Philologos


Is Operation Protective Edge a Mistake in Translation?

By Philologos

Mistakes in The New York Times suggest that you don’t have to be a Jewish newspaper to think that you know enough about Jewish languages to be excused from proofreading.Read More


Why the Hebrew Numbers Six and Seven Sound Almost English

By Philologos

The Hebrew numbers ‘shesh’ and ‘sheva’ (six and seven) sound similar to the English six and seven. Philologos asks if this is a strange coincidence — or has some deeper meaning.Read More


The Origins of Yiddish, Part Dray

By Philologos

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


Origins of Yiddish Are Anything But Understood

By Philologos

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


Why Kitniyot Passover Fight Is Literally Full of Beans

By Philologos

Why do some Jews consider beans, peas, lentils and other legumes off-limits for Passover? Philologos explains what the great kitniyot fight has to do with the Legume War of 1868.Read More


Moses Told Us To Dip Hyssop in Blood. Did He Mean Marjoram?

By Philologos

We all know that Moses told the Jews to take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in blood and paint their doorposts with it on Passover. There’s a good chance that what he meant was wild marjoram.Read More


Was Daniel's ‘River of Fire’ Really the Milky Way

By Philologos

The Bible claims Daniel saw a ‘river of fire’ coming from God’s throne. Philologos believes he may have been referring to the Milky Way.Read More


What's a Jewish Town Doing in the Middle of 'Madame Bovary?'

By Philologos

Centuries after Jesus reportedly healed a paralyzed man in the Jewish town of Kfar Nahoum, the hamlet regained fame in Gustave Flaubert’s novel ‘Madame Bovary.’Read More


Is There an Echo in Here?

By Philologos

Philologos explains why ‘bat-kol,’ an echo or a mysterious voice that conveys a divine message, is not ‘ben-kol’ and what it has to do with Greek mythology.Read More


Prisoner X and the Letter of Mystery

By Philologos

Prisoner X has been in the news lately, but why does he get that moniker? Philologos reveals the strange, mysterious history of using ‘X’ to designate nameless people.Read More





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