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damasco

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  • Remembering Revolutionary Yiddishland
    • The word Yiddish means, in Yiddish, both the language and Jewish--same word. It is difficult to disentangle the two. If they thought of themselves as Yiddish, as you say, then they neccessarily thought of themselves as Jewish--only to a non-Yiddish speaker would it seem otherwise. Nor was Ashkenazi the great signifier of identity--the great divides were largely descended from the haskalah. (Sephardic Jews were little more than received projections.) The Yiddish language and literary culture was steeped in religious imagery and references, even if they were irreligious. As a Yiddish poet once wrote "Sein a Yid heisst ewig laufen zu gott / afi'lu as miz an entlaufer" (roughly: to be a Jew means always running to God/ Even when you are fleeing)

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