December 23, 2013 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #997019
but it was never about whether or not Yiddish was the equivalent of English. I agree 100% that Yiddish was the language of the Jews and you can still find a connection to secular Russians by speaking in Yiddish, but that does not give it the same status as lashon hakodesh and does not ‘okay’ it to be used to be called up to the Torah. Rabbi Krohn writes (I did not say paskins) that one should NOT use Yiddish names lichatchila, but that it is okay to name after someone who’s name is Yiddish. He has obviously researched the matter well, and would be a good source of information for you.
My name (on the other hand) is not really a name. It is often used, and it is a character trait of my grandfather, after whom my mother wished to name me. Although it is lashon hakodesh, and is a beautiful name, I would not have made the same choice for my own kids.
Golfer – though I don’t agree at all, can I still have some coffee?December 23, 2013 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #997020
Mammele why not Yonah / Jonah for JohnDecember 23, 2013 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #997021
I agree with Oomis, again, and I stand by my prior post as well. It makes just as much sense to name a baby a “yeshivish” learning name as it does to give a yiddish name.
However, as in the case of the Kaminetsky family that someone mentioned, if you want give the name Mordechai at a Bris but prefer to use Mutty as a nickname, that’s a different matter. People today also “go by” their secular/legal (English) names, too, even though they were given real Lashon HaKodesh names at their bris. Like going by “Jon” instead of Yehonasan.
But you don’t name a kid “Jon” at his bris; you give him a Lashon HaKodesh name. Same with Yiddish. Don’t name a kid, say, “bendit” (or, translated, bandit), for example, at his bris (even as a second name, as someone already pointed out). Give him a real Lashon HaKodesh name and choose a nickname later.
(Obviously, one should ask their LOR, in practice…)December 23, 2013 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm #997022
Sure Syag! Why not?
And while I am nowhere near knowledgeable enough to disagree with Rabbi Krohn, I do know that there are those who pasken otherwise. Naming children is a subject taken seriously in our world, and I have also heard different opinions from Rabbonim regarding naming after people who died in the Holocaust.December 23, 2013 8:43 pm at 8:43 pm #997023
“Forget it Mammele! (Btw, I like your name!) We can have a (virtual) coffee together if you like, outside the Coffee Room, but if you continue to express your views here you will be persona non grata, and that’s just the sad reality.”
Why would you say that, Golfer? Chas v’sholom!
Mameleh, I am not arguing with you or anyone. I am expressing my personal feelings about L”K, and do not consider Yiddish to be that, though it obviously has a status among Jews. HEBREW was the Jewish unifying language both in ancient times and today, insofar as the Goyishe velt is concerned. I disagree with your view, albeit respectfully, and I can understand where you are coming from. I just do not subscribe to that particular belief. And FTR, I like your name, too. Mameleh is my favorite thing to say to my granddaughter, after Maideleh.
Regarding Motty/Mordechai, my point in mentioning it was that yes, the K. family gave L”K names, but DID in fact at times use Yiddish kinuyim where desired. My first name is a L”K name, but my parents always called me by the more Yiddish sounding nickname of it. Like giving the child the name Yehudah or Yehudah Aryeh, but calling him “Leibeleh.” I have absolutely no issue with that.December 23, 2013 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #997024
There are very few genuinely Hebrew names. Most come from other cultures and languages. Avram, Sarai, MOSHE (comes from Egyptian, you know), Yenta (French), etc.December 23, 2013 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm #997025
Moshe is a Hebrew name. As the Torah specifically writes. (he had an Egyptian name, mentioned in sources) So is Avraham – Av hamon goyim. And Sara too. While not written in the Torah, Chazal say its source, of course in Hebrew.
Regarding my name, however, you’re right. It’s comes from the Yiddish, froggeh, question. “Little”, I think, is a pure English word.December 23, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm #997026
I don’t think the Motty/Mordechai issue is relevant. Motty is not a Yiddish name; no one ever named their kid Motty at his bris, and Motty doesn’t mean anything in Yiddish. The word Mordechai, when pronounced with a heavy Yiddish accent, became Mudche, which evolved into Mottel and (the more American) Motty.
Yiddish names do have halachic ramifications, as many others have mentioned. The Kitzur wrote ???? ?? on the topic of names in Gittin, and he discusses Yiddish names in there too, IIRC. Many other Acharonim include Yiddish names in their Gittin analyses as well.
golfer – Regarding the Kaminetsky girl with the name Ettil, why don’t you ask them? I honestly don’t know enough (any) Kaminetsky girls, but maybe it’s a boys-only policy?
Sam2 – I know someone named Yedidyah and he’s not embarrassed of his name at all! His English name is Justin: We used to joke, “Yedidyah homework Justin time!”December 24, 2013 3:19 am at 3:19 am #997027
Oomis: the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw has quite a few Adolfs in it, in addition to other obviously gentile names like BernardDecember 24, 2013 4:06 am at 4:06 am #997028
There are very few genuinely Hebrew names. Most come from other cultures and languages. Avram, Sarai, MOSHE (comes from Egyptian, you know), Yenta (French), etc.
All names in the Torah are in Loshon Kodesh, whatever their origin. If Batya spoke only Egyptian, she obviously did not say ki min hamayim m’shiseehu, but rather the Egyptian form of that expression. Hashem told Moshe Rabeinu what to write in Sefer Shemos, when telling that over.
Chcham – I would tend to think that those Adolphs in the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, were probably given those names BEFORE Hitler rose to power. How many Adolphs do you think are being thus named by Jews, since WWII? And what does “Bernard” have to do with anything? We acknowledge that many people have adopted secular names. So many Yiddish names are also secular, whether or not people want to admit that. They are often based in Germanic words.December 24, 2013 4:46 am at 4:46 am #997029
LF: I thought it’s a clear Midrash that Moshe is Egyptian (or maybe a Hebraicized version of an Egyptian word). His Hebrew name is Toviah. Mordechai and Ester are also Persian names (or Hebraicized versions thereof).December 24, 2013 5:04 am at 5:04 am #997030
Sam, I really don’t think it was a Hebrew name/English name thing. What about Avigdor, was that his Midyan name? What’s his Kush name (if…)?December 24, 2013 5:29 am at 5:29 am #997031
I think his Egyptian name was something like Monias, check it up.December 24, 2013 5:58 am at 5:58 am #997032
HaLeiVi: I thought the Midrash says explicitly that Toviah is what his mother named him at birth.December 24, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm #997033
oomis: There is nothing specifically important about the name Bernard. I just mentioned it as another example of Jews having secular namesDecember 24, 2013 2:06 pm at 2:06 pm #997034
LF: I thought it’s a clear Midrash that Moshe is Egyptian (or maybe a Hebraicized version of an Egyptian word). His Hebrew name is Toviah. Mordechai and Ester are also Persian names (or Hebraicized versions thereof). “
Yep. But “Moshe” is the Hebrew form of whatever she called him. Just as Judah is the English form of Yehudah (or vice versa is the better analogy in this particular instance). Mordechai seems to have come from the Persian god Marduk, and Esther from the goddess Ishtar. Or so they say…
However, there is precedent for Esther, as the words “Haster Aster” appear in the Torah, referring to Hashem, and Mordechai can also come from “Moreid,” that Mordechai rebelled against Haman (I don’t know if that’s anyone’s actual p’shat – it occurred to me as I was typing this, now).December 24, 2013 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #997035
oomis, there is reason to assume the language of our forefathers was not Ivrit, but rather Aramaic. See Ramban Bereshis 45 12.13 “ki fi hamedaber aleichem. The mama loshen of the shvatim was the language of our mothers who came from Aram Naharim and thereabouts.December 24, 2013 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #997036
The Gemara in Megilla says Mordechai is hinted to in the Targum by the ketores to mor d’ror, which is mari dachya.December 24, 2013 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #997037
oomis, Again, Moshe is in Lashon Kodesh, as is the reason for his name, in Lashon Kodesh. As the Torah writes specifically – the name and reason. No other language involved. Meforshim say that she asked around and found out the words. His name in Egyptian was Monias. (Tuvia, Avigdor, etc. are all names cited by Midrashim, from Divrei Hayomim)December 24, 2013 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #997038
LAB: That’s a Remez. It’s telling us where we can find his part of the story hinted in the Torah. The Gemara is not asking for a Chumash Makor for his name.
We know that the name “Mordoch” was a popular Persian name from before that time. We know that a chief Persian god had a similar name (same with Ester). Mordechai is a Judaicization of the name. Which is what Jews have done for thousands of years (think of the name Isadore for Isaac). They have taken names similar to the surrounding nations so that they could relate when need be-but they altered it slightly to keep themselves distinct.
Ester is even clearer. Once again, we know it was a common Persian name and the name of a leading god. The Megillah even tells us she had a Hebrew name (Haddasah). This was her name that she used when involved with the Goyish neighbors.
I always find that this is so Pashut and simple. I don’t know why people get offended by this. (And then there was the one guy I met who claimed that Persians retroactively changed their histories to include these names of people and gods after Mordechai and Ester were popular.)December 24, 2013 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #997039
🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
(And then there was the one guy I met who claimed that Persians retroactively changed their histories to include these names of people and gods after Mordechai and Ester were popular.)
The flaw with this is that it’s not Persian history that we know their names from… it’s from the megillah, written by Mordechai and Esther themselves.December 24, 2013 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #997040
Gamanit: We know from Persian history that names similar to Mordechai and Ester were relatively common long before the Megillah story.December 24, 2013 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #997041
🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Sam2- Esther we see had a separate hebrew name. What was Mordechai’s hebrew name? By the way, I wasn’t challenging you- I was just pointing out why his explanation doesn’t help us any if you don’t want to believe that they were called these names.December 24, 2013 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #997042
I have read that the Yekkishe tradition is to give two names, one Hebrew and the other secular. Sometimes they had two people to name after, and they would name after one the Hebrew name and the other the secular one. Otherwise they would try and get secular approximation of the Hebrew name. When the name was ‘Shlomo’, they would call the son Solomon, Salman or Zalman. So the name was written as Shlomo-Zalman, which was really Shlomo/Zalman – either-or. One Hebrew and one secular.December 24, 2013 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #997043
The Gemara in Megilla says Mordechai is hinted to in the Targum by the ketores to mor d’ror, which is mari dachya. “
Oh, I LIKE that!!!!!!!December 24, 2013 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #997044
oomis, there is reason to assume the language of our forefathers was not Ivrit, but rather Aramaic. See Ramban Bereshis 45 12.13 “ki fi hamedaber aleichem. The mama loshen of the shvatim was the language of our mothers who came from Aram Naharim and thereabouts. “
I admit to being greatly perplexed by this at times. What if their language had always been IVRIT?December 24, 2013 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #997045
Mordechai also had another name. He is Malachai. It’s a cute theorya that those names were like present day Hebrew/English names but it only accounts for two names, not seven or even three. Also, why would the Remez in the Torah be about his Persian name?
Do people really name after their AZs? Are there nercurys and rathos around?December 24, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #997046
twisted and oomis – Rashi to Bereishis 2:23 says (on Adam calling his wife “Isha”) ???? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???’: ???? ???? ?? ????, ???? ????? ????? ????? ????
This was Adam speaking, as it was again in 3:20, when he names her Chava. Rashi says there ???: ???? ?? ???? ???, ????? ?? ???????, which would also seemingly only work in Lashon Hakodesh. Maybe Adam spoke Lashon Hakodesh? Definitely seems like that.December 25, 2013 4:42 am at 4:42 am #997047
HaLeiVi: The Ancient Greeks named after their idols. There were a few rulers of Sicily named ‘Dionysus’.
Also, it is common Spanish people to name children after their Messiah (You, know, the one that starts with a J, which I am not going to write here for obvious reasons)
Additionally, many JEWISH names end with ‘E-L’ or ‘Y-A-H’, which are names of G-d.
I see no reason Persian naming practices should be any different from those of various civilizations over the last few millennia.December 25, 2013 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #997048
Maybe Adam spoke Lashon Hakodesh? Definitely seems like that. “
Hebrew was the language of Creation, and that is what Odom spoke. it was not until Migdal Bavel that language split into 70 different ones. There is a very interesting book, the name of which escapes me, that was brought to my attention by my Rov. Its thesis is that EVERY language spoken today can be traced back to Hebrew. Certainly, I have seen such evidence in many cognate words that clearly have Hebrew roots in them, and I do not mean English language words that have been Hebraicized when put into a modern Hebrew sentence.
Look in our davening at the language of the ingredients of the Ketores, for example. I don’t know if it is the same item, but Tziporen sounds very much like “saffron.” That is not an accident. How about Milchemes Gog U’Magog – Armaggedon? There are many such examples.December 25, 2013 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #997049
oomis – Look at Language Deprivation Experiments on Wikipedia.December 25, 2013 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #997050
The chumash tells us “Vayihi kal haAretz safa echas…”.
It was Lashon HaKodesh; not, lihavdil, “Hebrew”.December 25, 2013 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #997051
OY – OK, it was LOSHON KODESH (which is Hebrew). Perhaps the Ivrit we speak is updated or slightly altered, but it is recognizably L”K.
LAB – what is that site you mentioned? Does it speak of the things about which I posted?December 25, 2013 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #997052
See Igros Moshe O.C. 5:10 for his insights into this issue. For example: the maaleh of “lo shinu es shmom” was mainly for before matan Torah when there were few mitzvos and little way to distinguish bnei yisroel from others; “Aryeh” is a fine name but who says it’s any better than “Leib”, because neither is mentioned in Tanach; a number of gedolim had completely foreign names (Maimon (Rambam’s father), Vidal (author of Magid Mishne), etc.); Jews always talked and learned in the local language (no mention that it was davka a Jewish version like Yiddish). See further.December 25, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #997053
oomis – I’m sensing sarcasm? Or do you actually not know what Wikipedia is?December 26, 2013 2:34 am at 2:34 am #997054
oomis – I’m sensing sarcasm? Or do you actually not know what Wikipedia is?”
Of course I do – I simply could not easily sight the site you cite…
(I did now, though)December 26, 2013 9:56 am at 9:56 am #997055
There are various customs regarding names. In Hungary particularly, children were given a Hebrew name together with a secularised version of the name, at the Jewish naming ceremony, e. g. Shlomo Zalman, Yitzchok Issac. In Germany children were given a Hebrew name at a Jewish ceremony, then a secular name at a “Chaul Kreish”, usually similar to the Hebrew name in addition to the father’s name, e. g. R’ S R Hirsch was called Shimshon at his Bris, and Samson Raphael at his Chaul Kreish. My Chief Rabbi was called Nosson at his Bris, and Nathan Marcus (Adler). The Chaul name is how they were referred to their entire life.
@ oomis: Tziporen is cloves; saffron is Shiboles Nard. Armageddon is named after the apocalyptic battle at Megiddo (in the Book of Zechariah? I’m not exactly sure where).December 26, 2013 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #997056
“..Shimshon at his Bris, and Samson Raphael..”
Any idea who R. Shimshon ben R. Refoel’s father was?December 26, 2013 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #997057
@ Little Froggie: Read the biography of Rabbiner Hirsch by E M Klugman; it’s very good.December 26, 2013 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #997058
Sir_Moses_Montefiore: You didn’t answer. (besides, I don’t know English, can’t read biographies)December 26, 2013 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #997059
Modern Hebrew has some unique “features” which place it in a different league than, lihavdil, Lashon HaKodesh.
For example, the use of “Chashmal”, which is a very esoteric concept, was intentionally chosen by the Zionists as the word for electricity.
Others include Bitachon for physical security instead of what we know it to be, ViRabbim kaHeina viKaHeina…
edited for the sake of peace
So while I do understand the similarities that do exist between modern “Hebrew” and, liHavdil, Lashon HaKodesh, the above is why this distinction is important.December 26, 2013 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #997060
First, the Rambam himself was Moshe, not Moussa or some other language-equivalent.
As well, “Aryeh” is mentioned in the Torah (Gur Aryeh Yehuda…)
You’re also ignoring the language issue: Aryeh is Lashon HaKodesh while Leib and Lionel and whatever else are not.December 27, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am #997061
Hakatan- your mention of the word Chashmal (in what sounded like a pejorative sense because the “Zionists intentionally chose it,” and are we not ALL Zionists????) led me to look up its etymology. This is what I found:
“Most people know that ???? (chashmal), the modern Israeli Hebrew word for electricity, was coined by Yehuda Leib Gordon. His inspiration was Ezekiel 1 and 8 which used this word to explain what the appearance of some kind of brightness was like. What does the word actually mean? The Talmud gives two interpretations (Chagiga 13a-b) ???? ?? ?????? and ???? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ??????? ???? ??? ???”?. Both of these are wordplay describing angels of some sort, and their activity. Neither of these are particularly useful as definitions in the sense that unless you’ve seen ???? ?? ?????? then telling us that a brightness looks like them isn’t so helpful…
… The ma’aseh bereshis and ma’aseh merkava are correlated with natural science, and in the course of it he refers to kabbalistic terms which are forces of nature, one of which is chashmalah…
Gordon himself thought that the term could even be extended in yet another compound wordplay, since ???? could also be thought of as a compound formed from ?? ??, the first meaning “quick” (as in Isaiah 8:1) and the latter stemming from ???, or word. In other words, quickword, or telephone (or perhaps telegraph). Obviously ???? was only accepted for electricity.” I hope this clears up your neagtive feelings about the origin of the word. It seems to be stemming from Tanach, even though ti was coined by the (oooohhhhhh) “ZIONISTS.”
Why you feel the need to use the expression “l’havdil” when speaking of Ivrit and Loshon Kodesh, I do not truly understand, but regardless of our differing viewpoints in this area, if you believe HEBREW, the language spoken by our people in SOME form and which we understand today, thousands of years later, to not be Loshon Kodesh, then you must SURELY also believe that Yiddish most certainly cannot be.December 27, 2013 2:01 am at 2:01 am #997062
Oomis, your research on the word “chashmal” yielded interesting and factual results, but I think you missed the point. You note that chashmal “seems to be stemming from Tanach.” That is correct; that is also the source of the problem.
The word chashmal does indeed appear in Sefer Yechezkel, most notably in the Navi’s description of Ma’aseh Merkava. (This word does not appear anywhere in Tanach outside of sefer Yechezkel. Corrections welcome.) Ma’aseh Merkava is a part of the Torah that it is forbidden to study in depth as the concepts are part of Toras Hanistar and not accessible to ordinary (even very learned) people. This fact (that Ma’aseh Merkava is part of Toras Hanistar and not accessible to all) is mentioned in the Gemara, the Rambam, and other sources. (I’m not sure what makes you think Ma’aseh Merkava correlates with natural science, and at any rate it’s not an idea we should be discussing.) Using a word from Maaseh Merkava to describe a natural phenomenon- electricity, denigrates and corrupts the meaning of the holy pesukim in Yechezkel that use the word. Ben Yehuda, a maskil, faced much opposition from Rabbonim in introducing modern Hebrew. This is just one example of what aroused their wrath.
As for your specious argument that we are all Zionists-
It is true that we all pray and wait for the return to Zion. But Zion is another word that was expropriated by maskilim. Zionism describes a movement founded by Theodor Herzl at the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897. I cannot speak for all of us, but I certainly do not feel that I’m connected to that movement, and I suspect there are many others here who feel as I do.December 27, 2013 2:14 am at 2:14 am #997063
Now that I posted, i notice that HaKatan got himself edited in explaining the same topic I tried to take a stab at.
Mods, you state that you edited him for the sake of peace.
Would you consider peace, or Shalom, to have a component of shleimus? In which case I was only trying to offer, insofar as I am able, a more complete understanding of the topic at hand. And a more complete awareness of the issues discussed can only increase Shalom, correct?
you are misunderstanding the editDecember 27, 2013 5:39 am at 5:39 am #997064
I cannot speak for all of us, but I certainly do not feel that I’m connected to that movement, and I suspect there are many others here who feel as I do. “
You are correct – you cannot speak for all of us. There are many here who are Zionistically oriented, just as there are many who might not be. I can listen to each side’s point of view, though I respectfully disagree with yours, if it is so adamantly against modern Zionism.
E”Y is made up of a most eclectic group of Jews (and some non-Jews). The secular Zionists broke their backs and were moser nefesh to fight against our enemies, rebuild E”Y and turn it into the oasis in the desert that it is. Hashem enabled them to do this, and it is because they did it successfully, that so many YESHIVOS now flourish in that oasis, where all our sons and daughters have been zochim to be able to learn.
Whether or not we agree with their secular lifestyle (and of course I do not), THEY step up to the plate every day, they serve in the army, they protect our Israeli brothers and sisters, and they were not afraid to get down in the dirt and plow the land to make it fruitful. It was on their backs that E”Y was reborn after WWII. Hashem ENABLED that to happen. And BTW, whether you are a fan of Herzl or not, he still deserves props for founding that Zionist Congress, even where he erred. It ultimately led to Israel’s emergence as the Jewish State. None of this happened in a vacuum and without Hashem. Ideally we would want to see a Torah-oriented country, a Theocracy. But first we needed the physical country. Now we need to work on the spiritual country.
Obviously this is all my own opinion, and you have every right to disagree with me. But I truly believe that if we are ever to see Moshiach in our lifetime, there are some minds that need to open up a little, to accept and value ALL Jews, even when they are secular, and recognize their contributions to Klal Yisroel.December 27, 2013 5:57 am at 5:57 am #997065
Chashmal means amber according to the Targum Shivim. Yechezkel said ???? ????, like the amber color within a flame. Electron means amber in Greek. Static electricity was first observed by the Greeks with amber, which is how electricity got its name. So I think this is a very Shticky choice on the part of Gordon / Ben Yehuda.December 27, 2013 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #997067
Once again, oomis, you’re missing my point.
Reread my post.
I don’t think you”ll find any indication there that I don’t accept and value all Jews. To paraphrase a little, some of my best friends are reform Jews!
But that doesn’t mean that I am. And that doesn’t mean that I (Ch”V) think that chillul Shabbos, or kefirah, or some of the other values they espouse, are now ok.
People far far greater, more pious and more learned than me, including Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, said that Ben Yehuda would receive s’char for reviving the use of Lashon Kodesh, while at the same time rejecting many aspects of modern Hebrew, and of course rejecting his blasphemous values.
I was taking issue with your suggestion that “we’re all Zionists.” We’re not all Zionists, Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist. Similarly (but L’havdil) we’re not ALL Satmar, Chabad, MO, BMG, Breslov or Belz. But we are all part of one nation that stood at Har Sinai.
We must all find it in our hearts to reach out to each other with compassion, while at the same time maintaining uppermost in our minds our unwavering loyalty to the One Who put us all here on this planet together, and to the Torah that He entrusted to us.December 27, 2013 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #997068
HaLeivi, there’s a lot of “Shticky” stuff in Hebrew. How about the fact that oxygen, the element that causes fermentation and turns your dough into Chametz, is Chamtzan?December 27, 2013 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #997069
HaLeiVi: R’ Shlomo Zalman (Meorei Eish page 810, maybe 808) says that it was improper to use the word “Chashmal” for electricity, though it’s entirely possible that he was unaware of the Greek etymology (see a footnote on that page for an absolutely Pele’dik opinion, by the way).
Golfer: The Rambam very famously says that Ma’aseh B’reishis and Ma’aseh Merkava are natural physics and Aristotelian metaphysics. The Gra very famously says that the Rambam is quite wrong. (Well, almost everyone disagrees with this Ramabam; the Gra just says it most sharply.)
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