Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish

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Basic Books, Aug 2, 2007 - Religion - 512 pages
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"When Vanessa Ochs begins to suspect her various physical ailments are due to her leading an ”unsanctified life,” she decides to travel to Jerusalem with her family to explore the sacred books of Judai"

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This is one of the greatest history books that I have ever read. It is so informative about 1000 years of Ashkenazic life and attitudes. The latter part of the book informs us on the formation of Yiddish as a literary language in the late 19th century. There, unfortunately, came to be an unneccessary competition between Hebrew and Yiddush that led to the exclusion of Yiddush from many Jewish schools. Yiddush does persist in the chareidi schools and households. Katz's book brings the leaders and history of these movements, so missing from ordinary history books, to light.  

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