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The beginning of the Yiddish language
The Yiddish language is nearly 1,000 years old. It was in the 10th century that this language begun. This saw the Jews from France and Italy establishing a large community in Germany. Though there were natives who still spoke German, the new residents reached the place speaking in Laaz. This was a Jewish-French dialect mix of languages. Laaz was used in punctuating the German dialogue.
By the 19th century, the Yiddish language reached in Poland, German and other European regions. Yiddish became exposed to Slavic languages. It was during the 16th century that Yiddish language became a written language. This was mainly in some parts of Poland. The Jews used Hebrew characters in writing Yiddish.
Yiddish connection with Ashkenaz, Kabbalists and Hasidism
The Pious of Ashkenaz, the Kabbalists, and Hasidism are all associated with Yiddish and lived in different generations. Pious of Ashkenaz was the earliest community that lived in Yiddish generation. The term ‘Ashkenaz’ refers to the Middle Ages applied only to German lands. The pious of Ashkenaz are the early descendants who migrated from German and France to Poland.
They brought the German dialect and customs to the Jews in the Slavic territories. The Kabbalist community lived between the 16th and 18th centuries. At the start of the 17th century, there was the popularization of Kabbalah practice. This led to some changes in Ashkenazi society. The kabbalah ideas started to diffuse during this period. Kabbalah immensely influenced the Yiddish Literature.
The Kabbalistic tradition became an integral part of the religious culture. This was particularly seen in the liturgical practice. Kabbalah practice was associated with magical practices, charm and exorcism. Hasidism emerged on the onset of the 18th century. It started in the Polish-Lithuanian territory (nowadays known as Ukraine). Yiddish literature played an integral part in spreading Hasidism.
In that period, there was an influence on the Jews to become modern. The Haskala community fought hard to modernize its activities. There were several leaders who tried to explain their calling through Yiddish literature.
German language as a piece in developing Yiddish language
German language was a crucial piece in developing Yiddish language. During the early periods, the early arrivals used Laaz to punctuate their German speech and expressions. This saw the modification of the language. The Jews tried to articulate Yiddish in writing and Hebrew came to play that part. This led to the emergence of the Yiddish literature. Slavic languages played a crucial role in facilitating Yiddish language to its own right.
This is when the Jews arrived in Poland, Germany and other parts of Eastern Europe. Logically, Yiddish originated from the South of Europe. Jews migrated from France and Northern Italy to Germany. The growth of Yiddish language started from the South heading to the North (Poland). At that time, Yiddish used a lot of Slavic language. However, in the Western Europe, Yiddish started to decline.
The most historic period in Yiddish literature
The most historic period in Yiddish literature was after the 1860s. Abramovitsh wrote many books to try and bring Yiddish back. He used the basic Hebrew he knew since he thought that Yiddish lacked enough literature.
The role of Mendele Moykher Sforim was to criticize the modern Jewish life in an ironic manner. The character tries to attune to the traditional Eastern Jews. Odessa (in Ukraine) was the place where Sholem Aleichem and Abramovitsh often met to articulate their ideas.