Philologos


The Origins of Yiddish, Part Dray

By Philologos

The Origins of Yiddish, Part Dray
Is it possible that Yiddish comes from Sorbian, a little-known Slavic language that is still spoken by a few thousand people in Germany? Philologos says it very well might have.Read More


The Origins of Yiddish: Part Tsvey

By Philologos

The Origins of Yiddish: Part Tsvey
The origins of Yiddish are subject to serious scholarly dispute. It’s so serious, in fact, that Philologos dedicates a second column to deciphering its beginnings.Read More


Origins of Yiddish Are Anything But Understood

By Philologos

Origins of Yiddish Are Anything But Understood
The origin of Yiddish was long thought to be an open-and-shut case for Jewish historians. But serious linguistic and genetic challenges have made it a much tougher call.Read More


Circassian: A Most Difficult Language

By Philologos

Circassian: A Most Difficult Language
When Philologos encounters two Circassians, Israel’s smallest indigenous non-Jewish population, he is intrigued by a tongue that sounds to some like speaking through pebbles.Read More


What's the Difference Between Mass Killing and Genocide?

By Philologos

What's the Difference Between Mass Killing and Genocide?
When everything is a genocide, nothing is, writes Philologos. He argues that the word should be reserved for real holocausts — or not used at all.Read More






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  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
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