[b-hebrew] Language, migration and Jewish identity

Dgahler782 at aol.com Dgahler782 at aol.com
Fri Nov 2 11:50:44 EDT 2007

Karl, I realize that this is getting off B-Hebrew, so here are just some  
closing remarks".
The question was: Why did Eastern European Jews speak a German-based  
language? (Shoshannah believed Yiddish to be a derivative of Hebrew). Karl  and 
Kevin, yes, It makes sense that their (modified) Yiddish originated in  the S-W 
German area since their W-E migration was occasioned by the persecutions  during 
the Crusades, especially virulent in the Franco-Rhineland area. The issue  of 
DNA of current Jews or ancient Hebrews is irrelevant here since the Jews are  
not and never were "reinrassisch" . Rather the question is: IF, as Uzi   
Silber's suggests, the Ashkenazim adopted their Germanic dialect  (Juden-Teitsch > 
Yiddish) from East-Gothic tribes or the Slavic  aristocracy - what language 
then did they speak prior  and during their historical W-E migration and contact 
with the  above? Uzi, you leave this question unanswered. (Since this is off 
B-Hebrew,  perhaps you answer it off-line).
Doris Gahler
 Message: 24
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 10:06:48 +1100 (AUS Eastern  Daylight Time)
From: "Kevin Riley"  <klriley at alphalink.com.au>
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Language, migration  and Jewish identity
To: "B Hebrew"  <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID:  <472A5C00.000003.02924 at YOUR-A9279112E3>
Content-Type: Text/Plain;   charset="iso-8859-1"


It may surprise you to know that for  once the majority of scholars agree
with you.  The earliest Yiddish  documents as well as the current dialects
show definitely that Yiddish  originated in the S-W German area, and changed
as it moved eastward.   While we can assume it moved with people, and assume
those people were Jews,  there is no way of telling from the language if it
changed because of the  influence of the surrounding gentile languages alone,
or because the Yiddish  speaking Jews met other Jews already in those areas
who also contributed to  the language change.  So there is no necessary
connection between being  Jewish and speaking Yiddish and an origin in the
Jewish group in S-W  Germany.  That Yiddish moved from west to east does not
mean that all or  even most Jewish people did the same.  While I believe it
is likely that  some current day Jews are descendants of the Khazars who
converted to Judaism  [a good story in itself] , I dislike intently the
reason many on the 'net  bring it up.  Bringing it back to Biblical Hebrew, I
wonder sometimes  how complicated the history of Hebrew was even back in the
time of  Moses.  Exodus mentions a group of non-Hebrews who came out of  Egypt
with Moses, so maybe the development of Hebrew wasn't just a straight  line
even before the Hebrews settled in Israel.  What a pity the  Israelites did
not write on clay tablets, as then we might have more evidence  on which to
base our wondering.

Kevin Riley

-------Original  Message------- 

From: K Randolph 
Date: 2/11/2007 5:11:07 AM 

I  am not an expert on either German nor Yiddish, but I lived in Germany.  

Of the dialects I was exposed to in Germany, Yiddish is closest to  
Those spoken in south western traditional German lands around where  
Rashi lived. Just my observation. 

But this is getting off of  B-Hebrew. What it proves it up to you. 

Just my 2???. 

Karl W.  Randolph. 

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