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took them away also. And you, too, ye rose-latticed cottages, the abodes of rustic quiet and innocence! And you, too, huts of the wilderness, where the lone herdsman watched his scattered charge, as they wandered in the dancing sunbeam to the horizon's edge, and tuned the plaintive murmurs of his solitary reed! What, did not you escape? Did the flood "take ALL away?" Yes, ALL. And that word ALL-it is the word used by Christ himself-stands where it is thus employed as a scriptural proof and declaration of the general depravity of human nature; and shews us what is the true character of that moral innocence, of that primitive simplicity, of that native purity, which poets sing, which unbelievers laud, but which the Flood did not spare. Nay, ALL went together. The busy citizen, the quiet countryman, the industrious artizan, the merchant of soft music-ALL-they were ALL of the accursed race of Cain, and the Flood took them ALL away!
If we accomplish that which appears useful to others, in our day and generation, this, to many of us, may appear quite sufficient. Nay, it may attract the admiration of our fellowmortals, directly or indirectly benefited by our labours. But this is no proof that it secures the favour of God. Tubal-Cain was the teacher of those engaged in a most useful line of occupation; for the natural strength of a country lies far more in its brass and iron, than in its gold and silver; yet the whole race and order came to an end together. Had he been the teacher of men who repented of their share of the violence then done in the earth, who called upon the name of the Lord, who served him in faith, hope, and charity, walking in the truth, they might have escaped. It is not enough, then, to gain the footing, which will secure to us the world's applause. We must ask, Where is it that we can stand, so as to know that we have the favour of God? An ark was provided in the days of the deluge. A Deliverer is provided in our days, who is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us.
THE JEWS, AND JEWISH LITERATURE.
1. Lehrbuch zur gründlichen Erlernung der Jüdischdeutschen Sprache, für Beamte, Gerichtsverwandte, Advocaten und insbesondere für Kaufleute mit einem vollständigen ebräisch-und jüdischdeutschen Wörterbuche, nebst einigen in Kupfer gestochchenen und gedruckten Tabellen.
Manual of the Jewish-German Language, for the use of Persons in Law and Business; with a complete Hebrew-German and Jewish-German Dictionary, &c. 8vo. Leipzic: 1792. 2. Handwörtebuch der Jüdischdeutschen Sprache, nebst Erläuterungen jüdischer Sitten, Gebräuche, Kleidungen, Fast- und Festtage, Monate, Zählungsart u.dergl. Von M. Joн. CHRISTOPH VOLLBEDING.
Dictionary of the Jewish-German Language; with Explanations
3. Volständiges jüdisch-deutsches und deutsch-jüdisches Wörterbuch.
Complete Jewish-German and German-Jewish Dictionary. 8vo. Hamburg (without date).
.4 דוד דער בעזיגער דעס גלית : איין שוישפיל מיט געזאנגען אין צווייא אויףציגען צור בעלוסטיגונג אם פורים-פעסטע:
Fürth. Gedruckt und mit orthographiesche Verbesrungen versehen bey ISAAC DAVID ZÜRENDORFFER.
David the Conqueror of Goliath: a Drama, with Songs, in two Acts: for Entertainment in the Feast of Purim. Fürth. Printed and corrected by ISAAC DAVID ZURENDORFFER. 12mo. (without date.)
.5 ספר מחנה ישראל:
The Book of the Camp of Israel. 12mo. Carlsruhe: 1821. In directing the attention of our readers to the Jews, we pointed out, in our last Number, a mode of getting into the midst of Jewish literature, much easier and much more expeditious, than the ordinary course of Rabbinical studies; which comprehends several languages or dialects, and is not to be overcome but by hard labour, of some continuance. We advised those who had no leisure for this, to begin with the study of the German tongue; which being acquired, the transition to Judeo-Polish, or Judeo-German, the national language of the modern Jews, is but a step. We shewed in detail the course to be pursued, enumerated the few books that are required, and gave a particular account of two or three works in the language in question, which we placed at the head of our article. We gave also a specimen of the type in which the modern books of the Jews are generally printed, somewhat resembling the Hebrew and the Rabbinical, but at the same time different from both. We made mention, also, of the modern hand-writing of the Jews; and intimated a hope, that we might subsequently be able to present our readers with a fac-simile, which we have now the
pleasure of doing. This character, also, is sometimes printed by the Jews. We have now before us, for instance, a book en
that is, * Prayers) גבעטע דער יודן אייף דאס גאנצע יאהר,titled
of the Jews for the whole Year, translated and furnished with explanatory Notes; by David Friedländer. Amsterdam; 5567;" or A.D. 1807); in which many parts of the text are in this character. Of course the type is somewhat less free than the written form; to which it bears much the same analogy, indeed, as the italics of our printed books to our common hand-writing. The lithographic specimen, given in our present Number, we now proceed to explain.
At the top are the Hebrew letters, with the corresponding ones of the modern Jewish hand-writing opposite. As varieties will occur, we have given different forms. Next come a few of the most usual contractions, or connections of letters. These explain themselves. Next we have given the beginning of a German sermon, which, as we understand, was preached at the baptism of a Jew:-" According to the judgment of the Apostle, my devout hearers, the people of Israel are an olive-tree, hallowed of God:-hallowed already, in their root, the patriarchs chosen of God, from the remotest times." The mixed Hebrew and German of the remaining specimen, which is part of a letter of recommendation from a Jewish Rabbi, we leave uninterpreted, as an exercise for the learned reader.
We believe that most English Jews can read and write this character; and that there are very few who have not learnt to sign their names in it. Some write it better than our specimen, some worse. When written with care, by an experienced hand, it has a very showy appearance, and affords a good specimen of penmanship. We may be able, hereafter, to give a more favourable specimen.
We mentioned, as one of the difficulties attending the study of the Judeo-Polish, the want of a grammar and dictionary. But the reader perhaps will think, looking to the head of our present article, that Germany, which leaves no branch of literature neglected, has afforded three contradictions to our statement. Neither of the works which we now present to our readers was before us when we wrote; but we believe, that, unless the grammar of which we spoke has since made its appearance, our representation will still be found substantially correct. The present works are little more than glossaries; and though the first upon the list has something in the shape of grammar, or an account of the peculiarities of the language, yet as it contains next to nothing upon accidents or syntax, it still leaves much to be done. This first work, however, the author of which
signs himself Gottfried Selig, is the most useful of the three; as, though we have by no means found it complete, it is the most copious; and has also the advantage of giving the words in the Jewish character. One of the plates is a tolerable specimen of the printed form, or "italics," which we have just spoken of. The other, which attempts to imitate the written character, is perhaps less successful. The preliminary matter treats, first, of the modern Jewish mode of reading Hebrew; secondly, of the Judeo-Polish. In the preface, the author writes thus:
The chief difficulty, which impedes the study of this language, especially to those who wish to understand, and rightly to translate, Jewish documents and letters, is the following. The Jewish, or Jewish-German*, is no distinct language, regularly arranged after certain rules, but rather a mixture; and consists of German, Polish, French, Latin, self-invented, and Hebrew words; and these corrupted, dissonant, and badly pronounced. The Hebrew words, in particular, having syllables prefixed and suffixed, are completely disfigured and disguised. Add to this, that these words are made altogether unintelligible, by their irregular coarse pronunciation, and bad spelling. Another thing is, that the Jews, both in speaking and in writing, often introduce words from the pure Hebrew, which, however, through inaccurate writing and coarse pronunciation, are rendered quite unintelligible. For example, the Hebrew word Schata, signifies, he has drunken. But the Jew says, Er hot geschassjent. Instead of the Hebrew word Achal, he has eaten, he says, Er hot geachelt; instead of Ganaf, he has stolen, Er hot geganft; instead of Kana, he has bought, Er hot gekinjent, &c. One also finds in their writings many proverbial sayings and idioms, which consist indeed of words that are good Hebrew, but which are so badly written and pronounced, that even those who are well acquainted with the Hebrew itself, are unable to read and to understand them. So it is, also, when they introduce into their writings French, Latin, and Polish words. For these are so disguised and inaccurate, that they are very hard to read, and that one might take them for Hottentot and Malabar, rather than for French and Latin. It is no small difficulty, also, that this people is bound in writing by no fixed rules, and regards neither number, gender, nor even orthography. More especially, they omit the vowels in German words, as frequently as in Hebrew: they write and say au and u, instead of a and o; for example, Braud for Brod (Bread), Sunne for Sonne (Sun), Suhn for Sohn (Son): and also aa for ei; as Naa for Nein (No), Flaasch for Fleisch (Flesh), &c. In one word, if we accurately examined their writings in this language, we should find very little that was not incorrect. pp. viii—x.
Our readers must not be discouraged, however, by this statement, as it applies principally to manuscripts. In reading printed books, they will not, we apprehend, find the difficulties greater, than we represented them to be in our last Jewish article and any person who can understand two Germans talking together, will be able to understand a great part of what the
* By Jewish-German, in this country, we generally mean mere German in Jewish characters, of which there is much and the language now in question, being chiefly spoken in Poland, has been called Judeo-Polish, by way of distinction.--ED.
Jews say, when conversing in their own tongue. Neither do we think that our author does justice to this language. We might say with some truth, It now is, what German was. In many respects, the Teutonic, we conceive, is not changed in the hands of the Jews, so much as in the hands of the Germans themselves. It is the old, racy, harsh, expressive German, of a much earlier day than Luther's; and, to our taste at least, possessing singular beauties, and great interest. Its character of antiquity suits well with that ancient people, the Jews. It deserves to be cultivated by them, not on the principle of modern languages, to which grammar gives laws; but on the principle of ancient languages, which give laws to grammar. And it often illustrates modern English, where German fails. For instance, the "needle's eye," Luke xviii. 25, is in Luther's version Nadelöhr, the needle's ear; but in the Judeo-Polish, as
through the eye of a דורך דעם אויג פון איין נאדיל,in ours
The following are the author's remarks, on the changes experienced by Hebrew verbs and nouns, when used in the JudeoPolish.
The Hebrew root, Achal, signifies He has eaten and Achalti, I have eaten: Achalta, Thou hast eaten. If, however, the Jew wishes to express this in Jewish-German, he retains indeed the Hebrew root, Achal, but with a prefix and suffix; and says, Ich habe geachelt, du hast geachelt, er hat geachelt. Here it is to be observed, that the prefix ge comes from the German participle, gegessen: and the t suffixed, one cannot tell whence*. If one wishes to say I will eat, he says, Ich will acheln, &c. Again; I eat, thou eatest, he eats; in Jewish-German, Ich achle, du achlest, er achlet: still retaining the final letters of the German. So with the root, Ganaf, to steal. For instance, I steal, ich ganfe; thou stealest, du ganfst; he steals, er ganft. So also in the perfect.
They proceed far differently with the root Halach, he went. Here they not only add a German suffix, but introduce an n. As, I go, ich halchne; thou goest, du halchnest, &c.
In many instances they merely take the Hebrew infinitive with the auxiliary, seyn, to be. Thus the infinitive, Bau (Ni), signifying to come, is thus conjugated: :
Present. I come
Ich bin bau.
Imperat. Come thou
Infinitive. To come
&c. Sey bau.
When therefore a Jew wishes to say, I cannot come, he says, Ich kann nit bau seyn.
This sort of conjugating, by the help of the Hebrew infinitive, frequently occurs in Jewish-German. Hence they say, Naussen seyn, to give; manhig
The form of many German participles of irregular verbs, affords an easy solution: gemocht, genannt, gedacht, gebracht, gedurft, gewuszt.