A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish: Christians and the Jewish Language - download pdf or read online

By Aya Elyada

ISBN-10: 0804781931

ISBN-13: 9780804781930

This ebook explores the original phenomenon of Christian engagement with Yiddish language and literature from the start of the 16th century to the overdue eighteenth century. through exploring the motivations for Christian curiosity in Yiddish, and the differing ways that Yiddish was once mentioned and handled in Christian texts, A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish addresses a big selection of concerns, so much particularly Christian Hebraism, Protestant theology, early glossy Yiddish tradition, and the social and cultural historical past of language in early sleek Europe.

Elyada’s research of a variety of philological and theological works, in addition to textbooks, dictionaries, ethnographical writings, and translations, demonstrates that Christian Yiddishism had implications past its basically linguistic and philological dimensions. certainly, Christian texts on Yiddish exhibit not just the ways that Christians perceived and outlined Jews and Judaism, but additionally, in a contrasting vein, how they seen their very own language, faith, and culture.

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Additional info for A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish: Christians and the Jewish Language in Early Modern Germany

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29 Compared to non-Jewish languages, Hebrew was considered much more adequate for the task. 30 But by using Yiddish, one was able to reach out to a very broad Jewish public, both geographically and socially. 29 30 Yiddish in the Service of Christian Theology Although missionary writings mention “our Jews” (unsere Juden/­ Iudaei nostri) as the main target for missionary efforts in Yiddish, mission in this language was by no means confined to the Jews in the German lands. The arch-missionary Johann Callenberg, for example, emphasized the pan-European character of Yiddish.

This is true for works which circulated mainly among scholars and also, especially from the late seventeenth century, for works with a more popular orientation. In addition, there were many scholars who did not publish specifically on Yiddish but learned the Jewish language, used it in their works, and commented on it on different occasions. Among these scholars were Christoph Helwig (Helvicus), Johann Andreas Eisenmenger, and Johann Gottlob Carpzov. 3 Although closely linked to Christian Hebraism, “Christian Yiddishism” constituted a cultural phenomenon in its own right.

56 To further create an impression that this was a Jewish work, the name which eventually appeared on the title page was “Johanan Kimhi,” a Hebraicized version of the author’s real name, Johannes Müller. Especially interesting in this respect is the one-page introduction to the work, which like the work itself seems to be Jewish in both form and content. Addressing his Jewish readers in the first-person plural, the author promises that the book will prove from Jewish sources that Israel’s redemption is at hand.

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A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish: Christians and the Jewish Language in Early Modern Germany by Aya Elyada


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