mirHundreds of talmidim at Mir Yerushalayim were surprised on Monday morning 13 Adar I when the Rosh Yeshiva HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel gave his ‘shiur klalli’ in Hebrew instead of Yiddish, withYiddish having been the norm for many years.

Kikar Shabbos reports that just days ago, in his shiur, HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Shmuelevitz gave his shiur in Hebrew instead of Yiddish. Rav Shmuelevitz recently assumed the post of his late father, HaGaon HaRav Refoel Shmuelevitz ZT”L, who was niftar a few weeks ago.

Talmidim explain the Rosh Yeshiva spoke in Hebrew to avoid having some shiurim in Yiddish and some in Hebrew, hence, he decided to follow the lead of Rabbi Shmuelevitz. They further explain the rabbonim understand not all the Israeli talmidim understand the Yiddish, leading to the decision to change to Hebrew to permit everyone to understand. They explain it is better to abandon the long-standing minhag towards everyone understanding a sugya.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

14 Responses

  1. Mir is strongly American. And American bochorim are generally poor speakers of Ivrit. Many or most American bochorim can barely understand a conversation or shiur in Ivrit. So this report makes little sense. Yiddish is far better understand amongst Americans than Ivrit, even amongst Litvish American bochorim. In Torah Vodass, Chaim Berlin, etc. the Roshei Yeshivos often give shiurim in Yiddish and the bochorim certainly, most of them, can understand a Yiddish shiur.

  2. As a past Talmud of Mir Yerushalayim, this is an exciting move. I think more Americans in the Mir have a better understanding of Hebrew than Yiddish.

  3. והאמר רבי בא”י לשון סורסי למה אלא אי לשון הקודש אי לשון יוונית ואמר רב יוסף בבבל לשון ארמי למה אלא או לשון הקודש או לשון פרסי

    Sota mem tes amud beis

  4. Not a positive development.
    I can’t understand why chutznikim have no problem speaking 3 languages while Israelis stubbornly refuse to speak anything but Ivrit, not even a sacred language like Yiddish which connects us with our past…

  5. 1. Zalman, I agree that American bachurim tend to be poor speakers of Hebrew, but they are alos poor speakers of yiddish. Yet they are able to follow a shiur in yiddish. If an American talmid can understand a shiur in yiddish, they can certainly understand a shiur in Hebrew.
    4. TannaKamma, Hebrew is much more of a sacred language that connects us to our past and prepares us for our future.

  6. yes this is a disater! the americans cant and shouldnt speak this treifeh language made by the reshoim in order to make the jews into its own nationality by having its own language. we have the TORAH! we are different!
    #3: i will assume u are saying this is a bad thing, because ivrit is anything but לשון הקודש!

  7. What a wonderful development!

    Over 50% of bochurim & definitely more averachim are Israeli & Hebrew, Ivrit, Lashon Hakodesh is the spoken, understood & main language of the talmidim & probably Rebbaim also.

    Mesivtas that connect to Mir including Ner Yisroel, Shaar Hatorah, Chofetz Chaim, Chaim Berlin, many Israeli yeshivot – Rav Schinberg, Rav Senter, etc…give Shiur in English. Not all Anglos are Yiddish speakers & fewer as years progress.

  8. Yiddish deserves better treatment than to be thrown out like an old shirt.

    Having said that, if they are already switching languages, let them at least use Ashkenazis, Askenazic Hebrew pronunciation of lashon kodesh, to show and maintain a connection with our mesorah, rather than the foreign and inferior modern Israeli pronunciation.

  9. Wow very impressed by this move!!
    Very forward thinking… There are more Yidden in Eretz Yisroel, than any other place in the world.
    Rabbosai where are back in our land, learning our Heilige Torah, lets also speak our Helige language!!
    And yes, stop convincing yourself that Yiddish is as an equal 🙂

  10. @serious mootch- Hashem runs the world! do you think Lashan Hakodesh is being spoken again in Eretz Yisroel, after thousands of years, because Eliezer Ben-Yehuda or David Ben Gurion decided!? The Torah says were one nation, inclusive of ALL Yidden.

  11. serious mootch, and what if many of the Rabbinic personalities from the Gemorah said that Yiddish is a treif language- it doesn’t happen to be Aramaic! When I read Igros Moshe, written in Hebrew- how would you describe Rav Moshe? Truth is, no language is better than another. All languages are accepted while reading Maggid at the Pesach Seder. Certainly if Hebrew is a treif language, then I am proud to be a treif.

  12. MHY
    THE Sefardic accent has been the Lashon Hakodesh of generations of Jews from Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria etc.

    And BTW yeshiva gedolah a in the Sefardic world both in Zion & aboard have ALWAYS had Shiur in IVRIT.

  13. #11 baruch ata & #12 TGIShabbos: u clearly missed my point! ivrit is not loshon hakodesh! at this point already, half of ivrit doesnt even have a zeicher in lashon hakodesh. this s a tremendous chillul hashem!
    igros moshe is written in lashon hakodesh not ivrit!
    as i explained this language is worse than any other, because it was made to change the identity of klal yisrael!
    #10: yes lets speak this heilege language and not ivrit!
    #9: right on the mark. speak lh not ivrit!

Leave a Reply