Is Yiddish Holy?

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  • #1561582

    Uncle Ben
    Participant

    הער צו! רבותי מיר וועלען בענטשען

    #1561692

    tiawd
    Participant

    Avi K-
    ומה לגבי אנגלית?

    #1562066

    MDG
    Participant

    My question again is “Can you please help me understand your obsession with the term “Creole German”

    Maybe to drive the point home that Yiddish is basically a bad form of German, and no one would call German holy.
    I guess it’s better to call it Creole German than Chatzi Nazi

    #1562074

    MDG
    Participant

    “Any language which is spoken primarily by Yidden is holy;”

    What is your source?

    “currently this would include Loshon Hakodesh and Yiddish… ”

    and modern Hebrew.

    __
    BTW, does anything that’s primarily Yidden related become holy?
    How about potato kugel or gefilte fish (especially the jarred stuff in slime)?

    #1562140

    cherrybim
    Participant

    As you are aware, a large portion of the Israeli population are goyim and they speak Hebrew. This takes Hebrew out of the holy language rule.

    #1561608

    yosefS,,
    Whatever qualms they possibly may have had with using Yiddish they had even more with modern Ivrit!

    “bistu dingen zich oyf der heilige Mishna Brura”.
    What’s the problem?Plenty do

    #1562170

    MDG
    Participant

    Modern Hebrew is spoken primarily by Jews. Thus, according to your statement above, modern Hebrew is Holy.

    Is a black hat or a streimel holy? Does it require geniza or burial when done?

    #1562180

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Goyim in Israel who speak modern Hebrew make up about 25% of the Israel’s population, so it does not qualify. Hardly any goyim speak Yiddish.

    #1562183

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “1. Yiddish is a relic of a galut for which there should be zero nostalgia.”

    Sadly we are still in galut, as you may know. I assume you will be saying NAchem on Sunday.

    “2. All this nonsense about Yiddish being holy is racist – and I am half-Sephardic.”

    Thank you for your candor. I knew there was some pathological drive, driving this hangup of yours.

    MDG
    “Maybe to drive the point home that Yiddish is basically a bad form of German, and no one would call German holy.”
    Except it weakens that point, since it doesn’t contribute much and just sounds petty and exposes some underlying pathological hangup that is blinding the possibility of objective discussion. I hear making the point once, twice three times, but at a certain point it is no longer being driven by a desire to “drive home the point” as Avi, to his credit, admitted.

    #1562184

    YosefSebrow
    Participant

    If Yiddish is holy because Jews used it in Europe, then outdoor outhouses are holy as well, along with spittoons. Both of these were prominent features of life in Eastern Europe.

    Plenty of people argue on the Mishna Brura if they have another big source backing them up. The problem is, the Aruch Hashulchan doesn’t argue. Neither does the Shulchan Aruch HaRav. And Reb Moshe emphatically agrees to the mishna brura, saying there’s no difference between Yiddish names and English names in halacha when it comes to gittin. The Rema paskens it’s ok to read secular books in Lashon haKodesh. if Yiddish was holy then there would be a similar psak for secular books in Yiddish on Shabbos. Nisht da kein psak. I know the Divrei Yoel said otherwise- he said Yiddish is heilig vayl durch yiddish mir zennen farshidit fun di goyim. But the stimas haposkim overwhelmingly says otherwise.

    Rav YB Soloveitchik switched from Yiddish to English when the bochurim no longer understood Yiddish. I was told by someone who listened to his shiurim that they got noticeably watered down once Rav YB Soloveitchik switched to English, as it wasn’t his natural language, and he had to focus on saying his Torah in English rather than the Torah itself.

    #1562187

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    According to an old NYT article, in the view of Dr. Max Weinreich, who “notes that Yiddish includes a few words from Old Italian and Old French…, Yiddish was invented by Jews who had arrived in Europe with the Roman army as traders, later settling in the Rhineland of western Germany and northern France. Mixing Hebrew, Aramaic and Romance with German, they produced a unique language, not just a dialect of German.”

    #1562216

    drei
    Participant

    yiddish was the language of the gedolim.for that alone it was important as a means of communicating with them and understanding thier daas torah…today this reason is not as relevant.the chasidim use it as a buffer against integration and influence with society.it is also an issue of minhag avoseinu .(RAV SHACH ZTL advised the mir elementary school to retain yiddish as the language of instruction for that reaon) to flippantly compare it to spitoons and the like is plain arrogant

    #1562234

    Non Political
    Participant

    I never learned Yiddish. Recently I discovered the HaRav Chaim Kanievsky has a Daf shiur on the Hebrew Kol HaLashon site, unfortunately I could not understand it. I Had the same problem understanding HaRav Malkiel Kotler at the internet assifa a few years ago.

    And another thing. A yerushalmi avreich told me years ago while learning the Mishna Brura that while the Chofetz Chaim wrote in Hebrew he thought in Yiddish and someone who is not fluent in that language will miss the nuances of his intent.

    #1562237

    Avi K
    Participant

    Cherrybim, many non-Hispanics speak Spanish. Does that make Spanish a non-Hispanic language?

    #1562236

    MDG
    Participant

    Let me be straight forward. My point is that just because Jews do/use something does not make it automatically holy. If you have any proof otherwise please provide it.

    Yiddish i!s, for the most part, German. The Yiddish word for translate, tiesch, comes from the word deutsch, which is German for German. When you say something like “tiech the Gemara”, you are really saying the translation into German.

    #1562286

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    ““1. Yiddish is a relic of a galut for which there should be zero nostalgia.”
    Sadly we are still in galut, as you may know. I assume you will be saying NAchem on Sunday.”

    speaking of Sunday – I hope you – and some unnamed others – will find it in yourselves to realize how your biases and assumptions override your interpretations. It’s actually a much more destructive and halachically problematic issue than supporting or rejecting Yiddish.

    #1562335

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I think the following sums it up best. its how you peceive the Alter heim. Do you see the Alter Heim as a place of tranquility where everyone lived together without being bothered, Keeping Mitzvoth, Learning torah, A Gan Eden so to speak. Or do you see the Alter heim as a miserable place of Poverty, Pogroms etc, the kind of place you want to get away from.

    Is Yiddish Mamma Loshon or is it an invisible ghetto wall to keep people locked in

    #1562351

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    ZD
    I don’t think that sums it up well at all.
    Ive never known you to be so black and white, why either or? Why cant it be both a place where everyone lived together keeping mitzovth, Learning torah (I’m not saying it was), AND a place of poverty,and pogroms?

    #1562352

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ZD,
    Your summation reflects only your biased take on the topic.

    Most people who associate some form of kedusha to Yiddish is because it was a language specific for Jews, and is used as לא שינו את לשונם. It is not לשון קודש though.

    Why people talk about “der alte heim” is not because they think life was glorious, rather because of their מסורה and minhagim that often go back centuries. Which is the prime basis of yiddishkeit, as demonstrated in the first mishna in אבות.

    Now If you think that Mesorah is defined as being stuck in the ghetto, that is your loss.

    #1562354

    Avi K
    Participant

    Syag, Geula unfolds gradually (Yerushalmi Berachot 1:1). Since 5708 we have been in an increasing stage of Geula. As I live in EY I am not in Galut by definition (Rav Kook did say that there are some whose souls are in Galut even though their bodies are in EY but I hope that it does not apply to me). Thus, in my community we say a modified (by Rav Goren) nusach of “Nachem”.

    #1562343

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “will find it in yourselves to realize how your biases and assumptions override your interpretations. ”

    Sadly it is hard to overcome, biases, so I will need your help. Care to explain what the correct interpretation of “Yiddish is a relic of a galut” means?

    how does “a relic of a galut” not imply that said galut has ended???

    Of course a separate issue, that would then need explanation is even if the galut has ended, it seems to me that we SHOULD still l recall the language we once spoke in galut. We can have a yom haatzmaot seder where we open with some yiddish to remind of of the galut we have left behind?
    We can point to some cholent (uch! galut food! and how would sefardim feel) and say “dus is di urimeh essen vus inzer elteren huben gegesen in land fin poilin/Lita/Ungarin.”

    Much thanks!

    #1562364

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is a romanticism for the Ghetto that never really existed

    There is a video that is floating around on youtube of Munkatch in I think 1933 that sums up the ghetto best

    The opening scene is the wedding of the Munckatchers Rebbe’s daughter (I think its his daughter) and the Rebbe is giving mussor about the lack of Shabbos in America

    Another scene is a bunch of school children singing Hatikvah (Actually pretty sad since you know most of them are going to be killed soon and they wont reach adulthood)

    A final scene is a bunch of young people dancing in a circle (Mixed dancing) and singing some sort of song

    Clearly all sorts of people lived in Munkatch

    If you have time you should really watch the video, its fascinating and a brief glimse into shtel life

    #1562381

    Joseph
    Participant

    The ghetto saved untold multitudes of Yidden. It was after leaving the ghetto that so much assimilation starting occurring in Europe.

    #1562385

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “There is a romanticism for the Ghetto that never really existed
    There is a video that is floating around on youtube of Munkatch in I think 1933 that sums up the ghetto best”

    some historians are now saying that Jews lived in Europe before 1933.

    SYAG
    See Avi’s recent comment, “As I live in EY I am not in Galut by definition ” turns out I understood him perfectly well. Though I was wrong, is assuming he’d be saying Nachem on sunday. Avi, I hope you are mochel me for making the wrong assumption about you.

    #1562392

    “There is a romanticism for the Ghetto that never really existed”

    One of greatest tragedies of the Russian Revolution with ensuing chaos followed by the holocaust according to Rav Soloveitchik was that every hamlet,every village, had it’s own dear traditions ,it’s own מסורה and minhagim

    “actually a much more destructive and halachically problematic issue” is the shlilut Hagalut and denigration of forebears

    #1562580

    Avi K
    Participant

    It, do you observe Tisha b”Av. If so you also are against being in galut.

    Ubi, I wrote “a modified version”.  <edited>  although I see now that it is not exactly Rav Goren’s nusach. Basically, it changes עיר to מקדש (and therefore lashon nekeiva to zachar – for example, בניו rather than בניה).

    #1562583

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Telling Bubba Meises of History that never existed is more destructive. When people find out you are telling Bubba Meises and not the truth they will question other things you have said

    #1562716

    zdad,
    “Telling Bubba Meises”
    Is this relevant to the discussion? How?

    #1562740

    MDG
    Participant

    “Is this relevant to the discussion? How?”

    The romanticizing of the shtetel and yiddish and all things in the alter heim. Most of us would not want to live there nor live like that.

    #1562764

    Joseph
    Participant

    “Most of us would not want to live there nor live like that.”

    And you’re all the poorer for it. Perhaps not materially poorer but certainly spiritually poorer. And spiritual is far far more important than material.

    The shtetl is head and shoulders better for a Jew than American city life. And Yiddish is far better than English.

    Spiritually speaking, of course.

    #1562794

    MDG ,zdad,

    EVERYONE finds somewhere, some place, some time to romanticize and wax nostalgic for
    “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”
    And most of those were a lot worse relative to the alter heim

    Does it scare you that some might recover a sense of what was lost?

    On a final note,Some backgrounds have indeed less than others to wax nostalgic for .

    Edited!

    #1562844

    MDG
    Participant

    “EVERYONE finds somewhere, some place, some time to romanticize and wax nostalgic for”

    There is a difference between nostalgia and declaring something kodesh.

    #1562845

    Avi K
    Participant

    I thought that old (new) home is Eretz Yisrael. I guess some people have intention for the Pale of Settlement when they ask Hashem to bring us back to our land.

    #1562926

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There was a reason millions of Jews left the Alter Heim for the Goldena Medina and millions of other left the Shtel for the big citiies like warsaw, Vienna and others . A hundreds of thousands left for Palestine in the 1920’s

    If life was so good there why did millions leave? People dont leave Gan Eden

    #1563027

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Munkatch was not a shtetel .
    While life was difficult is the small Jewish villages, life was difficult in rural America as well during those years.
    I’m wondering if you who are bitter concerning Yiddish would have the same opinion if you had the good fortune to understand and converse in this wonderful shprach.

    #1562938

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    ZD

    “If life was so good there why did millions leave? People dont leave Gan Eden”

    I’m sorry, you arent making any sense, and you keep replying to strawmen. Nobody said life there was so good. Nobody said everybody in the shtetl was frum (certainly not in the 20th century), nobody said it was “place of tranquility where everyone lived together without being bothered,” (well aside from you).

    As for the subject at hand. I never answered the actual question “Is Yiddish holy” simply because I’m not quite sure what holy means. Rishonim explain what makes LAshon Hakodesh holy (has no bad words, was used to create the world) none of which apply to yiddish.
    However we do use Kedusha in other senses as well. for example burial places of Tzadikim are reffered to as “mekomos hakedoshim” Of course halachicly they are cemeteries and thus the exact opposite of “kedusha” according to most (all?) poskim it is assur for Kohanim to go to these “mekomos hakedoshim” Concentration camps, are often also included in the term “mekomos hakedoshim” I think the average guy on the street would find it odd to refer to a gas chamber as “holy” but there is something special? sacred? about it, that has (or should have) meaning to us.
    Yiddish was the Jewish language for about 1000 years (give or take depending on your source) . That makes it special? sacred? important? How can it not sure it wasnt used exclusivly used for “holy” talk but it was used by holy people, were all of them frum as some posters claim others are claiming, of course not, but as a group it was spoken by the am hanivchar, it is unquestionably a Jewish language, the jews being a holy people, we have consecrated it making it holy (or scared/important/special since I’m not clear on what exactly holy means.

    (A few quick points to try to avoid silly responses: note I never said language of all Jews. I never said all Jews were religious (or holy), I never said only Jews spoke it, I dont think the source of the language matters (a cow isn’t holy yet a sefer Torah is), I never said it is more holy/important/sacred than limud torah,)

    #1563170

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Let me understand this. If holy people use something, or in this instance Yiddish, then it assumes a level of holiness?
    So a shtreimel is considered holy? A bieber hat is holy? A pair of pants are holy?

    #1563133

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Ich Vishtas Mamma Loshon Besser vi mein Redn

    #1563129

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Actually I understand Yiddish decently if spoken slowly. I can also speak simple sentances in it

    #1563122

    akuperma
    Participant

    Yiddish (and all other Jewish dialects) are the local goyim’s language written in Hebrew letters. Written in the Roman (or other original script), they are just mere dialects of the goyim’s langauges.

    Should the real question be, “Is HEBREW SCRIPT” holy?

    #1563249

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    akuperma
    “Should the real question be, “Is HEBREW SCRIPT” holy?”

    now that’s a good question.
    Like yiddish I’m still not sure it is “holy” (again because I’m not sure what holy means)
    but I’m curious what other posters have to say regarding hebrew script.

    I’m curious if anyone says “Hebrew script” is holy but Yiddish isnt and why the distinction (aside from those wh o just have a visceral hatred of Yiddish )

    #1563247

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “If holy people use something, … then it assumes a level of holiness?”

    Sure! I dont think thats controversial. (though again i’m not sure what “holliness” means, if you prefer special/important/sacred perhaps thhat is a better descriptor)

    “So a shtreimel is considered holy?”
    Whose? Moshe Rabbeinu’s? sure! A Klal yisroel’s? All the more so. Though An individual shtreimel isnt quite the same as a language all of our ancestors spoke, And while not nearly as old nor as universal as Yiddish, i’d be willing to concede that there is some “holliness” to the tzura of a shtreimel

    “A bieber hat is holy?”
    ditto

    ” A pair of pants are holy?”
    I don’t follow, why?

    “Yiddish (and all other Jewish dialects) are the local goyim’s language written in Hebrew letters”
    Um no.
    I showed ZD’s sentence “Ich Vishtas Mamma Loshon Besser vi mein Redn” to a collegue )one of the “local goyim” he couldnt understand a word of it (though to be fair I do speak yiddish, and had some trouble)

    #1563259

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Because holy people wear pants. Following the earlier logic, that should make trousers holy.

    #1563261

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Ich – I
    Vishtas – Understand
    Mamma Loshon – Literary Mother tounge, but really means Yiddish
    besser – better
    Vi – than
    mein – my
    Redn – Speak (I could be wrong about this word as I wasnt sure if the word was Redn or Zogn or something else)

    #1563484

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Because holy people wear pants. Following the earlier logic, that should make trousers holy.”

    sigh, doesn’t everyone wear pants?

    ZD
    “Vishtas – Understand”
    Not in any dialect I’m familiar with. The more common word is “פֿאַרשטיי” or “farshtey”
    In context though I got it

    #1563530

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Like I said, I understand it much better than I can speak it, Its one of the few languges I can pick up words just by listening and figure out what they mean without it sounding like a jumble, but anyone who spoke the language would figure out quickly I cannot speak it very well , I probably could learn to speak it fairly quickly without much difficulty if it was possible to immerse myself.

    When I was smaller all the old people spoke it so I used to hear it alot

    #1563559

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Ubiquitin,

    That is exactly the point. Everybody wears pants so there is no intrinsic holiness in pants. Everybody speaks Yiddish, regardless of level of religious observance. That is why this discussion as absurd as it is is made more absurd by those continuing to post comments that are repetitive, boring, and lack intelligence.

    #1563778

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Everybody wears pants so there is no intrinsic holiness in pants. ”

    Its hard not to be repetitive when the same questions are asked over and over. and I asked so nicely not to repeat the same silly arguments that have been replied to (for example “A few quick points to try to avoid silly responses: …. I never said all Jews were religious (or holy), ” You certainly can’t fault me for not trying.

    you are without question free to disagree, but please dont repeat the same things that have been addressed over and over, and certainly dont repeat them and then say I’m being repetitive.

    thanks

    “That is why this discussion as absurd as it is is made more absurd by those continuing to post comments that are repetitive, boring, and lack intelligence.”

    nu nu, so zei gezunt and stop hocking ah cheinik (see another example of why yiddish is great)

    #1563862

    Athos
    Participant

    There is nothing holy about Yiddish, a Gemanic based language. And there is nothing holy about Ladino, a Spanish based language. And anyone who says there is is an ignoramus of unbelievable proportion who neither comprehends kedusha, or why Hebrew is holy to begin with.

    And black and white are not holy colors, nor are hats of any kind, suits of any kind, ties of any kind, or shoes of any kind. And the Torah doesn’t believe in magic underwear either.

    #1563874

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “nor are hats of any kind”

    Are you sure?
    Because see shemos 28:2

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