Dovid Katz, "600 Years of Conflicts About Yiddish"

Waks Family Fund in Yiddish and Jewish East European History and Culture

During its thousand-year history, Yiddish has been the language of Ashkenazic Jewry, one of the most non-violent societies in human history. But as a catalyst for passionate argument and and cultural conflict, Yiddish, while for centuries the universal Ashkenazic vernacular for all segments of society, has nevertheless been a subject of disputes for around six centuries. The talk will survey medieval rabbis' salvos against songs and books in Yiddish, and counter-culture endeavors to strike back at the rabbinic elite via Yiddish, including the legitimization of Christian-origin knightly romances and eventually, turning inward, arguments for the sanctity of Yiddish within Jewish life. Debates about Yiddish were initiated by missionaries, antisemites, business-manual writers, kabbalists, and assorted cultural rebels. The talk then moves on to the modern period, the Hebrew-Yiddish conflict, the left-right schism, and ends up with taking note of some Yiddish conflicts of our own times.

To read more Dovid Katz, please click here

This event is free and open to the public. No registration required. Limited seating.

Presented by the Moyshe and Esther Menachovsky Memorial Fund in Jewish Studies, the Al and Malka Green Program in Yiddish Studies, the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto, Friends of Yiddish, the Committee for Yiddish at the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Workmen's Circle/Arbeiter Ring, the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University, and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto.

Date & Time
Monday, March 21, 2016 - 4:00pm

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100, 170 St. George Street