Ashkenazi Hebrew – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ashkenazi Hebrew (Hebrew: ) (Yiddish: ), is the pronunciation system for Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew favored for liturgical use by Ashkenazi Jewish practice. It survives today as a separate religious dialect even alongside Modern Hebrew in Israel, although its use even amongst non-Israeli Jews has diminished.

As it is used parallel with Modern Hebrew, its phonological differences are clearly recognized:

There are considerable differences between the Lithuanian, Polish (also known as Galician), Hungarian, and German pronunciations. These are most obvious in the treatment of lam: the German pronunciation is [au], the Galician/Polish pronunciation is [oi], the Hungarian is [i], and the Lithuanian pronunciation is [ei]. Other variants exist: for example in the United Kingdom, the original tradition was to use the German pronunciation, but over the years the sound of olam has tended to merge with the local pronunciation of long “o” as in “toe”, and some communities have abandoned Ashkenazi Hebrew altogether in favour of the Israeli-Sephardi pronunciation. (Haredi communities in England usually use the Galician/Polish [oi]).

Another feature that distinguishes the Lithuanian pronunciation, traditionally used in an area encompassing modern day’s Baltic States, Belarus, and parts of Ukraine and Russia, is its merger of sin and shin, both of which are pronounced as [s]. This is similar to the pronunciation of the Ephraimites recorded in Judges 12, which is the source of the term Shibboleth.

There have been several theories on the origins of the different Hebrew reading traditions. The basic cleavage is between those who believe that the differences arose in medieval Europe and those who believe that they reflect older differences between the pronunciations of Hebrew and Aramaic current in different parts of the Fertile Crescent, that is to say Judaea, Galilee, Syria, northern Mesopotamia and Babylonia proper.

Within the first group of theories, Zimmels believed that the Ashkenazi pronunciation arose in late medieval Europe and that the pronunciation prevailing in France and Germany in the time of the Tosafists was similar to the Sephardic. His evidence for this was the fact that Asher ben Jehiel, a German who became chief rabbi of Toledo, never refers to any difference of pronunciation, though he is normally very sensitive to differences between the two communities.

The difficulty with the second group of theories is that we do not know for certain what the pronunciations of these countries actually were and how far they differed. Since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, if not before, the Sephardic pronunciation of the vowels became standard in all these countries, ironing out any differences that previously existed.[2] This makes it harder to adjudicate between the different theories on the relationship between today’s pronunciation systems and those of ancient times.

Leopold Zunz believed that the Ashkenazi pronunciation was derived from that of Palestine in Geonic times (7th11th centuries CE), while the Sephardi pronunciation was derived from that of Babylonia. This theory was supported by the fact that, in some respects, Ashkenazi Hebrew resembles the western dialect of Syriac while Sephardi Hebrew resembles the eastern, e.g. Eastern Syriac Peshitta as against Western Syriac Peshito. Ashkenazi Hebrew in its written form also resembles Palestinian Hebrew in its tendency to male spellings (see Mater lectionis).

Others, including Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, believed that the distinction is more ancient, and represents the distinction between the Judaean and Galilean dialects of Hebrew in Mishnaic times (1st2nd centuries CE), with the Sephardi pronunciation being derived from Judaean and the Ashkenazi from Galilean. This theory is supported by the fact that Ashkenazi Hebrew, like Samaritan Hebrew, has lost the distinct sounds of many of the guttural letters, while there are references in the Talmud to this as a feature of Galilean speech. Idelsohn ascribes the Ashkenazi (and, on his theory, Galilean) pronunciation of kamatz gadol as [o] to the influence of Phoenician: see Canaanite shift.

In the time of the Masoretes (8th10th centuries CE) there were three distinct notations for denoting vowels and other details of pronunciation in Biblical and liturgical texts. One was the Babylonian; another was the Palestinian; the third was the Tiberian, which eventually superseded the other two and is still in use today.

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Ashkenazi Hebrew – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ben & Jerrys charoset and 10 more Passover ice cream ideas

Imagine if this Ben & Jerrys truck were filled with 10 flavors of kosher-for-Passover ice creams. (Wikimedia Commons)

A few weeks after Ben & Jerrys founders indicated thatmarijuana-infused ice creammay one day join its product line, the companys kosher-for-Passover charoset flavor has beengenerating buzz.

In case your memories of last years seder are blurred by too many cups of wine,charosetis the fruit-and-nut puree that symbolizes the mortar Hebrew slaves used when making bricks to construct Egyptian cities. In making its charoset flavor, which, sadly, is distributed only in Israel, Ben & Jerrys opted for the Ashkenazi tradition of apples and walnuts, rather than the chunky Sephardic style featuring nuts blended with assorted dried fruits.

Ashkenazi charoset is great, but why stop at one Passover flavor? If we could have 10 plagues, why not 10 ice creams? Heres somePassover flavors wed like to see:

1) Sephardic Charoset: Think rum raisin, but with lots of spices and other dried fruits like dates and figs.

2) Manischewitz Madness: Sure, its not yet legal to put marijuana in the ice cream, but why not this potent and intensely sweet wine? We envision it as a sorbet with a kick that could replace the four cups of wine and double as a palate cleanser.

3) Chocolate-Covered Matzahs and Cream: Think cookies and cream, but crunchier and kosher for Passover.

4) Macaroons and Cream: Ice cream with chunks of macaroon, and the possibility of almost infinite sub-categories of flavors, mixing different types of macaroon with different types of ice cream.

5) Pure Macaroon: Forget the chunks of macaroon and instead just infuse the almond and coconut that form macaroons base into the ice cream itself.

6) Fruit Jellies Jamboree: The iconic gooey fruity candies mixed into vanilla ice cream or fruit sorbet offers a nice mix of textures.

See the rest here:

Ben & Jerrys charoset and 10 more Passover ice cream ideas

Israel denies report it spied on US in Iran nuclear talks

Story highlights Israeli intelligence minister met with French delegation, his spokesman says WSJ: Israel used information it obtained to try to undercut support for a deal “These allegations are utterly false,” an Israeli official says of the spying claim

The newspaper reported late Monday on its website that Israel had obtained confidential information about the negotiations to help it argue against a potential deal.

“These allegations are utterly false,” the senior official in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office told CNN. “The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies.”

The Israeli government’s use of the information it allegedly gleaned — sharing it with U.S. lawmakers and others to undercut support for a deal — was what really angered the White House, the Journal reported Monday, citing current and former U.S. officials.

“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter said, according to the newspaper.

The Israeli espionage efforts included eavesdropping and also acquiring information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the report says.

The senior Israeli official told CNN that “the false allegations are clearly intended to undermine the strong ties between the United States and Israel and the security and intelligence relationship we share.”

That’s not to say Israeli officials haven’t been asking around about the Iran nuclear talks, as participating parties race to get a framework agreement ahead of a March 31 deadline.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz and Yossi Cohen, Netanyahu’s national security adviser, led an Israeli delegation that met early this week with a negotiating team from France, Israeli Intelligence Ministry spokesman Eyal Basson said.

The same Israeli officials left France on Tuesday morning for the United Kingdom to meet with Britain’s delegation on the Iran nuclear talks, according to Basson.

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Israel denies report it spied on US in Iran nuclear talks

Is Israel democratic? Not so clear (+video)

Jerusalem Is Israel a democracy? The answer is not so straightforward, and it increasingly matters given the diplomatic fallout over hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election last week.

The displeasure felt in some quarters over his win has placed front and center the world community’s unwritten obligation to accept the results of a truly democratic vote. It is a basic tenet of the modern order which has survived the occasional awkward election result as well as recent decades’ emergence of some less-than-pristine democracies around the globe.

For Israel, the argument is especially piquant, because its claim to be the only true democracy in the Middle East has been key to its branding and its vitally important claim on U.S. military, diplomatic and financial support. Israel’s elections, from campaign rules to vote counts, are indeed not suspect.

But with the occupation of the West Bank grinding on toward the half-century mark, and with Netanyahu’s election-week suggestion that no change is imminent, hard questions arise.

Republican Sen. John McCain reflected the traditional appreciation of Israel when he advised President Barack Obama to “get over it” a reference to reports that the United States was reassessing relations with Israel in the wake of the result. McCain told CNN that “there was a free and fair democratic election” in Israel “the only nation in the region that will have such a thing.”

But among Israelis themselves, there is increasing angst over the fact that their country of 8 million people also controls some 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians who have no voting rights for its parliament.

If the 2 million Palestinians of Gaza a territory dominated indirectly by Israel were added to the equation, then together with the 2 million Arab citizens of “Israel proper” the Holy Land would be home to a population of some 12 million, equally divided between Arabs and Jews.

Of the Arabs, only a third have voting rights. These are the “Israeli Arabs” who live in the areas that became Israel in the 1948-49 war, which established the country’s borders.

Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 but Israel never annexed them, both for fear of world reaction and due to concerns about millions more Palestinians gaining the vote.

Israelis argue that since the areas are not formally part of Israel, the goings-on therein do not undermine the democracy claim. And some might note that few democracies are perfect; after all, some 4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico cannot vote for the U.S. president because of that island’s unusual arrangement. In the end, perhaps, these things are a matter of degree.

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Is Israel democratic? Not so clear (+video)

David Brooks: How to Fight anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is rising around the world. So the question becomes: What can we do to fight it? Do education campaigns work, or marches or conferences?

There are three major strains of anti-Semitism circulating, different in kind and virulence, and requiring different responses.

In the Middle East, anti-Semitism has the feel of a deranged theoretical system for making sense of a world gone astray. Irans supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, doesnt just oppose Israel. He has called it the sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region. He has said its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran reinstated a conference of Holocaust deniers and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists. Two of Irans prominent former nuclear negotiators apparently attended. In Egypt, the top military staff attended a lecture on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The region is still rife with the usual conspiracy theories that the Jews were behind 9/11, drink the blood of non-Jews, spray pesticides across Egyptian lands.

This sort of anti-Semitism thrives where there arent that many Jews. The Jew is not a person but an idea, a unique carrier of transcendent evil: a pollution, a stain, a dark force responsible for the failures of others, the unconscious shame and primeval urges they feel in themselves, and everything that needs explaining. This is a form of derangement, a flight from reality even in otherwise sophisticated people.

This form of anti-Semitism cannot be reasoned away because it doesnt exist on the level of reason. It can only be confronted with deterrence and force, at the level of fear. The challenge for Israel is to respond to extremism without being extreme. The enemys rabidity can be used to justify cruelty, even in cases where restraint would be wiser. Israeli leaders try to walk this line, trying to use hard power, without becoming a mirror of the foe, sometimes well, sometimes not.

In Europe, anti-Semitism looks like a response to alienation. Its particularly high where unemployment is rampant. Roughly half of all Spaniards and Greeks express unfavorable opinions about Jews. The plague of violence is fueled by young Islamic men with no respect and no place to go.

In the current issue of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg has an essay, Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? He reports on a blizzard of incidents: a Jewish school principal who watched a Frenchman of Algerian descent pin his 8-year-old daughter down in the schoolyard and execute her; a Swedish rabbi who has been the target of roughly 150 anti-Semitic attacks; French kids who were terrified in school because of the Dirty Jew! and I want to kill all of you! chants in the hallway; the Danish imam who urged worshippers in a Berlin mosque to kill the Jews, Count them and kill them to the very last one.

Thousands of Jews a year are just fleeing Europe. But the best response is quarantine and confrontation. European governments can demonstrate solidarity with their Jewish citizens by providing security, cracking down broken-windows style on even the smallest assaults. Meanwhile, brave and decent people can take a page from Gandhi and stage campaigns of confrontational nonviolence: marches, sit-ins and protests in the very neighborhoods where anti-Semitism breeds. Expose the evil of the perpetrators. Disturb the consciences of the good people in these communities who tolerate them. Confrontational nonviolence is the historically proven method to isolate and delegitimize social evil.

Excerpt from:
David Brooks: How to Fight anti-Semitism

Palestine | Encyclopedia Britannica

Alternate titles: Eretz Yisrael; Philistia; Syria Palaestina

Palestine,area of the eastern Mediterranean region, comprising parts of modern Israel and the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip (along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea) and the West Bank (the area west of the Jordan River).

The term Palestine has been associated variously and sometimes controversially with this small region, which some have asserted also includes Jordan. Both the geographic area designated by the name and the political status of it have changed over the course of some three millennia. The region (or at least a part of it) is also known as the Holy Land … (100 of 28,534 words)

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Palestine | Encyclopedia Britannica

Ben & Jerrys charoset and 10 more Passover ice cream ideas

Imagine if this Ben & Jerrys truck were filled with 10 flavors of kosher-for-Passover ice creams. (Wikimedia Commons)

A few weeks after Ben & Jerrys founders indicated thatmarijuana-infused ice creammay one day join its product line, the companys kosher-for-Passover charoset flavor has beengenerating buzz.

In case your memories of last years seder are blurred by too many cups of wine,charosetis the fruit-and-nut puree that symbolizes the mortar Hebrew slaves used when making bricks to construct Egyptian cities. In making its charoset flavor, which, sadly, is distributed only in Israel, Ben & Jerrys opted for the Ashkenazi tradition of apples and walnuts, rather than the chunky Sephardic style featuring nuts blended with assorted dried fruits.

Ashkenazi charoset is great, but why stop at one Passover flavor? If we could have 10 plagues, why not 10 ice creams? Heres somePassover flavors wed like to see:

1) Sephardic Charoset: Think rum raisin, but with lots of spices and other dried fruits like dates and figs.

2) Manischewitz Madness: Sure, its not yet legal to put marijuana in the ice cream, but why not this potent and intensely sweet wine? We envision it as a sorbet with a kick that could replace the four cups of wine and double as a palate cleanser.

3) Chocolate-Covered Matzahs and Cream: Think cookies and cream, but crunchier and kosher for Passover.

4) Macaroons and Cream: Ice cream with chunks of macaroon, and the possibility of almost infinite sub-categories of flavors, mixing different types of macaroon with different types of ice cream.

5) Pure Macaroon: Forget the chunks of macaroon and instead just infuse the almond and coconut that form macaroons base into the ice cream itself.

6) Fruit Jellies Jamboree: The iconic gooey fruity candies mixed into vanilla ice cream or fruit sorbet offers a nice mix of textures.

Read this article:

Ben & Jerrys charoset and 10 more Passover ice cream ideas

An Evening with Etgar Keret part of the Herbert and Marianna Luxenberg Siegal College Israel Lecture – Video




An Evening with Etgar Keret part of the Herbert and Marianna Luxenberg Siegal College Israel Lecture
Spend an evening in discussion with Etgar Keret, prominent Israeli author and director. Keret is the author of The Seven Good Years: Suddenly a Knock on the Door; The Girl of the Fridge; Bus…

By: case

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An Evening with Etgar Keret part of the Herbert and Marianna Luxenberg Siegal College Israel Lecture – Video

Israel denies report it spied on US in Iran nuclear talks

Story highlights Israeli intelligence minister met with French delegation, his spokesman says WSJ: Israel used information it obtained to try to undercut support for a deal “These allegations are utterly false,” an Israeli official says of the spying claim

The newspaper reported late Monday on its website that Israel had obtained confidential information about the negotiations to help it argue against a potential deal.

“These allegations are utterly false,” the senior official in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office told CNN. “The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies.”

The Israeli government’s use of the information it allegedly gleaned — sharing it with U.S. lawmakers and others to undercut support for a deal — was what really angered the White House, the Journal reported Monday, citing current and former U.S. officials.

“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter said, according to the newspaper.

The Israeli espionage efforts included eavesdropping and also acquiring information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the report says.

The senior Israeli official told CNN that “the false allegations are clearly intended to undermine the strong ties between the United States and Israel and the security and intelligence relationship we share.”

That’s not to say Israeli officials haven’t been asking around about the Iran nuclear talks, as participating parties race to get a framework agreement ahead of a March 31 deadline.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz and Yossi Cohen, Netanyahu’s national security adviser, led an Israeli delegation that met early this week with a negotiating team from France, Israeli Intelligence Ministry spokesman Eyal Basson said.

The same Israeli officials left France on Tuesday morning for the United Kingdom to meet with Britain’s delegation on the Iran nuclear talks, according to Basson.

See more here:
Israel denies report it spied on US in Iran nuclear talks

Palestine – New World Encyclopedia – Info:Main Page – New …

From New World Encyclopedia

Palestine (from Latin: Palaestina; Hebrew: Eretz-Yisra’el, formerly also Palestina; Arabic: Filasn, Falasn, Filisn) is one of several names for the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River and various adjoining lands.

Different geographic definitions of Palestine have been used over the millennia, and these definitions themselves are politically contentious. In recent times, the broadest definition of Palestine has been that adopted by the British Mandate, and the narrowest is that used in contemporary politics today, called the Palestinian territories, which are the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Other English names for this region include Canaan, Land of Israel, and Holy Land.

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Palestine – New World Encyclopedia – Info:Main Page – New …