By Naomi Seidman
With remarkably unique formulations, Naomi Seidman examines the ways in which Hebrew, the Holy Tongue, and Yiddish, the vernacular language of Ashkenazic Jews, got here to symbolize the masculine and female faces, respectively, of Ashkenazic Jewish tradition. Her refined heritage is the 1st book-length exploration of the sexual politics underlying the "marriage" of Hebrew and Yiddish, and it has profound implications for knowing the centrality of language offerings and ideologies within the development of recent Jewish identity.Seidman quite examines this sexual-linguistic procedure because it formed the paintings of 2 bilingual authors, S.Y. Abramovitsh, the "grand-father" of contemporary Hebrew and Yiddish literature; and Dvora Baron, the 1st glossy lady author in Hebrew (and a author in Yiddish as well). She additionally offers an research of the jobs that Hebrew "masculinity" and Yiddish "femininity" performed within the Hebrew-Yiddish language wars, the divorce that finally ended the wedding among the languages.Theorists have lengthy debated the position of dad and mom within the kid's dating to language. Seidman offers the Ashkenazic case as an illuminating instance of a society within which "mother tongue" and "father tongue" are in actual fact differentiated. Her paintings speaks to big concerns in modern scholarship, together with the psychoanalysis of language acquisition, the feminist critique of Zionism, and the nexus of women's reviews and Yiddish literary heritage.
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Additional info for A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish (Contraversions, 7)
The allusion thus presents Yiddish as both widowed and scorned-doubly bereft, that is, of a male partner. The grandfather, by contrast, provides a worthy pedigree for a generation of writers and readers eager to claim him as family. Shmuel Niger more directly credits Abramovitsh with the sexual transformation of the language in which he worked. By providing the realm of Yiddish literature with the furnishings of proper Jewish masculinity, Abramovitsh made Yiddish safe for men. [Abramovitsh] was the first significant writer in the folk literature who was learned in religious matters [talmid-chokhemdiker].
Blumele, reading aloud to her sick husband from a popular bilingual ethical text with the Hebrew above- and Yiddish below, is reminded of her work as a small produce seller. Her small shriveled head is buried in the large, yellowing pages, which are separated into two by a black line. Above is the Loshn-koydesh, beneath is the ivre-taytsh. This reminds Blumele of the rich produce dealer's house. On the upper floors he lives with his family in a lavishly furnished apartment. Whenever she goes up there, she has to wait in the foyer like a beggar; and she is frightened by the incomprehensible foreign language that the wholesaler's educated daughters and daughters-in-law speak among themselves.
Before he leaves his mother's domain and is being carried to kheyder, Loshn-koydesh plays a minimal role in his life: the prayer Moyde ani, a few benedictions. The teacher was always a male. No one was ever flogged for not knowing Yiddish; the boy was examined in his studies either by his father or by a scholar. The agode (legendary) material was more likely derived from the mother, that is, in Yiddish, from the Tsenerene and the moralistic books; the father had no time. But biblical passages and Loshn-koydesh sayings were more likely to come from the father, and the boys accompanied their father to synagogue.
A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish (Contraversions, 7) by Naomi Seidman