October 19, 2009 3:20 am at 3:20 am #590609
Raboysai I have a serious topic:
Our heilige mama loshon is slowly becoming forgotten. This is a tragedy of the utmost madrayguh. All of the hoksters and geshmaksters of the YWN Coffee Room, sprinklings of yeshivish Yiddish are no substitute for the real deal. We we all be mekabel upon ourselves to learn a new tayruhdig Yiddish Vort everyday, to bring the moshiach tzidkeinu etc etc Umain!October 19, 2009 3:51 am at 3:51 am #666274JaxMember
Ktzoys: so will you be teaching the tayruhdig Yiddish Vort everyday here in the CR?!October 19, 2009 3:59 am at 3:59 am #666275
Jax: I need Yiddish lessons really. I guess my post was really my inner neshomo screaming for help from my fellow yidden.October 19, 2009 4:00 am at 4:00 am #666276cantoresqMember
Oib di oilem vil, bin ich muchan zein tzu red’n nur in der Yiddishe shprach. Ober aug mir, vos zol di sphardishe chevre ton? Lchoireh s’iz kein probleim, az di Toireh war gegeben in Yiddish und es vert meturgemt in Ivre far di sphardim. IZ kedai far yenem tzu lernen di originalishe yiddish sprach.October 19, 2009 4:01 am at 4:01 am #666277tamazaballMember
sorry but were not all yidish you know.October 19, 2009 4:19 am at 4:19 am #666278
Ktzoys: There is mucho hostility toward the holy Yiddish language out in the CR world. We’ve been through this before, and it was ugly. It was one of those rare times when Joseph and I were on the same side.October 19, 2009 4:21 am at 4:21 am #666279October 19, 2009 4:21 am at 4:21 am #666280ronrsrMember
I like Yiddish as much as the next guy, but why is it holy?October 19, 2009 4:25 am at 4:25 am #666282tamazaballMember
hebrew is holier thats lashon kadosh!!!October 19, 2009 4:28 am at 4:28 am #666283mazal77Participant
Sorry, I am sefardi, so out of the few yiddish words I picked along the way, No fastish iddish.October 19, 2009 8:12 am at 8:12 am #666284skatesMember
(hebrew is holier thats lashon kadosh!!!)
thats not true…
hebrew is the israeli language that has many madeup words in it such as “Glida” and “Mitriya”…that have no source in Torah
Lashon Kodesh is Hashem’s holiest language…thats the language of the Torah…where
every word has a root, meaning and isn’t just man made…October 19, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am #666285
Yiddish is NOT holy. My father-in-law, who is a well-known Rav, told me it has no kedusha whatsoever.October 19, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am #666286komaMember
skates; ben Yehuda was a recycled yeshiva guy who apparently had total recall of the entire mishna and loshon of the Rishonim. His chidushim are pretty logical and on the mark. What would you substitute for umbrella and ice-cream?October 19, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am #666287
cantoresq, men darf mekarev zein der sphardishe chevre tzu unzer heilige shprach.October 19, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #666288
Every language has made-up words in it. New words for new things are a requirement of language if it is to have any use; the only alternative is to use words from foreign sources.
Where do you think that the word “bentchen” (pardon my Yiddish spelling ignorance) comes from?
Like it or not, lashon kodesh is the language of the Torah and Mishna. It was also the only correct alternative for the language of the State; as has been noted here, a very large percentage of the Jews have no connection to Yiddish whatsoever.
Is it good to keep Yiddish alive? As with any kind of knowledge, of course. It enables us to read literature that would otherwise be forgotten (at least in the original). Is it a priority of the “utmost madrega”? Not to me. First I would like an explanation of why it is holy, and I have not yet seen a convincing one.October 19, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm #666289
Ben Yehuda was a Torah hating, religious hating demagogue.October 19, 2009 1:31 pm at 1:31 pm #666290cantoresqMember
Joseph: fangun mit der R. Ovadia Yosef. Oib wir kens ehr happen di gantze Sephardishe pile vert shoin in beich. Zei matzliachOctober 19, 2009 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #666291
Rather than rehashing the gantze zach here, how about reprinting the main points of the debate un datzol.October 19, 2009 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #666292truthsharerMember
You think the Hebrew in the Mishna doesn’t have borrowed words?
Where do you think Apikores came from? There are tons of words in ALL languages that borrow from other languages.
If Yiddish is holy, then so is English.October 19, 2009 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #666293Proud JewMember
Feif Un: Yiddish was spoken for many years by Tzadikim, & for sure got a kedushe.
thats another result from being so “fargoyisht”October 19, 2009 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #666294
Proud Jew: a language doesn’t get a kedusha just because tzadikim speak it. If that was the case, then many more languages would be holy – and English would top that list.
Why do you I’m “fargoyisht”? As I said, my father-in-law, who is a well known Rav, said Yiddish has no kedusha to it.
Just in case you think he’s not a “real” Rav, let me tell you about him a bit: he learned bechavrusah with R’ Shmuel Rozovsky, R’ Shach, and many others. Now, he is extremely close with R’ Shteinman, R’ Chaim Kanievsky, and R’ Elyashiv.October 19, 2009 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #666295
Yiddish has NO kedusha. Sources brought in the thread Joseph quoted, including many proofs from the Igros Moshe. It’s a nice language, but why should one Germanic-rooted language (Yiddish) be holier than another (English)?
Ktzoys, is this another of the leitzonus threads?October 19, 2009 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #666296
Feif Un- Everything else being equal, would you at least agree that Yiddish and Hebrew are on a higher level than other languages?October 19, 2009 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #666297
No, only Hebrew.October 19, 2009 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #666298
What about yeshivish english?October 19, 2009 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #666299
Maran Hagoen Rav Elazar Shach told American educators that Yeshiva boys should be taught Chumash in Yiddish, even if the boys speak English amongst themselves. He furtermore said that both boys and girls should learn to be comfortable in Yiddish. He also said that Yiddish is spoken by “all jews” (that is his phrase). He referred parents to send their children to Yiddish teaching yeshivos. And there is good reason why Rebbes and Rabbonim give ma’amarim in Yiddish.
Modern Hebrew is not different than Turkish or Farsi – it is the language of a secular culture complete with all those things that we want to stay away from. The fact that some of those who speak Modern Hebrew are religious Jews is not different than the language of any country Jews are in where they speak the language of the land. The point is to stay away from the language of the land and only talk the language of the Jew.
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.
The Chasam Sofer notes that while Chazal used many words and phrases borrowed from the Greeks and Romans, they never coined a new word, as has been done in modern hebrew, for in their holy opinion it was preferable to use other languages rather than create even a single new word that did not have its like, its example, in the Torah, since it could not be rooted in sanctity.
The Chasam Sofer EH 2:11 says that in ancient times Jews used to use a modified version of the non-Jewish languages for everyday (divrei chol) talk, similar to what Yiddish is.
The Rambam writes that even in the days of Ezra they had a translator to explain the Torah readings to the people – clearly, they did not speak Loshon Hakodesh, even before the Churban.
The Chasam Sofer writes that the reason Jews do not speak Loshon Hakodesh as a speaking language is because it is inappropriate to use a holy language while enveloped in Tumah, which is our current status. The Rambam writes that a love song in Hebrew is more repulsive to Hashem than the same song in Arabic, for instance, because the pollution of the Holy language is an additional crime. If someone wants to store pornography in his house, thats bad enough. But to store it in the Aron HaKodesh is unspeakably worse. So to cause Loshon HaKodesh to be used as a street language, complete with all the disgusting ways it is used today in Israel, is just more of a reason why we should make sure it never gets into the streets. For our Creator to look down at the world and see His holy language – or even elements of it – used in magazines such as are sold in Kiosks on Yaffo or Dizengoff Street, or spoken by the lowest of the low trying to make a sale, is not something that he or we are happy about.
The Kuzari writes that Avrohom Avinu, therefore, spoke 2 different languages. One for holy speech – that was Loshon HaKodesh, and the other for mundane speech – that, the Kuzari says was some non-Jewish language that Avrohom Avinu took and changed around a little on his own. And thats the idea behind Yiddish. It is a non-Jewish language that we took and twisted a bit in order to make it exclusive among us.
Even though there are Yiddishistin who speak Yiddish, they took it from us, not vice-versa (as is the case of Modern Hebrew), and since we do not live in a country or society dominated by Yiddish-speaking shkotzim, there is no benefit of Lo shinu es leshonam by not speaking Yiddish. But there is such a benefit by not speaking Hebrew.
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.
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.October 19, 2009 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #666300smartcookieMember
Hebrew? Oh gosh…our rav doesn’t allow us to speak that language because it’s a mofied version of loshon kodesh.
Ubber yiddish hub ich zeir lib. Sometimes I express myself so much nicer in yiddishOctober 19, 2009 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #666301mepalMember
Joseph: A summery please?October 19, 2009 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #666302
mepal: He’s saying that modern Hebrew isn’t a good thing.October 19, 2009 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #666303
Jother: This was meant to be semi-serious, I did put it under the humor section so…
Ich farshtaynisht fon der machloykesOctober 19, 2009 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #666304mevakesh_hashemMember
???”? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ?”?????-?????” ?? ?”???.???” ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ??? ??? ??? ???.
???? ???”? ??? ?????? ?????? “???????? ??????? ????????? ????? ??????? ??????????? ????????? ???????? ????????:” (?????? ??,?) ??? “????? ????? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ????? [???? ????] ?????:”.
??????”? ??? ??????? ??????? ???? ??’ ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ??’ ??? ????? ???? ??? ??? ?????? ?????? ???????? ???.October 19, 2009 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #666305mybatMember
How about the language from the torah and the gemarah? Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic , which is really closer to Arabic? (they are semetic languages)
By the way I know of many people who are practically assimilated but think that the fact that makes them Jewish is that they speak Yiddish, so sad.October 19, 2009 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #666306squeakParticipant
It seems to me that in the last week or so many old topics are being rehashed, with all the old arguments crawling out of the woodworks. Is there some religious custom I’m unaware of that requires the revival of old fights at a certain point in time each year?
I think my own family custom is that it’s good enough to read through the old comments, unless there is something new to bring to the table. Unless it’s a scotch, in which case you can bring it to the table old.October 19, 2009 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #666307
Just saw this joke in this week’s Jewish Week. A Jewish man converted to Christianity. The next day he got up and put on his tallis and tefillin. His wife said, Host du nechten geshmad (you just converted yesterday). He smacked his forehead and said, Oy, what a goyishe kup.October 19, 2009 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #666308
Joseph posted: “Maran Hagoen Rav Elazar Shach told American educators that Yeshiva boys should be taught Chumash in Yiddish, even if the boys speak English amongst themselves. He furtermore said that both boys and girls should learn to be comfortable in Yiddish. He also said that Yiddish is spoken by “all jews” (that is his phrase). He referred parents to send their children to Yiddish teaching yeshivos. And there is good reason why Rebbes and Rabbonim give ma’amarim in Yiddish.”
Well, on that point Rav Shach was demonstrably wrong–as there are thousands of religious (and nonreligious) Jews who do not speak Yiddish, and nor did their parents, grandparents or other ancestors. These people are just as religious as their Ashkenazi Yiddish-speaking counterparts.
If one wishes to make a point, one should not make it in a manner so easily disproven.
Joseph also posted: “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.”
Of course, when one looks at the obviously Sephardic boys learning in Hareidi Yeshivot–and pronouncing words in a Yiddish accent–that does not seem to bother the Chareidi Rabbanim much. All one need do is walk into a Yeshiva (if such boys are allowed to learn there in the first place) to observe this phenomenon.
“What about giving a Shiur or Dvar Torah in Loshon Kodesh?”
We do all right.October 19, 2009 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #666309
starwolf, I notice you frequently miss the subtleties.October 19, 2009 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #666310
“Modern Hebrew is not different than Turkish or Farsi”
This is false. People who speak modern hebrew often have an easier time learning Torah (especially if they start without a Torah education) because modern hebrew, although grammatically different, has mostly the same roots. Modern hebrew is closer to lashon hakodesh than any other language. Think of it as a gateway language LOL.
“The Chasam Sofer writes that the reason Jews do not speak Loshon Hakodesh as a speaking language is because it is inappropriate to use a holy language while enveloped in Tumah, which is our current status.“
If that is true, then Yiddish CANNOT be holy. Did you read what you copied before pasting it here?
“it is not possible to be a nation without a national language” – In reference to Eliezer Ben Yehuda, when I learnt the history of modern hebrew, (from what I recall anyway), what EBY was saying was that everyone coming into Israel was maintaining their language from their native country (French, German, Russian, Yiddish etc). It was divisive. People couldn’t converse properly, they couldn’t interact…there needed to be one language to unite the people. And truth be told, he was right. Why is it that when you go around the world, the common language people speak is hebrew? Its not universally yiddish or english or french or arabic…but hebrew.October 19, 2009 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #666311
SJS: You missed the following I posted:
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 – the purpose of Yiddish is “lo shinu es shemom” – we want to talk differently than the seculars.October 19, 2009 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #666312
So Joseph, you are saying that my post is wrong?
Counterexamples were brought to your main points, and your points were shown to be nonsense. If that is a little too direct for you, maybe you should emphasize those subtleties a tad more. Or shorten your posts.October 19, 2009 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #666313
Joseph, you stated “Yiddish is holy” above. Are you retracting that statement?October 19, 2009 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #666314
starwolf, I saw no counterpoints to the various Chasam Sofer’s quoted, as well as the Kuzari, Maharil Diskin, Hagaon Rav Akiva Yosef Shlezinger, etc.
SJS, that was a playful link to the previous CR thread on this issue.October 19, 2009 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #666315
Joseph, in that link, you state “Yiddish is used by the Gedolim and has a holyness to it”October 19, 2009 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #666316
The meforshim say Hebrew is a lashon hakodesh. The Maharal (who lived at the time of “lashon ashkenaz”, a protoyiddish, added Aramic. He does NOT say Yiddish. The Kav Hayashar transltated his mussar sefer into “Lashon Ashkenaz” so the women could read it, but never said it was holy. In fatc, he says reading Lashon Hakodesh is good for ruchnius, but doesn’t say reading “lashon ashkenaz” is.
The Igros Moshe says the only difference between “Ettel” and “Ethel” is that it’s too late to protest “Ettel”.
Yiddish is a form of German. Lashon Hakodesh is holy. The Chazon Ish gave his haskama to teaching in Ivrit. The bundists insisted on only speaking Yiddish. I’d rather be like the Chazon Ish than a Bundist. Adding a mitzvah of speaking Yiddish is Bal Tosif. This was the one mitzvah of the bundists, but it’s not in my Torah.October 19, 2009 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #666317mazcaMember
I know of a whole group of people that have a school and only learn yiddish in perfection, have yiddish plays and thinks yiddish is more important than Torah, you who live in New York, do not know how bad the Yiddish impolse have given to other parts of the world as a matter of fact it has taken people away from Torah and Mitzvot.October 19, 2009 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #666318mybatMember
I guess all the rishonim, achronim, rashi, rambam, ramban, Ben ish chai, etc. (many, many more) weren’t holy enough for the lofty Yiddish speakers of todays generation.
Wow! I wouldn’t even dare insinuate that, I hope no one here is.October 19, 2009 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #666319sammygolMember
If you bring Rav Shach’s opinion on the merits of teaching Chumash in Yiddish, please also quote Reb Yakov zt’l, who told many a rosh yeshiva – “if you want to say a shiur, by all means say it in Yiddish, however, if you actually want to teach Torah, you must do so in the language that the talmidim speak, namely in English”. He also said many times that if the melamed’s own language isn’t Yiddish, he won’t be able to properly teach in it, as he will struggle for words and miss the meaning. There is a reason why Rashi constantly brings Old French, since people had to actually understand what they were learning.
It is OK to want to learn Yiddish and to learn IN Yiddish. Still, if one is going to bring myriad proofs for that point, he should have some intellectual integrity and quote those gedolim who felt otherwise.October 19, 2009 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #666320
Joseph, Yiddish only has worth for sentimental reasons. It brings back nice warm memories of the old country (which was far from pleasant, by the way). It also has a very colorful way of expressing certain concepts and descriptions of Jewish life. It does not have holiness. Look, I miss morse code in ham radio which is no longer required for a license. But as much as I love it, I would not call morse code holy.
Those who teach Yiddish today at the expense of having their children become fluent in the native language, cause a difficult cycle of poverty which brings much pain on many families.October 19, 2009 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #666321
NY Times Article:
At the Bar; Oy! One misused Yiddish word in court, and just listen to all the kvetching going on.
By David Margolick
Published: Friday, June 26, 1992
Santiago v. Sherwin-Williams et al. had already droned on for four years when counsel for the defense filed its umpteenth otherwise unmemorable motion in the case last August. “It is unfortunate,” it declared, “that this court must wade through the dreck of plaintiff’s statement of undisputed facts.”
Jonathan Shapiro of Stern, Shapiro, Rosenfeld & Weissberg in Boston, one of the plaintiff’s four lawyers, was startled by the choice of words. Dreck, he knew from his grandparents, was Yiddish for doo-doo, though a tad more tart. Even by the standards of the nareshkaytn normally filed by opposing lawyers, he thought such chutzpah intolerable. So last September he and a co-counsel, Neil Leifer of Boston, resolved to talk takhles with Judge Joseph L. Tauro, the tsadik hearing the case.
“For almost four years now, plaintiff and her attorneys have been subjected to constant kvetching by defendants’ counsel, who have made a big tsimis about the quantity and quality of plaintiff’s responses to discovery requests,” it stated. “This has been the source of much tsores among plaintiff’s counsel and a big megillah for the court.”
It was hardly balebatish , the lawyers complained, to call a fellow lawyer’s work “dreck,” particularly “in view of the khazeray which they have filed.” Finally, “since not all of plaintiff’s lawyers are yeshiva bokhers ,” it was presumptuous as well. “Plaintiff prays that the court put an end to this mishugas and strike “dreck,” he concluded.
Ever since the motion was filed, yentes at law firms have been photocopying and faxing the Shapiro-Leifer broadside throughout the country. In a way, the memo has challenged all of the bobe mayses about the death of Yiddish.
The offending memo was written by Karen DeSantis, an associate at the Washington office of Kirkland & Ellis of Chicago. But it was signed by makhers from three other firms — Goodwin, Proctor & Hoar and Bingham, Dana & Gould in Boston and Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman in Minneapolis. And, Mr. Shapiro asserts, the word “dreck” was retained at the specific insistence of lawyers at Bingham, Dana.
Lawyers at Bingham Dana at first tried to make Mr. Shapiro’s request sound like bobkes . “We find it difficult to believe you would seriously have us all shlep to court to argue such a meshugganah motion,” Meghan Magruder, a partner, wrote Mr. Shapiro. Had he called only to kibitz , she continued, he would have learned that the scriveners of the offensive motion “are all goyim ” who innocently misused the word.
Were Mr. Shapiro enough of a mentsh to withdraw the motion, she went on, the defense would happily stipulate that dreck be changed to “morass.” “As the taxpayers must ultimately pay to resolve such a motion, it would be a mitzvah ,” she concluded. “Moreover, your shtik may be lost on the court.”
But when he ruled on the motion last December, Judge Tauro showed the defense lawyers no rakhmones . “Any further use of inappropriate language in any proceeding before this court will result in the imposition of sanctions,” he wrote in stern and unadulterated English.
In the meantime the authors of the memo continue to get nakhes . Stanley G. Feldman, vice chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Arizona, awarded the Shapiro-Liefer collaboration his prestigious “motion of the year award.” And in an article entitled “Plain Yiddish for Lawyers and Judges,” in Trial magazine, Ralph Slovenko of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit quotes the memo at length.
“With the almost complete extermination of European Jews during World War II, many scholars prophesied the end of the Yiddish language,” he noted. Instead, he continued, with its “peculiar mix of toughness and compassion,” Yiddish is “finding new and unprecedented application in American law.”October 19, 2009 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #666322
< a href=”http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/is-yiddish-holy/page/7#post-42152″> Yiddish is not holy.
Torah is holy. Mitzvos are holy. Lashon Chol (Yiddish, English, Spanish, etc) is not holy. As Rav Zalman Sorotzkin ZT”L said (last link), Focus on the 613 mitzvos we DO have, and Yiddish isn’t one of them. Bundists say it’s holy. Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L and Rav Zalman Sorotzkin ZT”L (2 native speakers) said it’s NOT holy. I would rather be with them than the Bundists.October 19, 2009 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #666323
Why is everyone wasting their time here with the back and forth; it was already proven in the previous CR thread that Yiddish is indeed a holy language.
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