יום חמישי כ"ג בחשון תש"פ 21/11/2019
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In I got It!

Break Your Neck and Leg for Good Luck?

Why have so many Jewish sayings been incorporated into the German Language?

N. Lieberman 22/10/2009 09:00
Out of all the nations of the world, it is ironically the German nation, which has caused the Jews to suffer so greatly from their anti-Semitism and persecution, which has incorporated into its language various figures of speech which derive from the language of the Jews themselves.

German-speakers will recognise the peculiar greeting still used today as a ‘good-luck’ wish; ‘hals und beinebruch’, which translates as ‘break your neck and your leg’. This bizarre phrase has its origin in the Jewish expression ‘hatzlocha un brocha’, which bears some similarity to its German mutation when pronounced with a strong Yiddish accent.
Another expression used in German is ‘tachles redden’, which uses the Hebrew word ‘tachlis’. The phrase ‘zo lange zoll mein tzorres dauren’ derives from the Hebrew expression ‘she’lo l’orech zman yishl’tu tzarosai’, even though the word ‘tzorres’ has no real basis in the German language at all.

Other Hebrew words have also been absorbed into the German language via Yiddish, such as ‘choser mazal’ which is found in German as ‘vermasselt’, with the Hebrew word mazal mutating into ‘masselt’ in German, and the prefix ‘ver’ indicating the lack thereof.

The Hebrew term ‘peshitas regel’ is also found in German as ‘pleite’, and derives from the Hebrew word ‘pleit’ which is used to describe the concept of fleeing from one’s enemies. Even the common expression ‘shanah tovah’ used by all Jews on Rosh HaShanah has left an imprint on the German language as ‘guten Rutsch’. In fact, this translates as ‘a good smoothing-out’, which might be understood as a wish that the coming year be one free of obstacles. In fact, the word Rutsch is nothing but a mutation of the Hebrew word ‘Rosh’, since it is on Rosh HaShanah that the Jews wish each other ‘shanah tovah’….

A reverse process of linguistic development is can be found in the modern Ivrit(Hebrew) language, by which words originating from German have been incorporated in an altered form into modern Hebrew, with no previous basis in Loshon haKodesh, the Holy Tongue. Examples include the word ‘iton’ in Ivrit, which derives from the German ‘zeitung’. ‘Zeit’ translates as ‘time’, in Ivrit ‘it’. Also the word used in Ivrit to denote a brush, ‘mavreshet’, derives from the German word ‘burste’ of the same meaning. There are many other such examples, the words having accompanied late-nineteenth-century immigrants to Eretz Yisrael and having then been incorporated into the nascent Hebrew language.