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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘website’

Yeshivish, the Language

Monday, November 26th, 2012

One of my personal pleasures these days is listening to an Iyun Kal (“lightly in depth”) Shiur on Shas Illuminated. This is a website designed for people who learn Daf Yomi and want t go into a bit more depth on the subject matter discussed in that day’s Gemarah. I have promoted this website a couple of times since my own son is one of the Magidei Shiur (lecturers). He did the first Perek (chapter) in Shabbos and is due to do the 12th Perek. Having it ‘spoon fed’ to me daily is quite a treat.

I love listening what various Rishonim, Achronim, and modern day Poskim have say on the those Sugyos (topics). I get quite a bit out of someone else’s hard work researching those sources.

But I wonder how many people are able to understand the language spoken by some of the Magidei Shiur. One might ask, “Don’t they give those Shiurim in English?” The answer is, sort of. The language they use is something called Yeshivish. That is a combination of English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Aramaic.

For most people who have attended a Yeshiva through high school and beyond – this is not a problem. This is the way most of us have learned Torah. We use this “Language of Learning”. It is in our blood. Using words like “Mutar and “Assur” are far more natural for us than using their English translations of “permitted” and “forbidden”. It is far more comfortable for us to use the language of the Talmud itself in certain words and expressions.

In fact this is one of the problems I have with ArtScroll English Shas. They translate too much. But I am not criticizing them for that. I actually applaud them for it. They should use as pristine a version of the English language as possible so that everyone can study the Talmud despite their backgrounds.

So what’s my problem? It is the following. If one becomes accustomed to using Yeshivish instead of English one may actually come to forget how to speak the language. Not everyone will be able to understand them. In some cases the Yeshivish becomes so ingrained and so extreme that they become completely incomprehensible to the untrained ear. They may not even realize that normal English speaking non Yeshivishe people have no clue what they are saying.

I will never forget a Sheva Brachos I attended one time. The Chasan’s older brother who was born and raised in America but had been learning in a Yeshiva for over a decade after he was married was asked to speak. He realized that not everyone in the room understood Yeshivish and said so.

He therefore said that he was going to say his D’var Torah in English. And he proceeded to speak incomprehensible Yeshivish anyway. Makes me wonder what his actual Yeshivish sounded like. The point is, however, that he actually thought he was speaking English!

This is a tremendous failing in the right wing Yeshiva world. Secular studies are denigrated so much that the ability to communicate with the non Yeshiva world is completely hampered. These students are either never taught or they completely ignore English grammar and never try to increase their vocabulary.

I don’t think I am alone in noting that this is a problem. I believe that many even right wing Roshei Yeshiva believe it is a problem. I recall reading that Rav Avreimal Ausband, the Rosh HaYeshiva of Telshe Yeshiva of Riverdale saying he felt this way. And yet I don’t believe that any Roshei Yeshiva are doing anything about it.

If the right wing wants to communicate their ideas to an educated Orthodox public, speaking or writing in Yeshivish will not do the trick. They should be able to put together complete sentences that do not contain Yeshivishe words.

Nor will they be able to even teach Torah to anyone who has not gone through the Yeshiva system. Which brings me back to The Magedei Shiur at Shas Illuminated. They are all Tamidei Chachmim, Talmudic scholars. But not all of them speak English – even though they think they are.

My son does. In his Shiurim on that website, he utilizes the vocabulary and English grammar he learned in high school and college. Although he also uses some Yeshivishe words, they are only the ones that are most commonly used. His Shiurim are therefore more broadly understood. But some of the other Magidei Shiur use a Yeshivishe jargon that only those with a serious Yeshivishe background will understand.

Harry Maryles

‘Likudnik’ Website Hacked by Palestinians

Sunday, November 18th, 2012


The Likudnik website (www.likudnik.co.il) was hacked by a Palestinian hacking group called “Network Hackers Palestine” on Sunday.

The site is black and for a split second upon loading a picture of a Palestinian girl wearing a kefiyah in the Arab  colors green, red, and white can be seen.

Likudnik considers itself the “unofficial” website of the Likud and is read by party activists. Members of Knesset and new candidates for the Knesset pay premium rates during election season to rent advertising space on the front page.

Daniel Tauber

Palestinian Terror Group Talks Smack After Assasination

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Palestinian terrorist group, The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) has responded to the assassination of Hamas no. 2 Ahmad al-Jaabari, verbally at least, Palestinian news website, Ma’an reported.

“With this assassination, Israel has opened the gates of hell,” PRC spokesman Abu Mujahid told Ma’an.

“Cowardly settlers had better flee to shelters where we will bury them and they will never be able to leave,” Abu Mujahid added. “The occupation has started the battle and we will respond very fiercely to their crimes.”

Daniel Tauber

The Chesed of Satmar and of the American People

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

There’s a story on a website called Behadrey Haredim (in the rooms of Charedim). This Hebrew language – Israeli based website is now available in English. It tells of how Satmar Chasidim, at the behest of their Rebbe have pulled out all the stops to help fellow Jews in neighborhoods such as Far Rockaway and Bayswater that were suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
It is quite in character for Satmar to help fellow Jews in need. They are well known for their Chesed towards their fellow Jew. One may recall that their Bikur Cholim Society is internationally recognized for just that. Chesed. They visit sick Jews in hospitals and provide for more than their needs regardless of how religious they are. It doesn’t matter if a patient is a Satmar Chasid or not. If you are in the hospital and a Jew they are there to help you. In spades!

So this story is not all that remarkable. They are simply living up to their reputations as Baalei Chesed.

But it occurred to me that what they are doing is already being done in spades. Not by Satmar Chasidim but by the good people of New York City – Jew and non-Jew alike – to all people in need, not just their co-religionists.

This too is in character. Of the American people who comprise this Medinah Shel Chesed. There has been story after story of people helping people in need during this crisis.

Two examples come to mind.

One is about how many of runners who were scheduled to run in the NYC marathon used that time to distribute supplies originally reserved for the runners.

Then there was the story of a gas station owner who stayed open despite the fact that electric power was cut off and his gas pumps weren’t working. He somehow found a hand pump and started pumping gas manually to anyone who came to his gas station. And he did not charge them an extra dime for the gas. There have been hundreds of stories of people helping people without expecting anything in return but out of the goodness of their own heart. All of it non discriminatory. None of it selective – based on what religion you are.

So when I hear about how caring the Satmar community is for their fellow Jews and how much they are doing, I feel it is imperative to note that they are not alone. Nor is it uniquely Jewish. Non-Jews are doing it too. Only they are doing it more inclusively than Satmar.

This is not to take away from the great work Satmar is doing. It is only to praise the even greater work is being done by the good people of this great country. To that end I would also note that MASBIA a soup kitchen in Boro Park founded by Chasidim is extending their hand to all in need – Jews and non Jews alike. That is what I like to see. A real Kiddush HaShem.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Harry Maryles

Don’t Drink Alone

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

It occurred to me that with so much of this website being devoted to politics and the Islamist threat, we should probably use some of our space contemplating the simple pleasures of life. So, today, when both the United States of America and the NRP-Bayit Yehudi Party are facing the vote that will decide their foreseeable future, I figured it was a good time to contemplate the notion of having a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper with your dog sitting in your lap.

The picture was taken in downtown Jerusalem this week, and in my humble opinion spells out the idea of civilization most successfully.

We have cats, so we can only do the coffee and paper thing with them at home. But I assure you it is just as civilized.

Yori Yanover

Recharge Your Neighbor

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

I visited my friend Ed Litvak’s news website thelodownny.com, for news from the old neighborhood following Sandy. Among the reports I ran into this image, of Seward Park Co-op residents helping each other recharge their laptops and phones.

Meanwhile, those co-op residents (which are about one-third Jewish and half of that frum) have put aside their own post-hurricane aches and pains to organize to take care of the numerous elderly residents in the buildings, who have been turned into shut-ins when the power went out and the elevators stopped running.

There are a little over 4500 apartments in those complexes down Grand Street and East Broadway, from Essex Street to the battered East River Park. I’m sure they’ll get it together.

Yori Yanover

Authentic Israeli Doggies

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Here are Canaan puppies playing with their human at a dog kennel at Sha’ar Hagai, on the road to Jerusalem, where they are housed and bred

The Canaan Dog is a native of the deserts of Israel. The original breeding stock at the Sha’ar Hagai kennel was collected from the wild and from the Bedouins, and, over the years, the folks at this kennel have added to this stock “whenever we had a chance.”

According to the kennel’s website, the Canaans are as close as you can get to the original dog, before our ancestors integrated them and started breeding them for fun and profit. These are raw dogs, with a temperament to go with it – not for your average apartment dweller, unless your apartment in in dire need of massive redecoration. They’re not cute, but they’re smart as a whip and can be very friendly and attentive. Obedient is already a different story – it’s something they need to be taught.

Today, more than ever, because of urban sprawl which is causing the gradual disappearance of the Canaan’s natural habitat, making its extinction in the wild a real possibility, This kennel is working to bring in more dogs from the wild and from the Bedouin tribes while they still exist.

They’re in a bit of trouble with the authorities these days, and are facing an eviction. Check out their website: Shaar Hagai Canaan Dogs.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/authentic-israeli-doggies/2012/10/21/

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