After These Seniors Teach You Yiddish, You Will Never Forget It

Yiddish. The Jewish language which united Ashkenazi (European) Jews is based on German with additions of Hebrew, Aramaic, as well as a bit of Slavic and Romance languages. Also known as “Mama Lashon” (mother tongue) as opposed to Hebrew which is known as “lashon hakodesh” (the holy tongue) and is written using Hebrew letters.

Yiddish was a language alive with experiential and contextual words and phrases. Many yiddish terms and expressions are hard to translate into other languages. If you don’t speak Yiddish, you just won’t get it.

Not only a language, it is also a culture. Yiddish literature and theater was highly appreciated and continues on to this day. Writers such as I.L. Peretz, and Sholem Aleichem, whose famous work about Tevye the dairyman turned into the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” were just a few of the classic Yiddish authors. Yiddish theater and plays were prominent in Europe and later in both North and South America.

Yiddish, was a language which united Ashkenazi Jews from different countries, backgrounds, and religious observance. 85% of the Jews who died in the Holocaust were Yiddish speakers, making the language far less prevalent.

Yiddish is a fun rich language which is part of an incredible unifying culture. As one women says in the video “Although we come from different places, the Yiddish language and the Yiddish culture bring us together.”

Published: December 30, 2016
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