Philologos


Should Israel Have Gone With Yiddish?

By Philologos

Should Yiddish have been the national language of Israel? Philologos says emphatically ‘no,’ because Hebrew is the eternal language of the Jewish people.Read More


A Political Football

By Philologos

A soccer game and Israel’s national anthem are the subjects of this week’s column.Read More


Deciphering Secrets of the 'Patio Tomb'

By Philologos

Is the newly uncovered tomb in Jerusalem one of the earliest known Christian burial sites? The language used in an inscription offers important clues to Philologos.Read More


Sorcerer for the Goose and Gander

By Philologos

The Yiddish word for witch is a nasty word to use about your mother. It also provides sca-a-a-a-ry case study in the changing face of linguistics for Philologos.Read More


Third Time's L'Chaim

By Philologos

Philologos’ columns on the possible origins of the famed Jewish toast has drawn sacks of mail from linguistically inclined readers. Drink up and read his final verdict!Read More


From Hebrew to... Hebrew

By Philologos

An ancient expression meaning a gazelle’s raised horn was switched to the plain vanilla ‘my strength increased’ in a new translation of the Bible into modern Hebrew.Read More


Cheers! We're Not Poisoned — Or Are We?

By Philologos

Does the famed toast ‘l’chaim’ date back to a Byzantine custom of testing wine for poison? Philologos prefers to believe it evolved from an ancient expression meaning, ‘all right.’Read More


'Yahweh' Should Not Offend Anyone

By Philologos

A reader objects to the word ‘Yahweh,’ which he finds offensive. Philologos says it’s a legitimate Biblical term and no one has to read it if they don’t want to.Read More


Who's Scoring a 'Jew Goal'?

By Philologos

Soccer fans borrowed the term ‘Jew goal’ to apply to an easy score. Philologos says the term is an anti-Semitic insult, but teams may be happy to have plenty of ‘em.Read More


L'Chaim a Bad Grammatical Error?

By Philologos

Jews have been toasting with the expression ‘L’chaim’ for centuries. Philologos investigates a reader’s complaint that we may have been wrong for just as long.Read More





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  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
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