August 22, 2022 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #2117372
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.August 22, 2022 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #2117374
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.August 22, 2022 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #2117398
And around and around we go .
Lashon kodesh isn’t ivrit, and even if they were the same, leshitas ha, Jews didn’t speak lashon kodesh either, as ujm citedAugust 22, 2022 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #2117421
I mean you can always give scary examples of what words to use or not. Even the English language changed because peoples dialect changes over time. Even the Nach has a simpler lashon than Torah doesnt it?
“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.”
-If he said its forgotten to us then how did anyone change it to modern hebrew? What does modern hebrew come from if not ancient hebrew since you say its a made up language? Also if its a made up language then whats the problem using it its mundane right? How did people invent a lanaguage only 70 years ago?
Was English also reinvented from Old English? Also you still didnt answer why basically all Tzaddikim books are in what you call modern ivrit? On one hand you say they destroyed the lashon and created a modern version, on the other hand you said its a completely made up language -from thin air?Other posters are bringing up Rambam, if Rambam spoke about modern ivrit then its not that modern is it? What language did the Rambam write in?
I understand that modern hebrew isnt the same as Torah hebrew, but its pretty close, i mean a native hebrew speaker can read and understand Torah much more than someone who doesnt know hebrew. How can the accent not change? Even Yiddish speakers have different accents based on the country they came from. And words are basically the same as in Torah but of course you will have some slangs in modern hebrew or a few different meanings for words that were changed around.
Im basically just trying to understand how you can say hebrew is an entirely different language if its 90% the same as in Torah. Also if the zionists wanted to create a new language why did they base it on Torah and not just create a totally new language or base it on latin or something? Isnt Yiddish also based on lashon hakodesh so how is that considered a mundane language thats allowed to be spoken? And you mention lo shinu es leshonam, Yiddish sure sounds like it was Shinu from lashon hakodesh.August 22, 2022 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #2117422
“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.””
-perhaps, but also in the second Churban it was said perhaps it shouldnt be brought as a korban so that Yidden dont think its muttar, and that choice lead to what? There are always disagreements amongst poskim.August 22, 2022 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm #2117426
“Lashon kodesh isn’t ivrit, and even if they were the same, leshitas ha, Jews didn’t speak lashon kodesh either, as ujm cited”
So they spoke Aramaic? Ok then why Tzaddikim books and teshuvos on questions all in modern ivrit then?August 22, 2022 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm #2117427
I’m starting to remember why i stopped writing thought-out, detailed replies. People don’t read them.August 22, 2022 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #2117439
Avira, I read them. (And I’m sure I’m not the only one.)August 22, 2022 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #2117452GadolhadorahParticipant
AD: Generally speaking, its easier to respond to your own questions rather than addressing the OP or subsequent on-topic responses, no matter how well thought-out and reasoned.August 22, 2022 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #2117455
I presume Moshe, Shmuel, David spoke some sort of Hebrew despite it being a difficult language to talk in?!
also, you are looking at it from your own perspective. how about several millions of Jews who did not master Gemora? Israeli Jews have a way higher chance of eventually finding their home than American. and Ivrit is part of that.August 22, 2022 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm #2117475
Ujm, thank you; i also wasn’t active here for a while because of other commitments, and i didn’t have anything to contribute to most of what was being discussed eitherAugust 23, 2022 11:25 am at 11:25 am #2117624
Name me one place in the world outside of Israel where Hebrew is spoken in the street by the massesAugust 23, 2022 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #2117696
Common saychel, why are seforim all written out in Hebrew if its an invented language?August 23, 2022 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #2117761
@rightwriter, read what I am writing and answer that, I never said anything about seforimAugust 23, 2022 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #2117776
RW: You keep confusing Ivrit with Loshon Kodesh. Different languages.August 24, 2022 3:02 am at 3:02 am #2117937
Ok ujm old and newer seforim and letters from tzadikkim are written in ivrit are they not? How could that be if it’s an invented language?August 24, 2022 7:16 am at 7:16 am #2117957August 24, 2022 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #2118040
@common saychel, Im not understanding your question. Hebrew is unique to Jews why would it be spoken in other countries by the nations? What did Jews speak before Ladino and Yiddish were invented?
Here is a quote”Hebrew is a Middle Eastern language that can be traced back to over 3,000 years ago, while Yiddish is a language which originated in Europe, in the Rhineland (the loosely defined area of Western Germany), over 800 years ago, eventually spreading to eastern and central Europe.”
I understand that the Hebrew we speak today is more modern, but how can you say its a new invented language? If it was invented how can Hebrew speakers understand 98% of the Torah with only select words that are more ancient/old/formal?
Britannica-” Hebrew was supplanted by the western dialect of Aramaic beginning about the 3rd century bce; the language continued to be used as a liturgical and literary language, however. It was revived as a spoken language in the 19th and 20th centuries and is the official language of Israel.”
Ok so they are saying Aramaic was spoken, but again that Hebrew was revived not reinvented. They do write about how some words were given different meaning, but also we see a difference between Torah text, to Nach, and to Mishna. So did the Hebrew language anyway evolve into a more modern and simpler dialect?
Again even if you say that Seforim were written in Hebrew but Hebrew was not spoken, why did they choose to write seforim in “Modern Ivrit” and not in Lashon Hakodesh?August 24, 2022 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #2118115
@rightwrier, my question is very simple, Name me one place in the world outside of Israel who hebrew is spoken on the street by the masses, my question is NOT about the age of the language or what language seforim are written in.
Its a very simple QAugust 24, 2022 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #2118174
ok so you are saying hebrew is not the language of the people its a language of a country. So whats the official language of Jews, Yiddish? Even before it was invented?
What do you mean by the masses? How many countries are Jews the majority in? Israelis speak Hebrew. Americans speak English. Chassidish speak Yiddish. Russians speak Russian. Im not understanding what you are getting at.
Name me on place in the world where Kurdish is spoken by the masses, or Cherokee, or Scottish Gaelic, or Sardinia or Corsican, should I go on? Hebrew is a language of a minority so why would it be globally spoken?August 24, 2022 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #2118175
ujm”Other reasons why MH is not the “language of the Jew””
-what is the language of the Jew then, Babylonian? Why did the evil zionists choose to base the language on a Jewish language and not on some European language if they wanted to destroy the roots? MH is too similar to Torah Hebrew wouldnt you think they would choose something different? How did everyone just suddenly learn a totally new language if they didnt already have a basic knowledge of it.August 24, 2022 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #2118179
RW > I understand that the Hebrew we speak today is more modern, but how can you say its a new invented language?
Modern Hebrew was revived by early Zionists as a way to forge an identity separate from both religious Jews on one side and from those who wanted to build socialism for everyone, rather than just for Jews, on the other.
Current Israeli Jews are 4 generations from those halutzim, and most of that ideology is dead. So, the question now should be – is there anything inherently wrong with using modern Hebrew? some of the arguments against it are reasonable, others sound like a way to fight those last-generation battles.August 24, 2022 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #2118217
@RW, I can go to Belgium, UK, USA, Canada among others and hear Yiddish being spoke by masses.
Kurdish is spoke by kurds outside of Kurshstan.
Hebrew is not spoken by masses anywhere but in IsraelAugust 24, 2022 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #2118238
Rw, the language of a Jew is the rambam, the ketsos, the ben ish chai… Whichever way you pronounce the words therein; the Torah is our language, the Torah is our essence. We’re not elevated by using lashon kodesh for mundane things – which is commonly mistranslated as *the holy language”…, the proper translation is “the language of holy things”August 24, 2022 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #2118260
Actually Avira it’s “Lashon Hakodesh”. You are giving it a different translation. How does one speak Rambam?
Commonseychel Kurdish is spoken by kurds, Hebrew is spoken by Jews outside of Israel as well and most non Hebrew speaking Jews know Hebrew more than Yiddish. Again what is the language of the Jews if not Hebrew I’m missing your argument here. what language did Jews speak in the times of Ancient Israel? And after they were dispersed they picked up the local languages, what did they speak before inventing Yiddish? Is every Jew speaking Hebrew doing an aveirah?
Answer what is the language of the Jews? I never heard someone speak in Rambam or the ketsos. Do Jews not have a languages? They only speak in foreign tongue? Again even Lashon Hakodesh seems to have evolved for the fact that it became much more “modern” and simpler in the times of Nach and definitely times of Mishna. Of course I don’t side with the bad intentions of early Zionists who wished to further the religion away, but I’m trying to understand why modern ivrit is the devil when it is derived from the language of the Jewish Heritage? Were Jews just meant to speak Aramaic, Yiddish, English or any other foreign language but Hebrew? How do you even know what Lashon Hakodesh is didn’t Rashi write that before the migdal bavel all spoke the same language; lashon hakodesh. That was before the Torah was given. And if the Torah is lashon Hakodesh then why the simpler language style change in Nach onward?
Lehavdil was English invented as a way to destroy old English? Would anyone still talk that way today? Or do languages just become more modern on their own over time as we see with most languages.August 25, 2022 12:17 am at 12:17 am #2118264
CS”I can go to Belgium, UK, USA, Canada among others and hear Yiddish being spoke by masses.”
-By masses other than Chassidim?August 25, 2022 12:19 am at 12:19 am #2118296
Ujm “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.”
-What do you want them to call electricity then? What was the Torah word for it back when it wasnt invented/used yet? Also how does it imply that we thought angels were explanations for things and now technology is? Where did you get that from?
Also isnt electricity likened to fire thats why its assur on Shabbos in the category of Aish?August 25, 2022 12:19 am at 12:19 am #2118298
Avira > We’re not elevated by using lashon kodesh for mundane things
It certainly feels this way for us, but we got to admit that Jews used loshen hakodesh for all mundane things for centuries, both talmidei chachamim and amei haaretz. Also tzdukim and gibonim. And Avodim. And silly ketanim, such as naarim ketanim running after Elisha. The bear was probably also Hebrew-speaking.August 25, 2022 1:46 am at 1:46 am #2118332Naftush-2Participant
Seen in western France: signs with French on the top and a Celtic language in smaller letters below — a concession to the Celtic population there, which agitated for recognition in the 1970s.
Seen in southern Slovakia: signs with Slovakian on the top and Hungarian in smaller letters below — even though Slovakia chafed under lengthy Hungarian occupation.August 25, 2022 1:46 am at 1:46 am #2118334Naftush-2Participant
So I’ll stir the pot.
First, we of all generations ought to question the idea that Hebrew, modern or other, must be spoken to be “real” or “national.” In our generation, people may communicate more by writing than by speaking, as we are doing now. Jews across exile communities did this for centuries — and in shu”t and international trade, to give two examples, the language was Hebrew. Today, whole languages exist that aren’t spoken at all: computer languages, sign languages, etc.
Second, of course masses of Jews spoke Hebrew regularly: in davening. Apart from the shemone esre, davening is loud. There’s an etymological notion that the very word “daven” comes from a Germanic word that gives us the English “din,” as in putting up a din. And should we argue that, well, back there they just mouthed the words and didn’t understand them, I think that’s an anachronism — typical of lots of us but not of lots of them. Evidence: massive lending of Hebrew words to Yiddish and the (many) other Judeo-languages. You can’t lend what you don’t own.
Third, Jews in exile did speak Hebrew to communicate with each other when they had to.
Finally, two ironies: First, for whatever reason, the Emancipation in France was greeted by a drasha in shul in French and then in Hebrew. Ironic because the theme of the drasha was the renunciation of Jewish nationhood per Napoleon’s demands. Second, the Old Yishuv won some battles against Modern Hebrew but lost the war because it couldn’t make its case without using Modern Hebrew.August 25, 2022 10:43 am at 10:43 am #2118388
@RW. actualy yes, I see that all the time esp. in Antwerp, London and Montreal and pretty common in Monsey, the Catskills and Miami.
Now name me ONE place were Hebrew is spoken by the masses outside of Israel.August 25, 2022 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #2118532
@Commonseychel, yes only Chssidish. Show me litvaks or sefardim who speak Yiddish in the Catskills.
NYC is a place spoken Hebrew by the masses. Fort Lauderdale also. Also LA. Also France. Also many latino areas speak hebrew as well as Spanish.
You still didnt answer what the Official Jewish language is of all time.August 25, 2022 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2118573
RW: Many Litvish speak Yiddish.
You still are ignoring the fact that Ivrit is a different language than Loshon Kodesh.August 25, 2022 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #2118639
Ujm how is ivrit a different language? You still didn’t answer why nach and Mishna are written in a much simpler tongue than Torah.
And Israelis speak Hebrew whats your point? Hebrew was revived on Israel but it doesn’t mean it was made up it came from the Hebrew that was around all the generations.August 25, 2022 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #2118642
@RW last week I was in a seforim store in the catskills and saw a few litvisher ppl speaking to the owner in yiddish, I also Tuvia of the seforim store speak in yiddish, hespadim in lkwd are give in yiddish for the most part,
What neighborhood in NYC do you hear Hebrew spoken as the predominate lang,?
yet to come across oneAugust 25, 2022 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #2118657
So now it has to be predominate to be a Jewish language? Most Jews arent Israeli and speak primarily the language of the land or Yiddish if they come from Ashkenaz roots. But most Jews also know Hebrew alongside whatever language they speak. I’m not sure what part of Hebrew is so made up that it differs from the historic language of the JewsAugust 25, 2022 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #2118669
RW > why nach and Mishna are written in a much simpler tongue than Torah.
Where are holding in Nach to say this?! Mishna is cliff notes of scholarly discussions, not necessarily full spoken language, even if it brings examples of common speech.August 26, 2022 7:37 am at 7:37 am #2118727
@RW “Most Jews arent Israeli and speak primarily the language of the land or Yiddish if they come from Ashkenaz roots.”
On the we agree 100%August 26, 2022 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm #2118743
Alwaysask- Nach is not written in simpler more modern Hebrew than Torah?August 26, 2022 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #2118787
CS-The majority of Jews in the world speak Hebrew. All of Israel, all the Israelis abroad,and most Jews at least know the language.August 26, 2022 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #2118806
“Most Jews arent Israeli and speak primarily the language of the land or Yiddish if they come from Ashkenaz roots.”
-In AmericaAugust 26, 2022 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #2118807
Yiddish is a Ashkenaz Jewish language, Ladino is a Sephardi Jewish language, the common denominator language of ALL Jews, is Hebrew. Hebrew is the Universal Jewish Language of all time.August 26, 2022 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #2118902
The vast majority of Jews cannot speak Hebrew. Most religious Jews understand written Hebrew but still cannot speak Ivrit.August 26, 2022 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #2118921
Rw, I think there are way more obscure expressions in nach, not even counting Aramaic.. maybe some native speakers of modern Hebrew can tell us which one is closer?August 28, 2022 7:11 am at 7:11 am #2119080
@RW, the main langague spoken in New Square, Monroe, Vistnitz and Tosh is Yiddish, yes all street signs are in English or [in the case of tosh in French], does it offend me? no, if the signs were in Engish and Yiddish would it offend me? no, Do I it offensive that they call 8th Street in Little Havana in Miami Calle Ocho, no.August 28, 2022 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #2119180
CS”the main langague spoken in New Square, Monroe, Vistnitz and Tosh is Yiddish, yes all street signs are in English or [in the case of tosh in French], does it offend me? no, if the signs were in Engish and Yiddish would it offend me? no, Do I it offensive that they call 8th Street in Little Havana in Miami Calle Ocho, no.”
-What about non chassidish places is Yiddish also the main language? I already mentioned Yiddish is prevalent in Chassidish communities thats obvious. Bottom line the Universal Jewish language is Hebrew whether you like it or not.August 28, 2022 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #2119222
@rw point being unlike you I dont really care what languges street signs are posted inAugust 28, 2022 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #2119239
I don’t care what language the street signs are posted in either, besides for Arabic in Israel. Especially in Jewish cities. As in not in Pali territory.August 28, 2022 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #2119265
Well I am not a hypocrite, I dont care one way or the other WORLDWIDEAugust 29, 2022 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2119488
CS”Well I am not a hypocrite, I dont care one way or the other WORLDWIDE”
-Congrats on not being a hypocrite, but the discussion was referring to Israel and not worldwide. Why do you keep kosher when worldwide most do not? What a hypocrite.
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