Is Yiddish Holy?

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  • #1690847

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yiddish is holy by virtue of it being the primary and exclusive language of Jews for over a thousand years. Even if it is our chol language.

    Loshon Kodesh is holier by virtue of it being the language of the Torah, even if not our spoken language. A language reserved for use only of kedusha.

    #1691047

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    Very well put.

    I don’t understand how this is a argument .

    As I explained in this post :https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/is-yiddish-holy-2/page/4/#post-1562938

    Though Joseph’s post is shorter and sweeter.

    #1691060

    Avi K
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, there really is no single German language but a cluster of similar dialects. Some, such as Bavarian and the North German dialects are quite different. Yiddish is one of them. It is no more a separate language than Yeshivish.

    #1691097

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Yiddish is one of them. It is no more a separate language than Yeshivish.”

    1) I am familiar with all four, and let me assure you that English is closer to yeshivish than Yiddish is to German. (are you really arguing this point?)
    2) yiddish is recognized as a language by many bodies, it has a regulating agency It is a bit absurd to try to argue it isnt a language
    3) Even if it isnt an “official” language (whatever that means) I still don’t understand your point .

    #1691128

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Having a regulating agency actually makes it less of a language. I hate French people.

    #1691292

    LerntminTayrah
    Participant

    “Yiddish is holy by virtue of it being the primary and exclusive language of Jews for over a thousand years. Even if it is our chol language.”

    Mishna brura called it secular. That means not holy. 1. Mima nafshach you’re upgeshlugged.
    2. Mishna brura clearly isn’t saying that so unless you feel you’re a bar plugta you have no mekor.

    #1691461

    Avi K
    Participant

    Ubiquitin,
    1. The Yiddish linguist Max Weinreich said that a language is a dialect with an army and navy.
    2. In Europe it was called Jargon.
    3. Rabbanim wrote to each other in Hebrew interspersed with Aramaic. It was a sign of a ben Torah that he also wrote his business correspondence in Hebrew. This was borne out by discoveries in the Cairo Geniza (BTW, so far no Yiddish documents have been found there).

    #1691514

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Most languages have a regulating body except for one (English) , Mostly because languages are fluid and new words come in and old words go out. Because most of the innovations come from Anglo countries (especially the US) most new words come from english. People will just use the english word and over time the language becomes english.

    If you listen to YIVO Yiddish and Chassidic yiddish you will easily notice this, YIVO Yiddish sounds like a distinct language, Chassidic yiddish is more yinglish and over time it will become more and more english. The YIVO at least tried to make yiddish distinct (but is failing because nobody speaks yivo yiddish, they only speak chassidic yiddish)

    #1691510

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Avi
    “said that a language is a dialect with an army and navy.”

    sooooooo… theyre not the same.
    and again are you trying to convey some sort of point?

    ” In Europe it was called Jargon.”
    what was?
    and again are you trying to convey some sort of point?

    “Rabbanim wrote to each other in Hebrew interspersed with Aramaic”
    Are you starting a new thread?

    “It was a sign of a ben Torah that he also wrote his business correspondence in Hebrew.”
    Interesting, not sure he relevence.
    and also source please?

    You’ve really lost me I have no idea what you are trying to convey.

    Learnin,
    did you read Joseph”s comment? OR just copied it and repeated yourself?

    #1691543

    Joseph
    Participant

    ZD: I don’t think you know Chasidic Yiddishk too well if you think it’s anything like Yinglish. Chasidic Yiddish is very much the same as prewar European Yiddish spoken in Chareidi Europe.

    You’d have a slightly better argument claiming that Litvish Yiddish today, in some circles, is a bit more like Yinglish. But even then that would only apply outside Eretz Yisroel.

    #1691576

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    ZD
    true
    I saw a youtube interview with some yiddishist who notes how she tried her yiddish in williamsuburg, and was told her Yiddish sounded funny.
    She asked for an example of her “funny” yiddish and was told she said “Farmach di fenster” nobody says that we say “farmach di vindeh (window)”

    (Although I’m not sure I agree with that example, the overall point holds )

    #1691654

    Joseph
    Participant

    Fenster is a commonly used word in America among Yiddish speakers. Seems to be a poor example.

    #1693554

    LerntminTayrah
    Participant

    Here is the kitzur shulchan aruch talking about the Yiddish sefer tze’ena ure’ena. Notice no love for Yiddish here. It’s just another foreign language.

    וְאִם לָאו בַּר הָכִי הוּא יִלְמַד פֵּרוּשׁ אַשְׁכְּנַזִי (לוֹעֲזִי) עַל הַסִּדְרָה, כְּגוֹן סֵפֶר “צְאֶינָה וּרְאֶינָה” וְכַדּוֹמֶה, שֶׁיָּבִין עִנְיַן הַסִּדְרָה.

    #1693586

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Sounds like a no-brainer to me that yiddish is no different than French.

    #1693622

    Meno
    Participant

    Sounds like a no-brainer to me that yiddish is no different than French.

    Have you ever heard anyone say, “Pardon my Yiddish”?

    #1693643

    laughing
    Participant

    If Jews are holy then the language they use is holy.

    #1693663

    @laughing Jews in Eretz Yisroel use ivrit. Tell satmar that its holy.

    #1693707

    tiawd
    Participant

    Do you all realize that no one here has defined the meaning of “holy”, so everyone here is discussing a different question? From a halchic standpoint, it has been quite obviously shown that Yiddish is a lashon chol with no kedusha. Does Yiddish deserve respect as a time-hallowed, exclusively Jewish language, which can connect Ashkenazi Jews to their European heritage? I think only those with an anti-Yiddish agenda would deny that.

    #1693776

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph
    yep, thats what I said

    talmidchochom
    “Sounds like a no-brainer to me that yiddish is no different than French.”

    Ah, but if you did have a brain,…
    kidding I already explained why they are different

    Captain
    they are wrong.

    tiawd
    “Do you all realize that no one here has defined the meaning of “holy”,”
    I defined it .
    Though I agree completely with you point , and in fact said the same (though much wordier)

    #1694762

    LerntminTayrah
    Participant

    If Jews using something makes it holy, then a nafka bayis used by Jews is holy.

    Again, please quote a source for that other than “only deniers will deny that”. Your insistence doesn’t make it true. You need a source.

    I do argue on Yiddish being equivalent to French. Rav Yaakov Emden came out strongly against the learning of French instead of lashon kodesh, saying it leads to bad things. It’s mentioned by the Kav Hayashar with the footnotes saying the source.

    Even the Stmar Rebbe only said Yiddish is holy because through yiddish Satmar yidden stay separate from the goyim. The German, Polish, Russian, and Hungarian words certainly aren’t holy.

    There is holiness in yiddish based on
    1. Loshn koidesh verter in Yiddish
    2. Expressions based on Torah, like shep nachas (“scoop nachas”, similiar to hseplefl a scoopiong spoon or ladle ) based on the pasuk in koheles about tov melo kaf nachas , a spoon of nachas is better.

    But none of that is intrinsic to Yiddish.

    #1694963

    Joseph
    Participant

    Lernt: Bingo, that’s exactly it. That Yiddish keeps us different and separate from the goyim is the largest factor making the shprach heilig.

    #1694888

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Ubiquitin,

    Before I get insulted, I see from who it is coming. In your case, I need not worry.

    #1695014

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Joseph, a good diyuk! I like it. It almost makes sense.

    #1695027

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    TC
    I’m glad !

    Lernt
    “Again, please quote a source for that…”

    Found one!

    I saw this online “Even the Stmar Rebbe only said Yiddish is holy because…”
    granted its online so we need to take it with a grain of salt, but hopefully you’ll find the source trustworthy

    #1695214

    LerntminTayrah
    Participant

    So everyone agrees that Yiddish is minei ubei not holy. It’s only holy due to a svara chitzona that can apply to any language, like Judeo-Fez or Ladino or similar. And you can wear a yarmulke and tzitzis and not require Yiddish to be separate.

    #1734927

    Joseph
    Participant

    Rav Avigdor Miller on Teaching in Yiddish 

    Q: The Rav speaks often about the importance of speaking Yiddish. What about teaching in the yeshiva in Yiddish to a class that understands English better; is that the right way?

    A: That’s not a moot question; it’s a very important question. It’s worth teaching Yiddish to Ashkenazi boys and girls because in a certain sense it maintains the tradition; it maintains a certain aloofness from the nations – it shows we are a separate people. However, many times the message goes lost in an unfamiliar language. When they teach in a foreign language so the children who barely understand Yiddish are lost – and sometimes the subject matter is so difficult in itself that even in English it’s difficult and now you compound the difficulty by teaching it in Yiddish. And therefore it’s a question.
    Some children must have only English instruction. And even then it’s a question if they’ll succeed. Because the Torah subjects are not easy. Chumash for some children is a mountain. It’s remarkable how difficult it is for some children to climb that mountain. And then they need expensive tutors. And gemara?! Gemara is the Alps for some children; many fall down and become discouraged – they become disillusioned because of the difficulties of the studies. And if their difficulty is increased by using a foreign language like Yiddish, it’s a big problem.

    And therefore, wherever possible English should be used until the child knows the subject. Then Yiddish should be introduced. Exactly how much Yiddish and how much English has to be left to the teacher on the spot.

    This I want to say however; nobody should rely on the yeshivos. You shouldn’t rely on a Bais Yaakov. Don’t just put your children in a yeshiva and think they’re being taken care of. You must check every week to see if your child is keeping up with the class or not. If he’s not, it’s a danger sign. Sometimes, boys go very bad because they’re discouraged and disillusioned. And so it’s very important to spend a lot of time with them. If parents can’t hire tutors they should tutor themselves. Some mothers with little boys sometimes spend evenings teaching them chumash; idealistic women do that and it’s a very good investment.

    But one word of caution: even though you hire a tutor don’t rely on him. Many times he’s fooling you. He’s taking money and not seeing that your  child knows the work. You have to check on the tutor constantly and make sure that the child is learning.

    #1735091

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    Yiddish is NOT holy.

    #1735103

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Who says it is holy?

    #1735197

    Joseph
    Participant

    Rav Dovid Cohen has a book called “Yiddish — A Holy Language”.

    #1735458

    klugeryid
    Participant

    After perusing all of the above, I have a multi part question
    Next week is shavuos. It’s brought in halacha that we no longer put trees in shul because that has been Co opted by the gentiles for their holiday.
    Now take Yiddish
    Wasn’t the haskalah conducted in Yiddish?
    Maybe I’m wrong
    Yiddish theater?

    And if there is a value to holding on to an old language simply because that’s how we conversed for say a thousand years, why did we stop Aramaic?
    Ladino?
    (Spanish?)

    #1735500

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    Is Yiddish Holy?

    “Wasn’t the haskalah conducted in Yiddish? …Yiddish theater?”

    Those aren’t Avoda zara. A practice taken up for Avoda zara like riasing hands during davening, korban on bama becomes assur that is why trees were stopped .

    “why did we stop Aramaic?”

    We didn’t stop it , it is still used for much of davening . with time it fell into disuse I don’t think there was an effort to stop it.

    #1735503

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    I agree 100% with klugeryid. This Yiddish has been made into some holy language when in fact the most experienced and knowledgeable yiddish speakers were communists, bundists, socialists and others who never observed a shabbos.

    #1735505

    the Maharil Diskin refused to speak to a certain Talmid Chacham of Jerusalem because he used to spek only Loshon HaKodesh. Said the Maharil Diskin, “For generations our custom speaking Yiddish, not Loshon HaKodesh.”

    #1735571

    A present day [ half] maskil:
    Although I’m a Sephardi, I love Yiddish! It’s a soul language that basically defies all principles of what an official language should be. It’s musical and can convey feelings no other language can. I remember that the Roshei Yeshiva called me Lapes Cardeizei, because Lithuanian Jews can’t pronounce

    #1735519

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    the Maharil Diskin refused to speak to a certain Talmid Chacham of Jerusalem because he used to spek only Loshon HaKodesh. Said the Maharil Diskin, “For generations our custom speaking Yiddish, not Loshon HaKodesh.”

    Not to degenrate anyone. So what does this mean. Customs do change and the custom tends to be among most is to speak Hebrew or English depending on where you live

    #1735515

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    What if the rabbi that Maharil Diskin met was from Turkey or Yemen and never spoke Yiddish? My understanding was that the international language of Rabbis was Hebrew.

    #1735619

    klugeryid
    Participant

    practice taken up for Avoda zara like riasing hands during davening
    , korban on bama ????
    What does korban on bama have to do with a. z.?

    why did we stop Aramaic?”

    We didn’t stop it , it is still used for much of davening .

    That’s really wonderful. Has nothing to do with the conversation though
    So is Hebrew for that matter
    Do you think the mahariĺ diskin didn’t say those parts of prayers because they were in Hebrew not in Yiddish? And he only wanted to speak Yiddish?

    with time it fell into disuse I don’t think there was an effort to stop it.
    So why is there an effort to prevent Yiddish from falling into disuse?

    #1735623

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Something to ponder,

    It is brought that a reason “Hebrew “(biblical Hebrew) is called lashon hakodesh is because it does not have specific word for the male female private parts

    As one poster (tongue in cheek I hope) pointed out, Yiddish is the only language whose foul words made it directly into English
    Maybe I’m not so knowledgeable, but I was only able to come up with two such words, both of which are the slang for a word whose non existence in Hebrew is specifically what makes Hebrew holy

    #1735631

    Joseph
    Participant

    “My understanding was that the international language of Rabbis was Hebrew.”

    Written language, only. Not spoken language.

    #1735649

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “What does korban on bama have to do with a. z.?”

    I recall seeing that korbanos on bama became assur, once goyim began doing it for avoda zara. I dont recall a source though, and can think of a few questions on it, so I might be mistaken.

    “That’s really wonderful. Has nothing to do with the conversation though”

    It is wonderful! and id does have something to do with the conversation. You said (and I quote) “why did we stop Aramaic?” To which I pointed out that we didnt “stop Aramaic” In fact we use it daily for some of our most important tefillos, and of course the Gemara, as you may know, is in Aramaic as well.
    Reading understanding translating Aramaic is something taught to religous kids at a very young age today
    So is Hebrew for that matter. I would hardly call that “stopped” In fact that is the very opposite oof “Stopped” Aramaic is very much alive, and effort is made to ensure that it remains so
    Do you think the mahariĺ diskin didn’t say those parts of prayers because they were in Hebrew not in Yiddish? And he only wanted to speak Yiddish?

    with time it fell into disuse I don’t think there was an effort to stop it.
    So why is there an effort to prevent Yiddish from falling into disuse?

    “So is Hebrew for that matter”

    so is hebrew, what?

    “Do you think the mahariĺ diskin …”
    I assume this question isnt geared to me

    “with time it fell into disuse I don’t think there was an effort to stop it.”

    How do you know?

    As for your point to ponder, that was mentioned earlier.

    #1735684

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Ubiq
    This line is genius

    “I guess it’s better to call it Creole German than Chatzi Nazi”

    Why is it genius?
    It’s on topic
    It’s sharp,
    hits the point,
    while being humorous at the same time,
    it’s terse,
    and I’m guessing it’s self made (meaning He made it up here, not once heard it called that and applied it here) .

    And yes I love it too

    #1735696

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Ubiq,
    From what I can gather, the conversation here is about speaking your daily business and perhaps even explaining your learning in Yiddish versus English ET Al.
    To that I asked why push for English? Why did we stop Aramaic? Your response that נוסח התפילה contains Aramaic. Is off track. For whatever reason it was made in Aramaic, no-one I could think of would have the temerity to touch it. So even we’re it to serve no purpose it would still remain in Aramaic. It’s not germane to this discussion at all.
    My comment “so is Hebrew ” was a bridge comment.

    It meant
    So is Hebrew used for much of tefillah. Do you think the mahariĺ diskin who has been mentioned here numerous times as unwilling to converse with a Talmid chochom due to the fact that he spoke in “gasp ” Hebrew and not Yiddish (IMHO the story is probably nothing less than מוציא שם רע on the mahariĺ diskin) Would not say those parts of davening because they were not in Yiddish?
    Or would even you grant that obviously the language used for prayers is not indicative of the correct Language to be utilized for casual conversation.
    Therapy proving my point that pointing out that Aramaic is used in our prayers is not germane to this conversation. (yes the question was addressed to you)

    Quote

    with time it fell into disuse I don’t think there was an effort to stop it.”

    How do you know?” end quote

    I don’t know. You wrote it. I was responding to you.
    Nice to know you are posting without knowing.

    (for the record I speak a fluent Yiddish as well as other languages. I have nothing against Yiddish. It’s a language like any other. The reason there are so many awesome sayings and thoughts in Yiddish is simply because the ones who spoke it were on average the top brains in the world. So of course it will be chock full of amazing sayings. So is Aramaic. For the same reason. The חכמי התלמוד were the top brains in the world. Bingo. The language they spoke is going to contain brilliance.
    It’s not about the language. It’s about the people using and molding the language.)

    #1735697

    klugeryid
    Participant

    And by the way a Bamah was assur when the mishkan stood in nov and givon.
    when they were destroyed it became permitted again.
    Once we had the mishkan in shilo they became permanently assur.
    Zero to do with a.z.
    Sorry

    #1735702

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Also, having an agenda in no way negates someone’s point.
    MADD was started by a woman who lost a child to a drunk driver. She has an agenda to stop other mothers from going through that grief.
    Is she wrong? Should we allow drunk driving?
    Should we not give her a platform to rail against drunk driving because “she has an agenda “?

    #1735723

    Panda
    Participant

    Reb Avigdor Miller clearly says in a recorded shiur that Yiddish has kudusha! And Hebrew does not have! He explains there.

    #1735824

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Reb Avigdor Miller clearly says in a recorded shiur that Yiddish has kudusha! And Hebrew does not have! He explains there.

    There are more than one valid opinions on this topic. Sephsrdic Rabbanim for example might disagree

    #1735819

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    KY

    “From what I can gather”

    You should do more gathering. I good starting point is the title “Is Yiddish Holy?” Not limited to any particular circumstance.

    “no-one I could think of would have the temerity to touch it. [Aramaic in teflla]”
    Would you go so far as to say it is “holy”?

    “I don’t know. You wrote it. ”
    Wrote what? You seem confused again. YOU said “with time it fell into disuse I don’t think there was an effort to stop it”
    I asked you how do you know (that there was no effort to stop it?

    “Do you think the Mahril diskin … Would not say those parts of davening because they were not in Yiddish?”

    I didnt mention the Maharil Diskin, but because your asking no why would I think that?

    “Zero to do with a.z. Sorry”

    Why are you sorry? Aderaba thank you! If I was wrong I was wrong, thank you for pointing it out. (Though I should note you havent actually contradicted my point “Once we had the mishkan in shilo they became permanently assur.” true but why? I vaguely recall a reason given because of Avoda zara, though I cant find it so I have to assume I’m wrong thank you for correcting me,)

    #1735837

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Zahavasdad…when using this approach, you are traveling a perilous route

    #1735843

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    Yiddish has Kedusha but Hebrew does not?? How does that make any sense?

    #1735845

    klugeryid
    Participant

    So we have on authority that rabbi miller holds its holy
    And a משנה ברורה quoted as saying it’s חול
    By the way in ספר ח”ח by the לאו של ביטול תורה He says nobody has an excuse not to learn, because even if you don’t understand Hebrew
    יכול ללמוד מספרים המעותקים ללשון אשכנז כמו צאנה וראנה
    Do what you’d like with that quote

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