spoken by antisemites, and German has been spoken by Jew-killers probably since the Yiddish language developed. The German language didn’t become pasul because of the Nazis, nor did English become pasul when the Jews were expelled from England, or French during the Crusades.

    #1557727

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Tiwad, Greek has a special holiness to it because the Septugant was written in it. Its was a considered a Miracle that all 70 translations were exactly the same.

    There are opinions one could read the Septugant (We dont have it anymore) and be Yotzei

    #1557729

    YosefSebrow
    Participant

    As pointed out , no halacha sefer gives Yiddish a status of a holy tongue lehalacha. it is a lashon chol like English. The only question is if it’s holier because it has lashon kodesh and phrases that hint at Torah.

    The question is, what’s the practical difference, even for those who claim it’s holy? Let’s go through each possibility.
    1. It takes between 500 and 1,000 hours to learn a language. If a man asks a posek if he had choice between learning Torah and a language which one should he do, even those who claim Yiddish is holy would admit you should learn Torah instead. Actual Torah >Yiddish, even if you say it’s holy.
    2. If a woman asks , she will be told to learn lashn koidesh instead since it will help out her davening. Yiddish is nice, but a practical language is better. If she already knows Lashon kodesh, she would be better off learning Spanish or something practical. Or she should laern Tanach.
    3. What about teaching Chumash in Yiddish to kids who don’t speak a word of Yiddish, and neither do their parents or Rabbeim? This is obviously ridiculous. There is a chiyuv to teach kids torah. teaching them in Yiddish ensures they don’t understand and is Bittul Torah, forgetting about the terrible chinuch of making kids unhappy in school over a narishkeit. Whatever mitzvah kklusha there is in Yiddish becomes a mitzvah habaah beaveira over the bittul Torah caused by teaching kids in a language they don’t understand. If we’re not mevateil tinokos shel beis rabban over Binyan beis hamikdash, surely we’re not mevateil them over Yiddish. There are those who insist that “the kids pick it up” but practical experience shows it’s not true except by a few iluyim. And even if they pick it up, how much bittul Torah happened before they picked it up? And if you insist on teaching kids in another language, you are better doing Hebrew ivris like the beis yaakovs do, as the ivris will help the kids understand Tefilla and Torah.
    I am aware of a few schools that do teach American English-speaking kids Chumash in Yiddish, but I can’t imagine any daas Torah advised this stupidity. It’s pashut bittul Torah.
    4. The only possible nafka mina to this whole debate is with kids who come from a a bilingual home and are fluent in both, though the kids get easily confused as to which language is which. I still remember hearing a kid ask “How do you say ‘apple’ in English?” While this is relevant in Chassidish circles, it’s absolutely pointless in litvish circles, where Yiddish is just an academic “shtultz shprach” but nobody practically speaks it anymore. Many shiurim in Eretz Yisroel have already switched to ivrit since giving them in Yiddish is a waste of time. Expect that trend to continue.

    I also admit that if you ask a poseik should you spend 500-1000 hours on Facebook and other social media sites like ywn cr or learn Yiddish, he would tell you to learn Yiddish if you’re not going to learn, if only to be productive.

    #1557737

    Avi K
    Participant

    Make, Xtianity is half Jewish. Is it also holy?

    ZD, on the contrary, that day was as dark for Am Yisrael as the day on which the golden calf was made.

    Yosef,
    1. It depends on the person. If he needs the language for parnassa he might get a heter.
    4. My experience is that kids (and adults) do mix languages but also know how to speak in one language.Some kids even speak each language with the proper accent. What is a problem is when the parents speak to the kid in different languages from the get-go as absorbing both at the same time is too difficult for a toddler.

    #1557746

    knaidlach
    Participant

    I would think that yiddish has some kedusha because its a languege used by yidden and only yidden. english is a non jewish languege used also by yidden. but yiddish is a languege that only yidden used

    #1557743

    YosefSebrow
    Participant

    My zeyde a”h learned in kletzk. He tried keeping his house bilingual but it was too hard for the kids, so he switched to exclusively English. He would still sing his Purim drinking song in Yiddish to his talmidim from TA (“Az metrinkt a mashke, zugt min baruch, azoi paskent up der heyligge shulchan aruch” etc, )

    #1557756

    EDGARHOOVER
    Participant

    Yiddish is very holy!
    It was the official language of the Ivsektsia, the Jewish branch of the Russian communist party. It is said that the first constitution of the USSR was written in Yiddish by the Vilna branch of the Ivsektsia and later translated into Russian. (The holy? City of Vilna at that time was full of Jewish communists, socialists, and all kinds of Jewish ‘ists that were strongly against Torah! They all spoke Yiddish!)
    Yiddish is also the official language of Birabidzhan, the “Jewish autonomous republic” that was set up by Stalin in the 30’s.
    In its heyday, there were more than 40,000 Jews living there. They raised pigs, celebrated yom kippur with a ham sandwich, and, of course, spoke Yiddish.
    Yiddish was also the official language of the Bund, the Jewish socialist party. They used to celebrate Kol Nidre night with a party in which pork was served. They were very very emancipated, and of course, spoke Yiddish.
    Another reason for encouraging the use of Yiddidsh is that it resembles German, which we all know, is a very high culture language. German is such a cultured language that Herzl wanted it to be the official language of his Jewish state. So at least we can have Yiddish instead—it’s almost as good!
    I can’t think of any more good things to say about Yiddish, but I think that what I have said above is enough to prove that Yiddish is a very “holy” and cultured language and should be encouraged.

    #1557764

    Avi K
    Participant

    Knaidlach, not true. James Cagney spoke fluent Yiddish and used it in two of his movies. Colin Powell is also fluent in it. Someone told me that when her mother was sitting in a park the Arab cleaner complained about the mess in the Yiddish he learned as a child in the Old City.

    #1557771

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Avi, you’re smart enough to know that a rule can have exceptions, but your mindless hatred has blinded you.

    #1557765

    As most of the recent pontificators have shown up in the past couple of days ,here is a re-post:

    Rav Reuven Grozovsky
    Famous Washington Irving HS of 1948 is brought in his “Bayos HaZeman”.

    Rav Reuven in his epochal 1948 speech castigated all in isms of the era including
    Zionism ,hebrewism and including yiddishists and yiddishism

    He declared that the yiddisher heart and holiness were seeped into the language
    and Yiddish was thoroughly embodied and redolent of them.
    However for many it would be turned into a religion and a foreign Ends in of itself

    [ a translated understatemet]

    #1557766

    Joseph
    Participant

    Ask yourself: what percentage of today’s gedolim are literate in Yiddish. How many of today’s greatest talmidei chachomim know Yiddish.

    Then you know what to do.

    #1557767

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Avi

    It was a fast day when the Septugent was written, however it still was seen as a miracle that 70 Rabbanim came out with the exact same translations including the same 5 changes to the like (Like I shall make man instead of Let us make man) and something to do with a Rabbit that was negative (The word for Rabbit was the same as Ptlomey;s wife)

    #1557823

    BaltimoreMaven
    Participant

    Let’s ignore the poor logic employed by hoover. Not worth a response.

    Allegedly the Chasam Sofer said any drosha not in Yiddish is treif.

    #1557784

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Avi

    your post is absurd. James Cagney didnt speak yiddish in his daily life. sure he picked up a lot to the point where he was fluent, that isnt waht kneidlache meant, and you know it. Also Colin Powell is not fluent in Yiddish by an y stretch, he picked up a couple of expressions, there is a interview with him on youtube

    #1557939

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Allegedly the Chasam Sofer said any drosha not in Yiddish is treif.

    Actually he poskened that all drashot should be in Yiddish, It made perfect sense in Polygot Pressburg where jews spoke 4-5 languages and Yiddish was a common language, It makes no sense in 2018 where most jews speak english or Hebrew (Or whatever the local language is like french if you are in France). Most people would not understand the Drasha given in Yiddish and there is a good chance the Rabbi cannot give it either.

    The Folksbien performs plays and musicals in Yiddish, Many of the actors and actresess are not jewish

    #1558050

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Mindless hatred is a pretty strong accusation that does not seem warrented in this thread. And blindness is a two way stteet.

    #1558023

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    So much tipshus has been written on this subject matter that it is scary.
    Just one example. The Chasan Sofer zy”a was in a battle to keep yiddishkeit from going astray and off the rails. Assimilation was exploding all over Europe and he instituted takonas to prevent or slow down or reverse the tide of assimilation. The Chsasm Sofer utilized Yiddish only as a means to keep Jewish identity sound. He did not attach any kedushah or holiness to this language that only came into existence a couple of hundred years ago. Loshon Kodesh or Biblical Hebrew is divine ((from the Rebbono shel olam). Yiddish is man made. Need I say more?

    #1558078

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Assimilation was exploding all over Europe ”

    i’m sure glad that problem is behind us

    #1558079

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yidden have learnt Torah and spoken in Yiddish for a thousand years.

    #1558120

    DrYidd
    Participant

    md13, IDF uniforms have kedusha according to some recent poskim.

    except for expert yiddish speakers, english contains more capability to express more precise ideas like brisker torah or real theology.

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