Jewish-Languages Mailing List

April 2002

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 08:43 -0700
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: from Norman Stillman

From: norman stillman <nstillman2001 @>
Subject: Query: Curses

I am seeking references on the subject of curses (maledictions), insults,
and gibes in Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish or other Jewish languages for
comparative purposes. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

Noam Stillman
University of Oklahoma
Currently at INALCO (Paris)
nstillman @ or nstillman2001 @

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 10:00 -0700
From: weigelw @
Subject: Re: from Norman Stillman

In response to the query about curses, insults, etc., an excellect
resource for Yiddish is:

Matisoff, James A. 2000. Blessings, Curses, Hopes, and Fears:
Psycho-ostensive Expressions in Yiddish. 2nd ed. Stanford: Standford
University Press.

William F. Weigel
Department of Linguistics
U.C. Berkeley

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 13:51 -0400
From: George Jochnowitz <jochnowitz @>
Subject: taboo


If anyone would like me to snail-mail them a copy of "Religion and Taboo in
Lason Akosdesh (Judeo-Piedmontese)" or "Lexical Items Collected by Zalman
Yovely," both of which discuss taboo, I can do so if you send me your
snail-mail address. You can e-mail me at the above address or at
jochnow @

George Jochnowitz

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 19:48 +0100
From: palma @
Subject: Re: taboo

yes, thank you

40 rue de montmorency
f75003 paris

(not texas...)

Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 22:35 -0700
From: James Ward <jamesward @>
Subject: klezmer-loshn

Greetings to all,

I have just encountered the term "klezmer-loshn." Does anyone know if
any studies have been done of this?

Many thanks,


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 18:54 -0700
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: Re: klezmer-loshn

In response to James' question, here's a response from Jim Loeffler, who
works on klezmer history:


From: J. Loeffler <jbl37 @>

Robert Rothstein's article on klezmer-loshn appears in the journal
Judaism, in the winter 1998 issue, and is actually available on-line
somewhere, I believe. It will be republished in an anthology by Mark
Slobin this spring. That is probably his most substantial writing on
klezmer-loshn. Much of his work is based on earlier studies by Jewish
folklorists such as:

1) Samuel Weissenberg--"Die 'Klesmer' Sprache" in Mitteilungen der
anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien 43:127-42 (1913)

2) Alfred Landau--"Zur Russich-Judischen 'Klesmer'-Sprache" Mitteilungen
der anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien 43:127-42 (1913)

Rothstein also cites other scholarship and some great literary examples of
it, mostly from sholom aleichem.

Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 20:21 -0700
From: James Ward <jamesward @>
Subject: Re: klezmer-loshn

Many thanks to Mikhl and Sarah (and Jim Loeffler) for your answers!
These will be excellent sources with which to begin an inquiry.

Appreciative regards (which sounds much too stiff and formal for what I
wish to convey),


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 21:07 -0700
From: James Ward <jamesward @>
Subject: Re: klezmer-loshn

I don't know if I'm doing something unethical here or not, but here is
an interesting exchange from the Jewish-music list that I found by
searching for "Robert Rothstein klezmer-loshn." The messages are from
late January and February of 2000. Anyone desiring further particulars
of the messages can find them at

(It never even occurred to me that there might be anything on-line about
such an esoteric subject, even though I found the term "klezmer-loshn"
on a web-page. True, there isn't much, but here is this exchange, with
a gem or two to be found therein...)


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 06:50 -0700
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: Academic boycott of Israel (fwd)

Politics aside, this is an important issue of academic cooperation.


Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 11:25:23 +0100
From: aaron benavot <msbenavo @>
To: SOCIOLOGY LIST <sociohuji @>
Subject: [sociohuji] New Web site to register your opposition to European
 Boycott of Israeli Academia

Dear Colleagues:

As you may or may not know, a call for a moratorium on all
European-Israeli academic and cultural ties signed by 120 European
professors (mainly from the UK) was published on April 6 in The Guardian
(A similar call has been initiated the USA and according to yesterday's
HaAretz, the original petition has over 400 signatories). In response to
protest letters by Professor Hillel Shuval, Dr. Aaron Benavot and Dr. Eva
Illouz, which were circulated in Israel, Europe and North America,
individuals were asked to send an email OPPOSING this initiative. Within
several days we had received over 230 emails protesting the proposed
European boycott of scientific and cultural ties in Israel.

A new statement of protest has been collectively hammered out and placed
on a special web site to collect signatories. The web site address is:

A list of initial signatories (pre-web site) can be found at:

Even if you have sent an email of support previously, we ask you to visit
the web site, read the declaration and submit your name in support of the
new statement of protest. Please remember that the guestbook often fills
up quickly (there is a maximum of 50 names at a time), so if you are
unable to sign in at some point, try again.

We also ask that you circulate this information to colleagues and friends
abroad, especially in Europe, who are inclined to oppose to the proposed

Thank you very much for your support.

Aaron Benavot and Eva Illouz

P.S. If you would like copies of the letters preapred by Shoval, Benavot
and Illouz, please inform me via email.

P.S.2. If you would like to circulate a copy of the statement in German or
French please send me an email at msbenavo @

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 09:02 -0700
From: Thamar Gindin <thmrgndn @>
Subject: maledictions, benedictions and oaths

If you are also interested in all of the above in
Jewish Iranian dialects, look for

S. Soroudi, Judeo-Persian Religious Oath Formulas
as Compared with Non-Jewish Iranian Traditions,
Irano-Judaica 2 (1990), pp. 167-183.
(some of these oaths are benedictions and


A. Netzer "beraxot, qelalot u-shvu'ot etsel yehudei
Isfahan" - mikedem u-miyam 4 (1991) (I have pp.197-198
but it's probably wrong, the paper is much longer).

Best of luck

Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 19:48 -0700
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: AJS submission deadline extension

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 16:56:40 -0400
From: Association for Jewish Studies <ajs @>

Dear Colleagues,

It has become apparent that in the rush leading up to the deadline of at
the end of the day yesterday, many potential applicants were unable to
complete their submissions for the conference in a timely manner. We have,
accordingly, extended the deadline for new submissions and for the editing
of previous submissions to 5 PM EDT this coming Monday, April 22. The
AJS office will be glad to assist with any technical issues--please do not
let any technical problem stand in the way of any potential submission. For
issues pertaining to topic or subject matter only, please feel free to
write Prof. Judith Baskin, the conference chair,
<jbaskin @> prior to the new deadline.

Thank you to all who have already submitted proposals for their gracious
response to our new system. We apologize for any glitches you may have
encountered, but we want to assure you that we have taken every possible
step to assure a smooth process and have earnestly tried to remedy all
problems of which we have been made aware.

Yours sincerely,

Aaron L. Katchen
Executive Director

 Association for Jewish Studies
 Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ph.D., President
 Aaron L. Katchen, Ph.D., Executive Director

 MS 011 email: ajs @
 Brandeis University Voice: (781) 736-2981
 P.O. Box 549110 FAX: (781) 736-2982
 Waltham, MA 02454-9110