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 background 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 building of contemporary Jewish identity.Seidman fairly examines this sexual-linguistic method because it formed the paintings of 2 bilingual authors, S.Y. Abramovitsh, the "grand-father" of recent Hebrew and Yiddish literature; and Dvora Baron, the 1st glossy girl author in Hebrew (and a author in Yiddish as well). She additionally presents an research of the jobs that Hebrew "masculinity" and Yiddish "femininity" performed within the Hebrew-Yiddish language wars, the divorce that eventually ended the wedding among the languages.Theorists have lengthy debated the position of parents within the kid's dating to language. Seidman offers the Ashkenazic case as an illuminating instance of a society during which "mother tongue" and "father tongue" are truly differentiated. Her paintings speaks to big matters in modern scholarship, together with the psychoanalysis of language acquisition, the feminist critique of Zionism, and the nexus of women's experiences and Yiddish literary background.
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Additional info for A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish (Contraversions, 7)
While not much had changed in Ashkenazic educational practices to make Yiddish translations for women less necessary, something important had changed for the men who were the potential Hebrew-Yiddish translators that might explain why Abramovitsh's apologetic is even more fervent, more insistent than Altshuler's was. It is not only that there is more at stake for the modern male writer in his choice of literary medium than there was for his premodern precursors. For Altshuler, the "natural" differences between the sexes gave Yiddish works their stamp of unarguable necessity.
But biblical passages and Loshn-koydesh sayings were more likely to come from the father, and the boys accompanied their father to synagogue. We have here explicitly a long-lasting attachment of Yiddish to the mother and Hebrew to the father. 37 Weinreich's description of Hebrew-Yiddish acquisition traces the language system to childhood development and illuminates the anxiety a male writer "regressing" to Yiddish might experience. Hebrew-Yiddish relations may have been familial, but the family, after all, was a patriarchal one.
Copyrighted material 2 The Transsexual Imagination A Reading of Sh. Y. Abramovitsh 's Bilingualism The artist's most essential quality is masterly execution, which is a kind of male gift, and especially marks off men from women, the begetting of one's thought on paper, in verse, or whatever the matter is. -Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1886 If Grandmother had a beard, she'd be a grandfather. - Yiddish proverb In the summer of 1909, t he sevent y-five- year-old Hebrew-Yiddish writer Sh. Y. " The "triumphal tour" went from Vilna to Bialystok, from Bialystok to Warsaw and from Warsaw to Lodz.