publisher colophon
  • The Kitsur shulḥan ‘arukh, Hasidic Tale, and Maskilic Literature as Exemplars of Ashkenazic Hebrew
ABSTRACT

This article examines the language of three distinct prominent Eastern European Hebrew textual corpora, namely the Kitsur shul@han ‘arukh, the Hasidic hagiographic tale, and Maskilic fiction. It demonstrates that despite their authors’ divergent ideological and religio- cultural stances, each of the three corpora exhibits striking similarities in their use of particular morphosyntactic features which are regarded as non-standard vis-à-vis earlier canonical forms of the language. These features include the use of prepositions in conjunction with the definite article; non-standard noun gender; definite construct nouns; doubly definite construct chains; avoidance of the dual in conjunction with time words and numerals; and feminine numerals modifying masculine nouns. These similarities suggest that the the Kitsur shul@han ‘arukh, Hasidic tale, and Maskilic fiction are all constituents of a more widespread Ashkenazic form of the language with shared grammatical characteristics which have not yet been systematically documented. By highlighting these shared features and placing them within their broader linguistic context, the article seeks to contribute to a clearer understanding of Ashkenazic Hebrew and redress the scholarly inattention to this important form of the language.

KEY WORDS

Hebrew grammar, Eastern Europe, Ashkenazic, Haskalah, Maskilic, Hasidic, Ganzfried, morphosyntax, Kitzur shul@han arukh

introduction

The diverse forms of Hebrew literature composed in Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century are of great linguistic significance for two chief reasons. First, they can shed important light on the nature and development of written Hebrew in the Ashkenazic diaspora. Second, they are the immediate forerunners of revernacularized Hebrew as it emerged in late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Palestine, and as such they can offer an unparalleled insight into the early development of the modern (Israeli) form of the language. Despite their importance for our understanding of the diachronic evolution of Hebrew, the nineteenth-century Eastern European forms of the language have traditionally suffered from scholarly neglect and until recently have not been subjected to detailed linguistic analysis, falling prey instead to generalizations.1 This is particularly true of two major forms of narrative Hebrew composed in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, maskilic literature and the hasidic tale.

Maskilic Hebrew fiction, which flourished in Eastern Europe (primarily in czarist Russia) in the second half of the nineteenth century, was the product of an ideological movement that prized the study of Hebrew grammar with an expressed preference for a purist style based on the [End Page 159] biblical standard.2 This attitude was an innovation of the maskilic movement,3 as formal study of Hebrew grammar and adherence to a particular form of the language had not played a role in the traditional Eastern European Jewish educational establishment.4 These maskilic authors viewed their novels, short stories, and plays as part of an educational project geared toward the enlightenment of Eastern European Jewry and regarded language as an important element of this endeavor.5

Like maskilic fiction, the Eastern European hasidic hagiographic tale rose to prominence in the second half of the nineteenth century (though production continued into the early twentieth century). The authors were adherents of the hasidic spiritual movement from parts of present-day Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. In contrast to their maskilic counterparts, they did not express ideological views regarding the formal study of Hebrew grammar or the superiority of any particular linguistic standard. The maskilim generally espoused a strongly antihasidic ideology6 and regarded the Hebrew employed by hasidic writers as corrupt, [End Page 160] ignorant, and ungrammatical, with the authors categorized as ignorant and poorly educated.7 The maskilic author Joseph Perl’s satirical epistolatory novels Megale temirin8 and Boḥen tsadik,9 which were composed in a style replete with intentional grammatical errors designed as a parody of the Hasidic Hebrew idiom, exemplify this perception.10

A third significant type of nineteenth-century Eastern European Hebrew writing is nonhasidic Orthodox halakhic literature. This body of writing is the product of the same cultural and linguistic background as contemporaneous hasidic and maskilic narrative, but its authors were not affiliated with either of these two movements and as such were rooted in a different ideological perspective. The most well-known and widely read representative of nineteenth-century Eastern European halakhic writing is the Kitsur shulḥan ‘arukh, or Kitsur, as it is commonly known. Compiled by Solomon Ganzfried, a Hungarian Orthodox rabbi, the Kitsur is a handbook of practical Ashkenazic halakhah first published in 1864. It contains detailed guidelines for everyday Jewish life and has been hugely influential among Ashkenazic Jewry; after its first publication it quickly became their most popular and authoritative legal guide,11 was published in fourteen editions in Ganzfried’s lifetime, and has been reissued in countless editions since then, remaining the essential compendium of Orthodox halakhah to this day. In contrast to the hasidic authors, whom the maskilim regarded as badly educated, Ganzfried had impressive traditional Jewish educational credentials and would have been extremely well versed in the canonical Hebrew sources: he was raised by a guardian considered to be one of the outstanding scholars of the period, served as the head of the bet din of his hometown of Ungvar, and was an extremely well-respected legal authority.12 Ganzfried’s seminal work is thus an ideal [End Page 161] subject of linguistic examination alongside hasidic and maskilic narrative literature because it is arguably one of the most influential and familiar nonhasidic and nonmaskilic Hebrew texts from mid-nineteenth-century Eastern Europe. The fact that Ganzfried was neither hasidic nor maskilic means that his writing can be regarded as a sort of control text whose language can fruitfully be examined against that composed by adherents of these two ideologically, and allegedly linguistically, opposed movements. Hence, these three prominent yet understudied textual corpora can together serve to paint a relatively comprehensive and representative picture of Hebrew in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe.

The maskilic characterization of Hasidic Hebrew as a grammatically flawed and corrupt form of the language having little in common with their own grammatically standardized and purist compositions has led to a widespread scholarly consensus that these two forms of nineteenth-century Eastern European Hebrew are linguistically distinct due to the authors’ different educational, ideological, and religio-cultural orientations. As such, the existence of nonstandard grammatical features in hasidic texts has been noted and dismissed as evidence of the authors’ grammatical ignorance, whereas maskilic literature is not typically associated with such nonstandard elements. Ganzfried’s Kitsur, which stands in isolation from the perceived hasidic/maskilic linguistic dichotomy, has not been the subject of this type of linguistic preconception and has never been singled out as grammatically flawed.

As such, it is perhaps startling to discover that linguistic analysis of these three corpora reveals the same nonstandard features attested in the hasidic tale to be extremely common elements of not only the Kitsur, which was never subjected to the accusations of grammatical inferiority leveled at hasidic narrative, but also of the writing of the very maskilic authors who condemned the hasidic tale for its corrupt language. However, when one considers that despite their very different ideological and religio-cultural orientations, the authors of each corpus are all the product of the same Eastern European Ashkenazic environment and basic education, and that all have Yiddish as their native vernacular (as well as that Maskilic and Hasidic Hebrew have been shown to resemble each other closely in other aspects of morphology and syntax13), the fact that they all employ the same nonstandard elements in their writing is perhaps less surprising. Indeed, the relatively systematic employment of these nonstandard features in all three corpora suggests that, rather than being [End Page 162] haphazard mistakes deriving from hasidic grammatical ignorance, they are actually elements of a shared Ashkenazic linguistic heritage. This proposal is reinforced by the existence of many similar features in medieval and early modern responsa literature from Central and Eastern Europe, suggesting that such an Ashkenazic form of Hebrew may be a much more widespread variety stretching back many centuries prior to the time of Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic counterparts.

This essay thus aims to provide the first analysis of the nonstandard grammatical features attested in the Kitsur, the hasidic tale, and maskilic fiction and to situate them within the context of a shared Ashkenazic form of Hebrew.14 The features to be examined consist of prepositions in conjunction with the definite article; nonstandard noun gender; definite construct nouns; doubly definite construct chains; split construct chains; avoidance of the dual form with time words and numbers; superlative adjective constructions with inline graphic yoter; and masculine numerals in conjunction with feminine nouns. I will present and analyze each of these phenomena in turn with examples drawn from Ganzfried’s Kitsur; a representative corpus of thirty-seven Hasidic Hebrew tale collections published between 1864 and 1914; and a representative corpus of twenty-one Maskilic Hebrew short stories, novels, and plays published between 1857 and 1878.

In the body of the essay each phenomenon is illustrated with one example from the Kitsur, hasidic tale, and maskilic literature in turn; further examples from each of the three corpora are provided for reference in an appendix at the end of the essay. In order to lend a sense of proportion, slightly fewer examples are provided in the appendix for constructions that are less ubiquitous than others. The phenomena will be analyzed in light of the possible sources that contributed to their development. These consist of influence from the authors’ native Yiddish on the one hand, and of earlier Hebrew (Ashkenazic and non-Ashkenazic) literary models on the other. While it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain the precise role played by an older non-Ashkenazic Hebrew literary source in the development of a given nineteenth-century Eastern European Hebrew phenomenon, the existence of an identical feature in a well-known medieval or early modern text such as the biblical commentaries of Abarbanel or Alshekh is worth noting because Ganzfried and the hasidic and [End Page 163] maskilic authors would all have been intimately familiar with these writings and are thus likely to have drawn on them (probably subconsciously) in their own Hebrew compositions.

1. prepositions in conjunction with the definite article

The first nonstandard feature to be examined here concerns the Eastern European Hebrew authors’ treatment of the definite article when appearing in conjunction with one of the inseparable prepositions - inline graphic (b- “in, at, by, with”), - inline graphic (l- “to, for”), and - inline graphic (k- “as, like”). In biblical Hebrew the definite article is regularly elided when prefixed by one of these prepositions, e.g., inline graphic (ha-’ish “the man” [Gen 24.22]) vs. inline graphic(la-’ish “to the man” [Gen 43.6]); exceptions to this convention are relatively marginal and generally restricted to books considered to be late.15 Elision of the definite article following an inseparable preposition is likewise standard in Mishnaic Hebrew and subsequent forms of the language. By contrast, in Ganzfried’s Kitsur, the hasidic tale, and maskilic literature, the definite article is typically retained following inseparable prepositions. This trend, which has relatively few exceptions in all three corpora, is striking in its divergence from the canonical norm. The fact that the maskilic authors employ the construction so regularly despite their expressed preference for classical norms is particularly noteworthy, suggesting that, despite any conscious attempts to differentiate their own written language from that of their more traditional contemporaries, this convention was so familiar to them that they employed it instinctively without recognizing its nonstandard nature.

The following three examples illustrate this phenomenon as attested in the Kitsur, Hasidic and Maskilic Hebrew respectively. (See section 1 of the appendix at the end of this essay for further examples from each of the three corpora.)

Kitsur:

inline graphic le-ha-’ish “for the husband”;16 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic la-ish [End Page 164]

Hasidic:

inline graphic le-ha-suka “to the sukkah”;17 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic la-suka

Maskilic:

inline graphic be-ha-’aron “on the ark”;18 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-’aron

The fact that the authors of all three corpora quite consistently adhere to this convention, which is so at odds with the standard attested in the classical Hebrew texts, suggests that they were all drawing on a shared model. This possibility is supported by the fact that the same phenomenon is a characteristic feature of medieval and early modern Ashkenazic responsa literature,19 hinting at an unbroken chain of largely undocumented Ashkenazic Hebrew that can perhaps be traced back to the medieval period. Moreover, although these earlier written Hebrew sources are likely to have been the authors’ primary influence, their impact may have been compounded by the fact that in the authors’ Yiddish vernacular the definite article is a separate word rather than a prefix and as such is not elided when appearing in conjunction with a preposition.

2. nonstandard noun gender

2.1. Masculine singular nouns

Another prominent area in which the three corpora exhibit marked differences from the canonical forms of Hebrew concerns the grammatical gender of nouns. The standard biblical and postbiblical convention is that masculine singular nouns end in any consonant except tav, and in any vowel except kamets he. Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic contemporaries employ a system that differs from this in several regards.

2.1.1. Nouns ending in tav

The first difference is that the authors commonly treat nouns ending in any consonant, including tav, as masculine; this contrasts with other forms of the language, in which nouns ending in tav are typically feminine. The phenomenon is more commonly attested in the Kitsur and hasidic tale than in maskilic fiction. This difference is most likely a product of the maskilic drive toward standardization based on canonical norms. However, the fact that despite their expressed aims they sometimes [End Page 165] deviate from these norms and treat nouns ending in tav as masculine, just as their nonmaskilic counterparts do, indicates that they were heirs to the same Eastern European Hebrew grammatical tradition more widely exhibited in the Kitsur and hasidic tales. That is to say, because the authors were so steeped in these noncanonical structures they sometimes failed to recognize them as such, despite their conscious attempts to adhere to the biblical standard in their writing.20

This phenomenon is illustrated in the following three examples from the Kitsur, Hasidic Hebrew, and Maskilic Hebrew in turn. Further examples can be found in section 2.1.1 of the appendix.

Kitsur:

inline graphic kadaḥat ḥazak “a high fever”;21 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic kadaḥat ḥazakah

Hasidic:

inline graphic aḥdut gadol “great unity”;22 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic aḥdut gedolah

Maskilic:

inline graphic ha-’ot ha-rishon “the first letter”;23 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-’ot ha-rishonah

The association of word-final tav with masculine gender is not unique to the three corpora under examination here but rather features more widely in medieval and early modern Ashkenazic Hebrew responsa literature24 as well as in Arabic-influenced medieval Spanish Hebrew.25 As in the case of the definite article in conjunction with inseparable prepositions, the most direct literary source of the phenomenon attested in the Kitsur, hasidic tale, and maskilic literature is most likely the earlier Ashkenazic responsa, as they stem from the same geographical and cultural milieu. However, the responsa authors may themselves have been influenced by the existence of the same practice in earlier Spanish Hebrew. Again as in [End Page 166] the case of the definite article, the impact of these earlier Hebrew literary corpora is likely to have been compounded by the fact that in the nineteenth-century authors’ native Yiddish tav is not a feminine marker.26 A parallel phenomenon is attested in the Hebrew compositions of Judeo-Spanish speakers from the Ottoman Empire and North Africa in the early modern and modern periods, due to similar influence from the phonologically based noun gender rules of the authors’ vernacular.27 This correspondence points to a more widespread tendency for diaspora Hebrew grammar to be shaped by the authors’ spoken language.

2.1.2. Endingless nouns

The Eastern European Hebrew authors’ tendency to treat nouns not ending in kamets he as masculine extends to their approach to nouns that are feminine in the canonical forms of Hebrew despite lacking a traditional feminine ending (e.g., inline graphic pa‘am “occasion, time”; inline graphic yad “hand”; inline graphic ‘ir “city”). In Maskilic Hebrew this phenomenon, like that of masculine nouns ending in tav, is somewhat more restricted. Again, this is most likely due to the authors’ conscious desire to adhere to canonical grammatical norms. However, it is still occasionally attested, typically with the noun inline graphic pa‘am, as in the maskilic example shown below. This indicates that, as above, the authors often failed to recognize this collocation as a noncanonical form.

The following examples illustrate the treatment of this type of noun in each of the three corpora in turn. See section 2.1.2 of the appendix for further examples.

Kitsur:

inline graphic be-/ba-pa‘am ha-rishon “the first time”;28 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-pa‘am ha-rishonah

Hasidic:

inline graphic even tov “a precious stone”;29 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic even tovah

Maskilic:

inline graphic be-/ba-pa‘am ha-rishon “the first time”;30 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-pa‘am ha-rishonah

In this case, the direct source of the phenomenon is most likely influence from the authors’ Yiddish vernacular, in which nouns ending in consonants [End Page 167] are not typically feminine.31 This Yiddish influence may have been compounded by the existence of a similar tendency in medieval Spanish Provençal Hebrew prose32 and medieval Hebrew translations of Arabic works,33 with which the nineteenth-century Hebrew authors are likely to have been familiar to some extent. However, the degree of such influence is difficult to establish with certainty because it is much less direct than that of the vernacular. With respect to the particular proclivity in maskilic literature to treat precisely inline graphic pa‘am as masculine, this noun is commonly regarded as masculine in well-known medieval Hebrew texts such as the commentaries of Rashi and Ibn Ezra, as well as occasionally in the Talmud and midrashim; this suggests that in the present case the maskilic authors, despite a commonly expressed desire to emulate biblical standards, were more strongly influenced by these later sources.

2.2. Feminine singular nouns

Just as the authors under consideration tend to treat all nouns ending in a consonant as masculine, so they have a proclivity to treat all nouns ending in the sound /ə/ as feminine. The sound /ə/ can be represented in various ways in Hebrew orthography, the most common of which is kamets he. Given that kamets he is the most widespread feminine noun marker in Biblical Hebrew34 as well as in subsequent forms of the language, there is a large degree of overlap between the Eastern European corpora and their historical predecessors. However, in some cases the Eastern European convention diverges from the canonical standard. One of the most prominent examples of this is the noun inline graphic (laylah “night”), which ends in kamets he but is treated as masculine in standard forms of Hebrew; conversely, it is commonly regarded as feminine in the nineteenth-century corpora (as in the first example below). The phenomenon extends to nouns ending in segol he, ‘ayin, and vocalic yod, all of which would have been pronounced as /ə/ in the popular Ashkenazic Hebrew phonology shared by Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic counterparts.35 In most cases this clashes with the canonical norms, in which such nouns are regarded as masculine. Interestingly, in contrast to [End Page 168] the masculine nouns ending in tav and endingless traditionally feminine nouns discussed above, the maskilic authors treat canonically masculine nouns ending in /ə/ as feminine at a similar rate to Ganzfried and the hasidic authors. This suggests that their intimate familiarity with the Eastern European Hebrew model made it difficult for them to recognize the feminine treatment of such nouns as being at odds with the classical model.

The following examples illustrate this phenomenon in each of the three corpora. See section 2.2 of the appendix for further examples.

Kitsur:

inline graphic be/ba-laylah ha-rishonah “on the first night”;36 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-laylah ha-rishon

Hasidic:

inline graphic mishteh gedolah “a big banquet”;37 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic mishteh gadol

Maskilic:

inline graphic ve-khova‘o ha-gedolah “and his big hat”;38 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve- khova‘o ha-gadol

The Eastern European authors’ treatment of these nouns as feminine is most likely rooted in influence from their native Yiddish, in which word-final /ə/ is the chief morphological feminine marker in nouns39; in contrast to some of the other nominal patterns discussed above, it seems to lack direct precedent in medieval or early modern Hebrew literature. However, a parallel phenomenon has been observed in the Hebrew compositions of Judeo-Spanish speakers whereby canonically masculine nouns ending in the sound /a/, such as inline graphic (mora’ “fear”), are treated as feminine because /a/ is the chief morphological marker of feminine gender in Judeo-Spanish.40 As in the case of masculine nouns ending in tav, this similarity points to a wider trend whereby diaspora Hebrew morphosyntax has been shaped by its authors’ vernacular.

2.3 Masculine plural nouns

The Kitsur, hasidic tale, and maskilic fiction exhibit similar differences from the canonical standard with respect to the gender of plural nouns. [End Page 169] In both biblical and later forms of the language, the ending inline graphic -im typically serves as a masculine plural marker. However, there are many exceptions to this trend in the canonical strata whereby the suffix may be attached to a feminine noun; these may be the plurals of endingless feminine singular nouns (e.g., inline graphic pe‘amim “times, occasions” and inline graphic avanim “stones”), derived from the endingless feminine singular forms inline graphic pa‘am; and inline graphic even respectively), or nouns whose singular forms have a typically feminine ending (e.g., inline graphic nashim “women”; and inline graphic shanim “years,” derived from the feminine singular forms inline graphic isha “woman” and inline graphic shanah “year”). Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic contemporaries deviate from this precedent in that they tend to treat all plural nouns ending in inline graphic -im as masculine, even if they are feminine in other forms of the language.

This is illustrated in the following examples. See section 2.3 of the appendix for further examples.

Kitsur:

inline graphic le-‘itim reḥokim “rarely”;41 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic le-‘itim reḥokot

Hasidic:

inline graphic avanim gedolim “large stones”;42 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic avanim gedolot

Maskilic:

inline graphic betsim gedolim “big eggs”;43 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic betsim gedolot

Significantly, this includes not only endingless feminine nouns whose singular forms they treat as masculine (such as inline graphic avanim “stones,” from inline graphic even “stone”) but also nouns whose singular form they themselves regard as feminine, such as inline graphic nashim “women” and inline graphic shanim “years,” as in the following examples from the Kitsur and hasidic tale respectively.

Kitsur:

inline graphic ve-ha-nashim she-tserikhin le-hadlik nerot “and the women who have to light candles”;44 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-ha-nashim shetserikhot le-hadlik nerot

Hasidic:

inline graphic shanim ha-rishonim “the first years”;45 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-shanim ha-rishonot [End Page 170]

The trend extends to the dual, which ends in inline graphic -ayim in the case of both masculine and feminine nouns, as illustrated in the following Maskilic Hebrew example.

Maskilic:

inline graphic be-‘enekhem ha-lo‘agim “with your mocking eyes”;46 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-‘enekhem ha-lo‘agot

As in the case of some of the singular noun categories discussed above, this nonstandard gender assignment has direct precedent in medieval and early modern Central and Eastern European responsa literature47 and as such is likely to have constituted a broader feature of Ashkenazic Hebrew. It is also attested in medieval translations of Arabic works,48 which may have informed the Ashkenazic phenomenon. This literary precedent is likely to have been compounded by a synchronic predilection on the part of Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic counterparts for regularization of noun gender based on attraction, that is, phonological suffix concord between nouns and their associated adjectives. As in the case of masculine nouns ending in tav and feminine nouns ending in /ə/ discussed above, the same phenomenon is sometimes attested in the Hebrew writing of Ottoman and North African Judeo-Spanish speakers,49 suggesting that attraction-based noun-adjective suffix concord may have been a significant force in diaspora Hebrew morphosyntax more widely.

2.4 Feminine plural nouns

Just as the Eastern European Hebrew authors have a proclivity for treating any plural noun ending in inline graphic -im as masculine, so they tend to regard any plural noun ending in inline graphic -ot as feminine. In other historical forms of Hebrew, inline graphic -ot likewise typically serves as a plural feminine marker but is not infrequently attached to masculine nouns (e.g., inline graphic mekomot “places” and inline graphic sodot “secrets,” derived from the masculine inline graphic makom “place” and inline graphic sod “secret” respectively). Thus, the Eastern European Hebrew usage often differs from that found in the canonical strata in that it tends to treat such nouns as feminine, despite the fact that it regards the singular forms of the same nouns as masculine. [End Page 171]

The following examples illustrate this phenomenon. See section 2.4 of the appendix for further examples from all three corpora.

Kitsur:

inline graphic mekomot mekudashot “sanctified places”;50 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic mekomot mekudashim

Hasidic:

inline graphic sadot rabot “many fields”;51 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic sadot rabim

Maskilic:

inline graphic ha-mishtot [...] hayu dalot ve-ra‘ot “the banquets [...] were meagre and poor”;52 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-mishtim/mishtayot hayu dalim ve-ra‘im

As in the case of masculine plural nouns, this phenomenon is found more generally in Ashkenazic Hebrew writings, including nineteenth-century compositions from Palestine53 as well as earlier responsa literature.54 It is likewise found in medieval Spanish Provençal Hebrew literature55 and medieval Hebrew translations of Arabic texts.56 As in the case of the plural nouns ending in inline graphicim, the nineteenth-century phenomenon is likely to be a direct product of this more widespread Ashkenazic Hebrew practice, which may itself derive from the medieval Spanish Hebrew phenomenon.57 This literary legacy was probably reinforced by the fact that Ganzfried and the hasidic and maskilic authors would have pronounced the suffix - inline graphic -ot as /əs/, which corresponds in pronunciation to the most common Yiddish feminine plural marker.58 Additionally, as in the case of some of the nonstandard singular nouns and the plural nouns ending in inline graphic -im, similar constructions are attested in the Hebrew writing of Ottoman and North African Judeo-Spanish speakers,59 which again points to [End Page 172] a wider inclination toward attraction-based gender concord in diaspora Hebrew.

3. definite construct nouns

Another prominent area in which the Kitsur, hasidic tale, and maskilic literature diverge from the canonical norms concerns the treatment of definite construct chains. The standard method of making construct chains definite in Biblical Hebrew is to prefix the definite article to the absolute noun, while leaving the construct noun unprefixed60 (e.g., the indefinite inline graphic anshe milḥama “men of war” [2 Chr 8.9] vs. its definite counterpart inline graphic anshe ha-milḥama “the men of war” [Num 31.28]), and this convention has remained standard in later forms of the language. Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic contemporaries sometimes follow this canonical precedent, but in many cases they deviate from the standard by placing the definite article on the construct noun instead of the absolute one. As in the cases discussed above, the fact that maskilic authors frequently employ this construction suggests that their subconscious familiarity with the Ashkenazic Hebrew linguistic model was so dominant that it made it difficult for them to identify this feature as nonstandard, despite any conscious purist tendencies which they may have had.

The following examples illustrate this phenomenon. See section 3 of the appendix for further examples from each corpus.

Kitsur:

inline graphic mi-bate ha-ba‘ale batim “from the houses of the hosts”;61 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic mi-bate ba‘ale ha-bayit

Hasidic:

inline graphic ha-rosh yeshivah “the head of the yeshivah”;62 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic rosh ha-yeshivah

Maskilic:

inline graphic ha-menashev ruaḥ“the fan”;63 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic menashev ha-ruaḥ

Like nonstandard noun gender, this phenomenon is attested in medieval and early modern Ashkenazic responsa literature,64 and its appearance in [End Page 173] the nineteenth-century corpora is doubtless traceable in some measure to this earlier literary precedent. However, any such influence is most likely compounded by synchronic impact from the authors’ native Yiddish. A large number of Hebrew construct chains, including many of those shown in the examples above, exist independently in Yiddish as compound nouns, and in that language such nouns are made definite by placing the definite article before the first noun in the construction, as in inline graphic dos yires shomayim “the fear of heaven,” inline graphic der orn koydesh “the ark.” The fact that Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic counterparts replicate the Yiddish construction suggests that they (most likely subconsciously) perceived these construct chains as single compound nouns, as in their vernacular. This is supported by cases such as that shown in the example from the Kitsur above, in which a three-member construct chain is made definite by prefixing the definite article to the second member, which is itself the first word in a construct chain existing independently in Yiddish as a compound noun. Note that, as in the case of certain nonstandard noun gender patterns discussed above, the same phenomenon is attested in the Hebrew compositions of Judeo-Spanish speakers,65 indicating another parallel development informed by constructions in the authors’ vernacular.

4. doubly definite construct chains

There is a variation of this phenomenon attested in all three corpora whereby the construct chain is made definite by prefixing the definite article to both the absolute and construct nouns. This type of construction is somewhat less commonly attested in Maskilic Hebrew than in the Kitsur and the hasidic tale. However, the fact that it does nevertheless sometimes appear suggests that, as in the case of the nonstandard noun gender discussed above, the maskilic authors consciously intended to avoid the construction, which they perhaps recognized as clashing with the canonical norm, but their ingrained familiarity with this Ashkenazic Hebrew convention resulted in their occasional, most likely unintentional, use of it. Interestingly, they seem to have been more aware of the nonstandard nature of this construction than of the variant discussed above whereby only the construct noun takes the definite article.

The following examples illustrate this phenomenon. See section 4 of the appendix for further examples from all three corpora. [End Page 174]

Kitsur:

inline graphic ha-bet ha-kevarot “the cemetery”;66 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic bet ha-kevarot

Hasidic:

inline graphic ha-ba‘al ha-bayit “the owner”;67 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba‘al ha-bayit

Maskilic:

inline graphic ha-sar ha-tsava “the army commander”;68 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic sar ha-tsava

Like most of the nonstandard features discussed above, this practice is attested in medieval and early modern responsa literature69 as well as in Rashi’s eleventh-century biblical commentaries,70 suggesting that it is another component of a more extensive Ashkenazic form of Hebrew. Synchronically, it is also attested in the nineteenth-century Ashkenazic writings of Jerusalem community leader Yosef Rivlin,71 which again hints at a much broader shared system at odds with the canonical norms. As in several of the cases discussed above, any literary precedent has almost certainly been reinforced by synchronic influence from the authors’ native Yiddish: many of the construct chains in question are employed independently in Yiddish as compound nouns in which the Hebrew definite article constitutes a meaningless lexicalized component, e.g., inline graphic balebos “owner, landlord,” inline graphic beysakvores “cemetery,” and the Yiddish definite article is placed at the beginning of the compound to make it definite, e.g., inline graphic der balebos “the owner, landlord,” inline graphic der/dos beysakvores “the cemetery.” This suggestion is supported by the fact that the Eastern European Hebrew authors under discussion sometimes employ this type of construct chain with a lexicalized definite article in an indefinite context, as it would be used in their vernacular; this is illustrated in the following Maskilic Hebrew example:

Maskilic:

inline graphic yesh gam mikva kara u-mikva ḥama, bet ha-kevarot yashan u-vet ha-kevarot ḥadash ve-hamon “minyanim” “there is also a cold mikvah and a hot mikvah, an old cemetery and a new cemetery, [End Page 175] and many ‘minyans’ ”;72 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic yesh gam mikva kara u-mikva ḥama, bet kevarot yashan u-vet kevarot ḥadash ve-hamon “minyanim”

5. split construct chains

The nonstandard treatment of the construct chain exhibited in the three Eastern European corpora extends beyond their approach to definiteness. The standard Biblical and post-Biblical Hebrew convention is that two construct nouns cannot be linked by the conjunction waw; instead, one of them is placed after the subsequent absolute noun, which is prefixed by waw and bears a possessive pronominal suffix.73 While Ganzfried and the hasidic and maskilic authors sometimes follow this tradition, they also have a tendency to deviate from it by inserting the conjunction waw between two or more construct nouns. The maskilic authors employ this nonstandard construction as frequently as Ganzfried and the hasidic authors, suggesting that they did not consciously regard it as grammatically flawed.

The following examples illustrate split construct chains in the Kitsur, hasidic tale, and maskilic literature respectively. See section 5 of the appendix for further examples from each corpus.

Kitsur:

inline graphic ve-rashe ve-sofe ha-mizmorim “the first and last of the psalms”;74 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-rashe ha-mizmorim ve-sofehem

Hasidic:

inline graphic gedole va-ḥashuve ha-‘ir “the big and important men of the town”;75 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic gedole ha-‘ir va-ḥashuveha

Maskilic:

inline graphic ba‘ale u-va‘alot bate ha-marzeaḥ “the landlords and landladies of the taverns”;76 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba‘ale bate ha-marzeaḥu-va‘alotehem [End Page 176]

Although this type of construction is occasionally attested in the Hebrew Bible, it is a very marginal phenomenon77 and as such is unlikely to have exerted any meaningful influence on Ashkenazic Hebrew. Likewise, though it is attested in certain medieval Karaite piyyutim,78 this literature most probably did not exert enough impact on Eastern European Hebrew literature to have shaped the phenomenon in the latter. A more likely source of influence is Moses Alshekh’s seventeenth-century commentary to Psalms 87, a text with which Ganzfried as well as the hasidic and maskilic authors would have been familiar, and which contains a split construct chain, inline graphic kedushat ve-ḥibat ha’arets “the holiness and love of the land.” However, any such influence is likely to have been a minor factor in comparison with the existence of a similar construction in the authors’ Yiddish vernacular, in which the construct chain is not a feature and which instead frequently expresses nominal possession by means of the preposition inline graphic fun “of” placed before the possessor,79 with multiple possessums commonly linked by the conjunction inline graphic un “and.” As in many of the cases discussed above, this highlights the important role that Yiddish played in the formation of Eastern European Hebrew morphosyntax.

6. avoidance of the dual with time words and numerals

The Eastern European corpora under examination differ from the canonical forms of Hebrew with respect to their treatment of the dual form. In Biblical Hebrew, as well as subsequent forms of the language, a restricted collection of nouns (denoting time words, certain numerals, and paired body parts) commonly appears with a dual suffix, inline graphic -ayim, in order to indicate a precise quantity of two,80 as in inline graphic sha‘atayim “two hours”; inline graphic shevu‘ayim “two weeks”; inline graphic ḥodshayim “two months”; inline graphic shenatayim “two years”; inline graphic matayim “two hundred”; inline graphic yadayim “hands.” In the Kitsur as well as in hasidic and maskilic literature this dual form is almost completely avoided in the case of time words and numerals. Instead, the authors typically designate the concepts “two [End Page 177] hours/weeks,” and the like, with the numeral inline graphic shenayim/shtayim “two” followed by a plural noun.

The following examples illustrate this tendency. See section 6 of the appendix for further examples from all three corpora.

Kitsur:

inline graphic shene pe‘amim “two times”;81 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic pa‘amayim

Hasidic:

inline graphic shene sha‘ot “two hours”;82 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic sha‘atayim

Maskilic:

inline graphic shene yamim “two days”;83 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic yomayim

This practice is most likely due to influence from the authors’ native Yiddish, in which there is no dual form, only a singular and plural. Therefore, when searching for a way to denote the concept of “two” temporal nouns or numerals, the plural form of such nouns would immediately have come to the authors’ minds, as it is likely that they were subconsciously translating the concepts directly from Yiddish plural phrases, e.g. inline graphic tsvey teg “two days”; inline graphic tsvey vokhn “two weeks.” Note that in the case of paired body parts the authors do employ the dual forms, most likely because the corresponding plural forms are rare or have a different meaning; as such, the dual forms would have been the most familiar to them.84 Although this phenomenon has not been documented in the grammatical studies of earlier Central and Eastern European Hebrew texts such as responsa literature, it is possible that, like many of the other constructions discussed above, it is likewise a feature of these older works and as such comprises an element of a broader Ashkenazic Hebrew.

7. superlative adjective constructions with inline graphic yoter

The Kitsur, hasidic tales, and maskilic fiction all exhibit the same noteworthy way of conveying superlative adjective constructions, namely, by means of the adverb inline graphic yoter followed by an adjective prefixed by the definite article. This construction lacks clear precedent in Biblical or Rabbinic Hebrew: the former has no specific superlative marker, instead conveying the superlative sense by means of a range of syntactic methods including prefixing the positive adjective with the definite article, putting [End Page 178] it in construct, attaching a pronominal suffix to it, and others85; likewise, while in Mishnaic Hebrew the superlative can be indicated by the post-positive marker inline graphic be-yoter “the most,”86 the prepositive inline graphic yoter does not serve in this capacity.

The following examples illustrate this phenomenon in the Kitsur, Hasidic Hebrew, and Maskilic Hebrew respectively.87 See section 7 of the appendix for further examples from each corpus.

Kitsur:

inline graphic ḥayav li-shmor et ha-pikadon be-/ba-’ofen ha-yoter tov “one must safeguard the deposit in the best manner”88

Hasidic:

inline graphic asifat 3 rof’im ha-yoter gedolim “a meeting of the three greatest doctors”89

Maskilic:

inline graphic ha-maskoret ha-yoter gedola asher bide ben enosh li-mtso “the greatest wage that is in human power to find”90

This construction is attested in Hebrew texts from the twelfth century onward, having been introduced under influence from Arabic91 and Latin;92 it is widely attested in medieval and early modern (non-Ashkenazic) biblical commentaries such as those of Abarbanel and Alshekh. These commentaries may have been the most direct literary source of the nineteenth-century Eastern European usage, given that the authors would all have been extremely familiar with them. However, it is possible that, like many of the other phenomena analyzed in this essay, the same construction is more widely attested in other Ashkenazic Hebrew texts which might have served as the more immediate forerunners of the corpora under examination here; this point requires further investigation. In [End Page 179] contrast to many of the topics discussed above, Yiddish does not appear to have played a role in the development of this phenomenon: superlatives in that language are formed by means of a suffix and are syntactically very different from the Hebrew construction under examination. Note that this way of constructing superlatives survived into the early twentieth century in revernacularized Hebrew in Palestine.93

8. masculine numerals in conjunction with feminine nouns

The final nonstandard Eastern European Hebrew feature to be examined here is the use of masculine numerals in conjunction with feminine nouns. In the canonical forms of Hebrew masculine numerals ( inline graphic eḥad “one”; inline graphic shenayim “two”; inline graphic shelosha, and subsequent numerals ending in a kamets he sufix) are employed in conjunction with masculine nouns, while their feminine variants ( inline graphic aḥat “one”; inline graphic shtayim “two”; inline graphic shalosh “three,” and subsequent numerals without the kamets he suffix) are used in conjunction with feminine nouns. While Ganzfried and his hasidic and maskilic contemporaries sometimes follow this precedent, in many cases they use the masculine numerals to modify not only masculine nouns but also feminine ones.

The following examples illustrate this phenomenon in the Kitsur, hasidic tale, and maskilic fiction respectively. See section 8 of the appendix for further examples from each corpus.

Kitsur:

inline graphic sheloshah melakhot “three tasks”;94 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shalosh melakhot

Hasidic:

inline graphic ḥamisha me’ot “five hundred”;95 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ḥamesh me’ot

Maskilic:

inline graphic li-fne shisha ve-‘esrim shana “twenty-six years ago”;96 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic li-fne shesh ve-esrim [= ‘esrim ve-shesh] shana

This phenomenon does not have clear precedent in earlier Hebrew literary sources. It may have been informed in a certain measure by the fact that in Mishnaic Hebrew the boundary between masculine and feminine numerals is somewhat obscured, due in part to shifts in noun gender from [End Page 180] the biblical period,97 but the Mishnaic Hebrew phenomenon does not closely resemble the Eastern European one, in which there is a marked preference to employ the masculine numerals with feminine nouns as well as masculine ones. As in the case of the nonstandard noun gender discussed above, this phenomenon may be rooted in phonological considerations: since the masculine numerals end in kamets he, the authors may have subconsciously associated them with feminine gender. Similarly, the fact that the masculine construct numerals end in inline graphic -t may have collocated naturally in the authors’ minds with the feminine plural ending inline graphic–ot due to the phonological resemblance between the two. This tendency to employ masculine numerals in conjunction with both masculine and feminine nouns suggests that the numeral system in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Eastern European Hebrew was undergoing a process of simplification whereby the feminine variants were being abandoned in favor of their masculine counterparts. This drive toward streamlining of numeral gender is likely to have been informed at least partially by the fact that the authors’ Yiddish vernacular has only one set of numerals, which is used to modify nouns of any gender.98 Similar patterns have been noted in Joseph Rivlin’s nineteenth-century Ashkenazic Hebrew writings from Jerusalem,99 which, like many of the other nonstandard grammatical features discussed above, points to a broader Ashkenazic Hebrew phenomenon.

conclusion

This essay has highlighted a range of distinct grammatical features that are typically regarded as nonstandard with respect to both biblical and postbiblical forms of Hebrew but which are widely attested in three major varieties of nineteenth-century Eastern European Hebrew as exemplified by Solomon Ganzfried’s Kitsur shulḥan ‘arukh, the Hasidic Hebrew hagiographic tale, and Maskilic Hebrew literary fiction. The fact that the same nonstandard features are attested in these three very distinct literary corpora composed by authors operating within widely diverging religious, literary, and ideological milieus suggests that their shared geographical and cultural origin as Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews with a traditional Ashkenazic education may have had a greater bearing on their Hebrew composition than their different perspectives would suggest. Perhaps the most striking evidence for this is the fact that the maskilic [End Page 181] authors employ most of these nonstandard features in equal measure with their hasidic counterparts and Ganzfried, despite widespread attempts to follow a normative standard in their language; only in rare cases (such as singular nouns ending in tav and doubly definite construct chains), do they seem to employ the nonstandard forms less frequently than Ganz-fried and the hasidic authors, but even in these cases they do occasionally make use of them. These tendencies indicate that Eastern European Hebrew was a firmly ingrained component of their writing and suggests that they were often unable to identify nonstandard features despite their consciously expressed disdain for them. The similarities between these three corpora may point to a widespread cohesive variety of Hebrew that developed in Central and Eastern Europe. This is supported by the fact that in many cases (as with the definite article in conjunction with inseparable prepositions, some of the nonstandard noun gender patterns, definite construct nouns, and doubly definite construct chains) the same phenomena have been observed in medieval and early modern Ashkenazic responsa literature. This precedent points to the existence of a much more widespread Ashkenazic form of Hebrew dating back to the medieval period. Further investigation is required to establish the parameters and precise nature of this broader Ashkenazic variety of the language. Finally, occasional parallels with other partially documented forms of Hebrew, such as certain medieval Spanish varieties, and the writings of Ottoman and North African Judeo-Spanish speakers, suggest that some of these so-called nonstandard features may actually constitute much more widespread tendencies common to distinct varieties of Hebrew literature produced in diverse diaspora locations.

Lily Okalani Kahn

LILY OKALANI KAHN is Reader in Hebrew and Jewish Languages in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London.

This appendix contains further examples from the Kitsur, Hasidic Hebrew tale, and Maskilic Hebrew prose fiction of each morphosyntactic phenomenon discussed in the article.

1. prepositions in conjunction with the definite article

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic be-ha-katseh “at the edge”;100 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-katseh

  2. 2. inline graphic gam le-ha-sus “to the horse as well”;101 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic gam la-sus

  3. 3. inline graphic im nishtamesh teḥilah be-ha-keli “if he first used the [End Page 182] vessel”;102 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic im nishtamesh/hishtamesh teḥilah ba-keli

  4. 4. inline graphic ve-shayakh le-ha-‘ir “and it belongs to the city”;103 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-shayakh la-‘ir

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic be-ha-bayit ha-gadol “in the big house”;104 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-bayit ha-gadol

  2. 2. inline graphic u-ve-ha-derekh “and on the road”;105 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic u-va-derekh

  3. 3. inline graphic be-ha-ḥeder “in the room”;106 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-ḥeder

  4. 4. inline graphic le-ha-tsoref “to the silversmith”;107 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic latsoref

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic le-ha-batim “to the houses”;108 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic la-batim

  2. 2. inline graphic rak tsiva le-ha-mesharet “he just ordered the servant”;109 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic rak tsiva la-mesharet

  3. 3. inline graphic be-ha-shuk ha-gadol “in the big marketplace”;110 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-shuk ha-gadol

  4. 4. inline graphic me-‘ever le-ha-nahar “on the other side of the river”111; cf. standard equivalent inline graphic me-‘ever la-nahar

2. nonstandard noun gender

2.1 Masculine singular nouns

2.1.1 Nouns ending in tav

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic kutonet lavan “a white garment”;112 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic kutonet levana [End Page 183]

  2. 2. inline graphic ha-delet niftaḥ“the door opens”;113 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-delet niftaḥat

  3. 3. inline graphic im ha-pat gadol “if the piece of bread is big”;114 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic im ha-pat gedolah

  4. 4. inline graphic makom she-hitḥil ha-tola‘at le-hitrakem “a place where the worm started to grow”;115 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic makom she-hitḥilah ha-tola‘at le-hitrakem

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic ve-tsintsenet katan “and a small jar”;116 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-tsintsenet ketanah

  2. 2. inline graphic ha-delet ha-rishon “the first door”;117 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-delet ha-rishonah

  3. 3. inline graphic maḥloket gadol “a big dispute”;118 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic maḥloket gedolah

  4. 4. inline graphic ha-shabat ha-rishon “the first Sabbath”;119 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-shabat ha-rishonah

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic beshabat/ba-shabat ha-rishon “on the first Sabbath”;120 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-shabat ha-rishonah

  2. 2. inline graphic to‘elet ḥomri u-musari “a material and moral benefit”;121 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic to‘elet ḥomrit u-musarit

2.1.2 Endingless nouns

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic ha-’esh ha-tiv‘iy [sic] “the natural fire”;122 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-’esh ha-tiv‘it [End Page 184]

  2. 2. inline graphic ha-yad ha-sheni “the second hand”;123 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-yad ha-sheniyah

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic be-/ba-pa‘am ha-rishon “the first time”;124 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-pa‘am ha-rishonah

  2. 2. inline graphic le-/la-‘ir ha-samukh “to the adjacent city”;125 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic la-‘ir ha-semukhah

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic be-/ba-pa‘am ha-’aḥaron “the last time”;126 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba-pa‘am ha’aḥaronah

  2. 2. inline graphic u-ve-/va-pa‘am ha-sheni “and the second time”;127 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic u-va-pa‘am ha-sheniyah

2.2 Feminine singular nouns

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic mar’e admumit “a reddish appearance”;128 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic mar’e admumi

  2. 2. inline graphic ve-’afilu ha-sadeh shayakhah le-‘aku”m “and even if the field belongs to an idolater”;129 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-’afilu ha-sadeh shayakh le-‘aku”m

  3. 3. inline graphic[...] tseva sheḥorah “black colour”;130 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic tseva shaḥor

  4. 4. inline graphic shavua‘ ha-rishonah “the first week”;131 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-shavua‘ ha-rishon

  5. 5. inline graphic im en ba ḥoli aḥeret “if she has no other illness”;132 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic im en ba ḥoli aḥer

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic maḥane gedolah “a big camp”;133 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic maḥane gadol [End Page 185]

  2. 2. inline graphic layla karah ‘ad me’od “a very cold night”;134 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic layla kar ‘ad me’od

  3. 3. inline graphic ma‘ase ketanah “a small story”;135 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ma‘ase katan

  4. 4. inline graphic ha-rega‘ ha-’aḥaronah “the last moment”;136 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-rega‘ ha-’aḥaron

  5. 5. inline graphic va-yevk bekhi rabah “and he wept greatly”;137 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic va-yevk bekhi rav

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic ki masveh ha-reḥitsah matselet ‘al kulam “for the veil of bathing covers them all in shadow”;138 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ki masveh ha-reḥitsah metsel ‘al kulam

  2. 2. inline graphic ki gadlah sham ma‘aseh ha-genevah “for the act[s] of theft had increased there”;139 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ki gadal sham ma‘aseh ha-genevah

  3. 3. inline graphic ve-ḥetsi ha-laylah ha-sheniyah “and the second half of the night”;140 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-ḥetsi ha-laylah ha-sheni

  4. 4. inline graphic be-mikhseh ‘atikah le-yamim “in an ancient cover”;141 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-mikhseh ‘atik le-yamim

  5. 5. inline graphic ve-lo ‘alehah shafkhah ha-teva‘ ruaḥ-sason “but nature did not pour its spirit of joy upon it”;142 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-lo ‘alehah shafakh ha-teva‘ ruaḥ-sason

  6. 6. inline graphic ha-teva‘ ha-nedivah “generous nature”;143 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-teva‘ ha-nadiv

2.3 Masculine plural nouns

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic sheloshah pe‘amim retsufim “three consecutive times”;144 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shalosh pe‘amim retsufot

  2. 2. inline graphic me’avanim aḥerim “from other stones”;145 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic me’avanim aḥerot [End Page 186]

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic rak le-‘itim reḥokim “except rarely”;146 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic rak le-‘itim reḥokot

  2. 2. inline graphic aḥat he-‘arim ha-reḥokim “one of the distant cities”;147 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic aḥat he-‘arim ha-reḥokot

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic ha-milim ha-me‘atim ha-’eleh “these few words”;148 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ha-milim ha-me‘atot ha-’eleh

  2. 2. inline graphic be-‘enekhem ha-lo‘agim “with your mocking eyes”;149 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-‘enekhem ha-lo‘agot

  3. 3. inline graphic betsim gedolim “big eggs”;150 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic betsim gedolot

  4. 4. inline graphic be-raglav ha-’aḥaronim “by its hind legs”;151 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-raglav ha-’aḥoriyot

2.4 Feminine plural nouns

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic sodot gedolot “big secrets”;152 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic sodot gedolim

  2. 2. inline graphic afilu nerot dolekot “even burning candles”;153 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic afilu nerot dolekim

  3. 3. inline graphic shemot kedushot “holy names”;154 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shemot kedushim

  4. 4. inline graphic kolot gedolot “loud (lit: big) voices”;155 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic kolot gedolim

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic sodot nisgavot “elevated secrets”;156 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic sodot nisgavim

  2. 2. inline graphic ḥalonot gedolot “big windows”;157 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ḥalonot gedolim [End Page 187]

  3. 3. inline graphic u-shne nerot dolekot “and two burning candles”;158 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic u-shne nerot dolekim

  4. 4. inline graphic regashot kedushot “holy feelings”159; cf. standard equivalent inline graphic regashot kedushim

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic kol ha-zikhronot ha-‘atsuvot “all the sad memories”;160 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic kol ha-zikhronot ha-‘atsuvim

  2. 2. inline graphic ‘eshtonot ma‘atsivot “saddening thoughts”;161 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ‘eshtonot ma‘atsivim

  3. 3. inline graphic shene motot tsilinderiot “two cylindrical rods”;162 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shene motot tsilinderiyim

  4. 4. inline graphic shte regashot mitnagedot ishah el re‘utah “two opposing feelings”;163 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shene regashot mitnagedim ish el re‘ehu

3. definite construct nouns

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic ve-’asur lishmoa‘ ha-kele shir “and it is forbidden to listen to the instruments”;164 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-’asur lishmoa‘ et kele ha-shir

  2. 2. inline graphic ha-ba‘ale dinim borerim lahem anashim “the litigants choose men for themselves”;165 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba‘ale ha-din borerim lahem anashim

  3. 3. inline graphic ha-ba‘al berit “the father of a baby being circumcised (at a circumcision ceremony)”;166 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba‘al ha-berit

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic ha-ba‘al ‘agalah “the wagon driver”;167 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba‘al ha-‘agalah

  2. 2. inline graphic ha-yir’at shamayim “the fear of heaven”168; cf. standard equivalent inline graphic yir’at ha-shamayim [End Page 188]

  3. 3. inline graphic ha’aron kodesh “the ark”;169 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic aron ha-kodesh

  4. 4. inline graphic ha-ba‘al bayit “the house owner”;170 inline graphic ba‘al ha-bayit

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic ‘atsmot ha-ba‘ale ḥayim “the animals’ bones”;171 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ‘atsmot ba‘ale ha-ḥayim

  2. 2. inline graphic aḥad ha-ba‘ale batim “one of the house owners”;172 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic aḥad mi-ba‘ale ha-bayit

  3. 3. inline graphic ha-yayin saraf “the intoxicating drink”;173 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic yayin ha-saraf

  4. 4. inline graphic mikhteve ha-‘orekh-din “the lawyer’s letters”;174 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic mikhteve ‘orekh ha-din

4. doubly definite construct chains

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic ha-bet ha-keneset “the synagogue”;175 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic bet ha-keneset

  2. 2. inline graphic yarḥik et ‘atsmo min ha-’aron ha-kodesh “he must distance himself from the Torah ark”;176 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic yarḥik et ‘atsmo min aron ha-kodesh

  3. 3. inline graphic [...] [...]ha-ba‘al ha-bayit “the owner of the house”;177 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ba‘al ha-bayit

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic ha-tsadik ha-dor “the righteous man of the generation”;178 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic tsadik ha-dor

  2. 2. inline graphic ha-keri’at ha-torah “the Torah reading”;179 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic keri’at ha-torah

  3. 3. inline graphic le-ha-bet ha-keneset “to the synagogue”;180 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic le-vet ha-keneset [End Page 189]

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic ha-‘ir ha-birah “the capital city”;181 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ‘ir ha-birah

5. split construct chains

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic be-‘asiyat ve-’afiyat ha-matsot shelo “in the preparing and baking of his matzahs”;182 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-‘asiyat ha-matsot shelo u-ve-’afiyatan

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic kedushat ve-hafla’at rabenu “the holiness and wonder of our Rebbe”;183 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic kedushat rabenu vehafla’ato

  2. 2. inline graphic kaftore u-firḥe kesef “buttons and flowers of silver”;184 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic kaftore kesef u-firhe kesef

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic tif’eret ve-hadar ha-kiryah ha-‘alizah ha-zot “the glory and splendour of this merry city”;185 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic tif’eret ha-kiryah ha-‘alizah ha-zot ve-hadarah

  2. 2. inline graphic atsile ve-rozene erets “the noblemen and rulers of the land”;186 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic atsile ha-’arets ve-rozenehah

6. avoidance of the dual with time words and numerals

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic shte sha‘ot “two hours”;187 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic sha‘atayim

  2. 2. inline graphic shene yamim “two days”;188 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic yomayim

  3. 3. inline graphic shte shanim “two years”;189 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shenatayim

  4. 4. inline graphic shene alafim “two thousand”;190 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic alpayim

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic shene yamim “two days”;191 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic yomayim

  2. 2. inline graphic shene me’ot “two hundred”;192 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic matayim [End Page 190]

  3. 3. inline graphic shene shavu‘ot “two weeks”;193 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shevu‘ayim

  4. 4. inline graphic bi-shne ḥodashim “in two months”;194 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-ḥodshayim

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic shte sha‘ot “two hours”;195 cf. standard equivalent inline graphicsha‘atayim

  2. 2. inline graphic be-yoter mi-shte me’ot va-ḥamishim shanim “more than two hundred and fifty years”;196 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-yoter mi-ma’atayim va-ḥamishim shanim

  3. 3. inline graphic ki-shte shanim “approximately two years”;197 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ki-shnatayim

  4. 4. inline graphic shte pe‘amim “two times”;198 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic pa‘amayim

7. superlative adjective constructions with inline graphic yoter

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic be/ba-‘et ha-yoter samukh le-ven ha-shemashot “at the time closest to twilight”199

  2. 2. inline graphic mohel ve-sandak ha-yoter tov ve-tsadik “the best and most righteous mohel and godfather”200

  3. 3. inline graphic kede la‘asot ‘al tsad ha-yoter tov “in order to err on the side of caution (lit: to do [something] on the best side)”201

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic neshamah gedolah me‘olam ha-yoter ‘elyon “a great soul from the highest world”202

  2. 2. inline graphic ha-tsadik ha-yoter gadol she-ba-dor ha-hu “the greatest righteous man in that generation”203

  3. 3. inline graphic ve-hu hay[ah] ba‘al de‘ah ha-yoter gadol ba-‘ir “and he was the most influential man in the city”204 [End Page 191]

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphicaz hayiti yoshev safun be/ba-bet marzeaḥha-yoter nikhbad ba-‘ir “in that case I would sit in the most respectable inn in the town”205

  2. 2. inline graphic lamedu et yedekhem la‘asok be/bamisḥarim ha-yoter betuḥim me’eleh “teach yourselves to engage in the most secure businesses of these”206

  3. 3. inline graphic ki baḥar be/ba’oraḥha-yoter tov ve-yashar “for he had chosen the best and most honest path”207

8. masculine numerals in conjunction with feminine nouns

    Kitsur

  1. 1. inline graphic shishah berakhot “six blessings”;208 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shesh berakhot

  2. 2. inline graphic shenem ‘asar sha‘ot “twelve hours”;209 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shtem ‘esreh sha‘ot

  3. 3. inline graphic sheloshah matsot “three pieces of matzah”;210 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shalosh matsot

    Hasidic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic u-shloshah banot “and three daughters”;211 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic ve-shalosh banot

  2. 2. inline graphic shiv‘ah makot “seven plagues”;212 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic sheva‘ makot

  3. 3. inline graphic ba-ḥamishah sha‘ot “in five hours”;213 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic be-ḥamesh sha‘ot

    Maskilic Hebrew

  1. 1. inline graphic shene ‘atarot kesef “two silver crowns”;214 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shte ‘atarot kesef [End Page 192]

  2. 2. inline graphic arba‘at ha-shabatot ha’eleh “these four Sabbaths”;215 cf. standard equivalent inline graphic arba‘ ha-shabatot ha’eleh

  3. 3. inline graphic sheloshet ha-nefashot ha-‘ahuvot “the three beloved souls”216; cf. standard equivalent inline graphic shelosh ha-nefashot ha‘ahuvot [End Page 193]

Footnotes

1. Book-length grammatical analyses of Eastern European Hebrew include Tzvi Betzer, History of the Hebrew Language: The Medieval Division, Unit 7: Rabbinic Hebrew (Tel Aviv, 2001); Lily Kahn, The Verbal System in Late Enlightenment Hebrew (Leiden, 2009); Lily Kahn, A Grammar of the Eastern European Hasidic Hebrew Tale (Leiden, 2015); and Chen Buchbut, “The Language of Rabbi Nathan Stern-hartz’s Writings (aka Reb Noson of Breslov): A Diachronic Examination” (Ph.D. diss., University of Haifa, 2016).

2. See, e.g., Eduard Y. Kutscher, A History of the Hebrew Language (Jerusalem, 1982), 183–89; Yaacov Shavit, “A Duty Too Heavy to Bear: Hebrew in the Berlin Haskalah, 1783–1819: Between Classic, Modern, and Romantic,” in Hebrew in Ashkenaz: A Language in Exile, ed. L. Glinert (New York, 1993), 111–28; Angel Sáenz-Badillos, A History of the Hebrew Language, trans. J. Elwolde (Cambridge, 1993), 267–68; Maya Agmon-Fruchtman and Immanuel Allon, History of the Hebrew Language: The Modern Division, Unit 8: The Revival of Hebrew (Tel Aviv, 1994), 17; Ilan Eldar, From Mendelssohn to Mendele: The Emergence of Modern Literary Hebrew (Jerusalem, 2014), esp. 10, 54.

3. See Moshe Pelli, Haskalah and Beyond: The Reception of the Hebrew Enlightenment and the Emergence of Haskalah Judaism (Lanham, Md., 2010).

4. David Patterson, A Phoenix in Fetters: Studies in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Hebrew Fiction (Savage, Md., 1988), 4; Andrea Schatz, Sprache in der Zerstreuung: Die Säkularisierung des Hebraïschen im 18. Jahrhundert (Göttingen, 2009), esp. 17–18, 75–97.

5. See Abraham Mapu, preface to Ḥoze ḥezyonot (Warsaw, 1869; repr. in Kol kitve Avraham Mapu, Tel Aviv, 1940) for a mid-nineteenth-century maskilic perspective on the role of Hebrew in literature. See also Y. Yitzhaki, “The Hebrew Authors of the Haskala: Their Views on the Hebrew Language” (Hebrew), Leshonenu 34.4 (1970): 287–305, 35.1 (1970): 39–59, 35.2 (1971): 140–54; Moshe Pelli, The Age of Haskalah: Studies in Hebrew Literature of the Enlightenment (Leiden, 1979), 73–90; Patterson, A Phoenix in Fetters, 5–6.

6. This is strongly evident in nineteenth-century maskilic literature; some prominent examples include Isaac Erter, Ha-tsofe le-vet Yisra’el (Vienna, 1858); Sholem Jacob Abramowitz, Ha’avot ve-ha-banim (Odessa, 1868); and Peretz Smolenskin, Ha-to‘e be-darkhe ha-ḥayim (Vienna, 1876). See Patterson, A Phoenix in Fetters, 66–92, and Shmuel Werses, Trends and Forms in Haskalah Literature (Hebrew; Jerusalem, 1990), 91–109.

7. See Lewis Glinert, “The Hasidic Tale and the Sociolinguistic Modernization of the Jews of Eastern Europe,” in Studies in Jewish Narrative Presented to Yoav Elstein, ed. A. Lipsker and R. Kushelevsky (Hebrew; Ramat Gan, 2006), 1:vii–xxxvi.

8. Joseph Perl, Megale temirin (Vienna, 1819).

9. Joseph Perl, Boḥen tsadik (Prague, 1838).

10. See Shmuel Werses, Story and Source: Studies in the Development of Hebrew Prose (Hebrew; Ramat Gan, 1971), 9–45; Dov Taylor, trans., Joseph Perl’s Revealer of Secrets: The First Hebrew Novel (Boulder, Colo., 1997); Ken Frieden, “Joseph Perl’s Escape from Biblical Epigonism through Parody of Ḥasidic Writing,” AJS Review 29.2 (2005): 265–82; and Jonatan Meir, Imagined Hasidism: The Anti-Hasidic Writings of Joseph Perl (Jerusalem, 2013), for discussion of Perl’s works.

11. Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., s.v. “Ganzfried, Solomon ben Joseph.”

12. Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., s.v. “Ganzfried, Solomon ben Joseph.”

13. Lily Kahn, “Grammatical Similarities between Nineteenth-Century Hasidic and Maskilic Hebrew Narratives,” Hebrew Studies 53 (2012): 179–201.

14. Due to space limitations, the selection of nonstandard features examined in this essay, while representative and relatively comprehensive, is not exhaustive. See Kahn, “Grammatical Similarities,” for discussion of several other nonstandard features in Hasidic and Maskilic Hebrew.

15. Paul Joüon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (2nd ed., 2006; repr. with corrections, Rome, 2009), 104.

16. Solomon ben Joseph Ganzfried, Kitsur shulḥan ‘arukh (Ungvar, 1864), 75.5. Note that some of the section divisions appearing in the first edition, which are cited in this essay, may differ from those appearing in more recent editions of the Kitsur. Note also that many of the nonstandard features cited here have been excised from modern editions of the Kitsur.

17. Reuben Zak, Bet Yisra’el (Piotrkow, 1912; repr. in Holy Books from the Students of the Holy Ba‘al Shem Tov of Eternal Memory, vol. 5, New York, 1983), 7.

18. Peretz Smolenskin, Ha-gemul (Odessa, 1867; repr. Warsaw, 1910), 5.

19. Betzer, Rabbinic Hebrew, 85–86.

20. This tendency can be equated with another phenomenon widely exhibited in Maskilic Hebrew prose fiction whereby the authors often employed rabbinic structures and vocabulary because of their subconscious familiarity with this form of the language, despite an expressed desire to eschew it in favor of the biblical model. See Lily Kahn, “Rabbinic Elements in the Verbal System of Maskilic Hebrew Fiction, 1857–81,” Hebrew Studies 49 (2008): 317–34, and Kahn, Verbal System.

21. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 89.5.

22. Dov Baer Ehrmann, Devarim ‘arevim, part 1 (Munkacs, 1903), 21a.

23. Isaac Edward Salkinson, Ram ve-Ya‘el (Vienna, 1878), 69.

24. Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., s.v. “Hebrew Language, Medieval,” 670.

25. Chaim Rabin, The Development of the Syntax of Post-Biblical Hebrew (Leiden, 2000), 89–90; Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, s.v. “Medieval Hebrew,” 663.

26. Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., s.v. “Hebrew Language, Medieval,” 670.

27. David M. Bunis, “ ‘Whole Hebrew’: A Revised Definition,” in A Touch of Grace: Studies in Ashkenazic Culture, Women’s History, and the Languages of the Jews Presented to Chava Turniansky, ed. I. Bartal et al. (Jerusalem, 2013), 50*–51*.

28. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 59.11.

29. Aaron Walden, Kehal ḥasidim (n.p., 1860?), 25a.

30. Kalman Schulman, Mistere Pariz, 4 vols. (Vilnius, 1857–60), 1:15.

31. Yudel Mark, A Grammar of Standard Yiddish (Yiddish; New York, 1978), 123; Dovid Katz, Grammar of the Yiddish Language (London, 1987), 50.

32. Rabin, Post-Biblical Hebrew, 89–90.

33. Gad Ben-Ammi Sarfatti, History of the Hebrew Language: The Medieval Division, Unit 5: The Language of the Translators from Arabic (Tel Aviv, 2003), 86.

34. Joüon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, 245.

35. Dovid Katz, “The Phonology of Ashkenazic,” in Hebrew in Ashkenaz: A Language in Exile, ed. L. Glinert (New York, 1993), 76–78.

36. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 132.3.

37. Israel Berger, ‘Eser tsaḥtsaḥot (Piotrkow, 1910; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 97, New York, 1996), 74.

38. Baruch Brand, “Sha‘are dema‘ot,” Ha-boker Or 2.2–3 (1877): 79.

39. Mark, A Grammar of Standard Yiddish, 123; Katz, Grammar of the Yiddish Language, 50; Neil G. Jacobs, Yiddish: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge, 2005), 154, 167.

40. Bunis, “Whole Hebrew,” 51*.

41. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 80.59.

42. Faivel Munk, Siḥot tsadikim (Warsaw, 1898), 76.

43. Mordechai David Brandstädter, “Doktor Yosef Alfasi,” Ha-Shaḥar 6.11 (1875): 664.

44. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 93.5.

45. Israel Berger, ‘Eser kedushot (Piotrkow, 1906; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 97, New York, 1996), 62.

46. Isaac Meir Dick, “Ha-behalah,” Ha-melits 7.41–43 (1867): 305–6; 312–13; 322–23, at 312.

47. Betzer, History of the Hebrew Language, 75–76.

48. Sarfatti, Translators from Arabic, 86.

49. Bunis, “Whole Hebrew,” 52*.

50. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 12.5.

51. Jacob Sofer, Sipure Ya‘akov (Husyatin, 1904), 34.

52. Dick, Ha-behala, 322.

53. Yehudit Wertheimer, “On the Study of 19th-Century Hebrew: Based on an Analysis of the Language of Yosef Rivlin and M. L. Lilienblum,” in Vatiqin: Studies on the History of the Yishuv, ed. H. Z. Hirschberg (Hebrew; Ramat Gan, 1975), 149–61.

54. Betzer, History of the Hebrew Language, 75–76; Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., s.v. “Hebrew Language, Medieval,” 670.

55. Rabin, Post-Biblical Hebrew, 91.

56. Sarfatti, Translators from Arabic, 86.

57. Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., s.v. “Hebrew Language, Medieval,” 670.

58. Mark, A Grammar of Standard Yiddish, 123, 161–62; Katz, Grammar of the Yiddish Language, 50, 54–55.

59. Bunis, “Whole Hebrew,” 52*.

60. Ronald J. Williams, Williams’ Hebrew Syntax, rev. J. C. Beckman (3rd ed.; Toronto, 2007), 8.

61. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 91.13.

62. Abraham Isaac Sobelman, Sipure tsadikim ha-ḥadashim, parts 1/2 (Piotrkow, 1909/10; repr. in Holy Books of Eternal Memory, vol. 4, New York, 1982), 3.

63. Salkinson, Ram ve-Ya‘el, 64.

64. Betzer, History of the Hebrew Language, 91.

65. Bunis, “Whole Hebrew,” 59*.

66. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 198.2.

67. Walden, Kehal ḥasidim, 51a.

68. Samuel Joseph Fuenn, “Ha-kadish li-fne Kol Nidre,” Ha-karmel, 2nd ser., 3.4–6 (1875–76): 217–24; 273–80; 334.

69. Betzer, History of the Hebrew Language, 91–92.

70. Betzer, History of the Hebrew Language, 108.

71. Wertheimer, “19th-Century Hebrew,” 159–60.

72. Brandstädter, “Doktor Yosef Alfasi,” 651.

73. For details of this convention in Biblical Hebrew, see Joüon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, 434–35; for Rabbinic Hebrew, see Moses Hirsch Segal, A Grammar of Mishnaic Hebrew (Oxford, 1927), 187–88; for the language of Palestinian piyyutim, see Michael Rand, Introduction to the Grammar of Hebrew Poetry in Byzantine Palestine (Piscataway, N.J., 2006), 250–52; and for medieval Spanish Provençal Hebrew, see Rabin, Post-Biblical Hebrew, 93.

74. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 129.5.

75. Hayim Meir Heilmann, Bet rebe (Berdichev, 1902), 107.

76. Schulman, Mistere Pariz, 7.

77. Joüon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, 435; Williams, Williams’ Hebrew Syntax, 8–9.

78. Rabin, Post-Biblical Hebrew, 93.

79. Mark, A Grammar of Standard Yiddish, 178–79.

80. Joüon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, 250–53; Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, s.v. “Dual: Pre-Modern Hebrew” and “Dual: Modern Hebrew.”

81. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 32.9.

82. Nathan Neta Duner, Sha‘are ha-’emuna (Warsaw, 1899), 36.

83. Dick, Ha-behala, 305.

84. See Lily Kahn, A Grammar of the Eastern European Hasidic Hebrew Tale (Leiden, 2015), 53–54, for further details of this tendency in Hasidic Hebrew.

85. Williams, Williams’ Hebrew Syntax, 33–34.

86. Abraham Even-Shoshan, The Even-Shoshan Dictionary: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century, ed. M. Azar, I. Shamir, and Y. Yannai (Israel, 2003), 2:689.

87. Note that standard equivalents are not provided in this section due to the range of possibilities for expressing superlatives in Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew.

88. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 183.3.

89. Nathan Neta Duner, Butsina kadisha (Piotrkow, 1912), 28.

90. Peretz Smolenskin, preface to Iti’el ha-kushi mi-Vinetsya by I. E. Salkinson (Vienna, 1874), xii.

91. Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, s.v. “Medieval Hebrew.”

92. Yael Reshef, “The Impact of Contact Languages on the Grammaticalization of the Modern Hebrew Superlative,” Journal of Jewish Languages 3.1–2 (2015): 272.

93. Reshef, “Modern Hebrew Superlative,” 273.

94. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 65.16.

95. Eliezer Shenkel, Sipure anshe shem (Podgorze, 1903), 16.

96. Brandstädter, “Doktor Yosef Alfasi,” 657.

97. Shimon Sharvit, Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew (Jerusalem, 2008), 228–34.

98. Dovid Katz, Grammar of the Yiddish Language, 201–3.

99. Wertheimer, “19th Century Hebrew,” 157.

100. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 10.17.

101. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 87.3.

102. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 113.5.

103. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 92.1.

104. Israel Berger, ‘Eser orot (Piotrkow, 1907; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 97, New York, 1996), 91.

105. Eliezer Brandwein, Degel maḥane Yehuda (Lemberg, 1912; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 31, New York, 1985), 18.

106. Shalom of Koidanov, Divre shalom (Vilna, 1882; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 34, New York, 1985), 20.

107. Isaac Singer, Seve ratson (Podgorze, 1900; repr. in Holy Books from the Students of the Holy Ba‘al Shem Tov of Eternal Memory, vol. 31, New York, 1985), 5.

108. Schulman, Mistere Pariz, 3.

109. Sholem Jacob Abramowitz, Limedu hetev (Warsaw, 1862; repr. with introd. by D. Miron, New York, 1969), 11.

110. Brandstädter, “Doktor Yosef Alfasi,” 663.

111. Abraham Ber Gottlober, “Orot me-’ofel,” Ha-boker Or 1.1–6 (1876): 17– 31, 90–99, 158–73, 243–56, 302–9, 378–86, at 20.

112. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 155.4.

113. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 11.4.

114. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 40.1.

115. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 46.30.

116. Abraham Hayim Simhah Bunem Michelsohn, Mekor ḥayim (Bilgoray, 1912; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 30, New York, 1985), 53.

117. Sofer, Sipure Ya‘akov, 26.

118. Judah Aryeh Teomim Fraenkel, Ohale shem (Bilgoray, 1911; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 17, New York, 1984), 47.

119. Abraham Hayim Simhah Bunem Michelsohn, Dover shalom (Przemysl, 1910; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 30, New York, 1985), 153.

120. A. Y. Nisselowitz, “Ha-temura,” Ha-karmel, 2nd ser., 3.2–3 (1875): 82– 91, 146–55, at 86.

121. Grigorii Bogrov, “Anashim shovavim,” Ha-melits 14.25–26 (1878): 507– 12, 531–36, at 534.

122. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 32.2.

123. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 40.10.

124. Heilmann, Bet rebe, 139.

125. Isaac Landau, Zikaron tov (Piotrkow, 1892; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 3, New York, 1984), 18.

126. Judah Isaac Leinwand, ‘Ose mezimot, part 1 (Lemberg, 1875), 42.

127. Schulman, Mistere Pariz, 41.

128. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 155.6.

129. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 167.3.

130. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 3.2.

131. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 197.2.

132. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 90.3.

133. Eliezer Dov Gemen, Sifran shel tsadikim (Warsaw, 1914; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 68, New York, 1988), 62.

134. Hayim Lieberson, Tseror ha-ḥayim (Bilgoray, 1913; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 7, New York, 1983), 44.

135. Singer, Seve ratson, 8.

136. Zak, Bet Yisra’el, 16.

137. Solomon Zalman Breitstein, Siḥot ḥayim (Piotrkow, 1914), 44.

138. Dick, “Ha-behala,” 305.

139. Dick, “Ha-behala,” 305.

140. Nahum Meir Sheikewitz, “Gemul akhzarim,” Ha-melits 12.8–15 (1872): 59–60, 66–67, 73–74, 82–83, 98–99, 107, 115, at 74.

141. Sheikewitz, “Gemul akhzarim,” 60.

142. Smolenskin, Ha-gemul, 7.

143. Mordechai David Brandstädter, “Me-ḥayil el ḥayil,” Ha-shaḥar 9.7–12 (1878): 374–84, 431–39, 477–86, 548–58, 592–604, 643–55.

144. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 150.1.

145. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 11.10.

146. Israel Moses Bromberg, Toledot ha-nifla’ot (Warsaw, 1899), 29.

147. Ehrmann, Devarim ‘arevim, 19a.

148. Abramowitz, Limedu hetev, 9.

149. Dick, Ha-behala, 312.

150. Brandstädter, “Doktor Yosef Alfasi,” 664.

151. Judah Leib Gordon, “Kave le-h’ ve-hu yoshi‘a lekha,” Ha-karmel, 1st ser., 1.37 (1861): 298.

152. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 18.4.

153. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 85.12.

154. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 191.7.

155. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 15.4.

156. Berger, ‘Eser kedushot, 18.

157. Michael Levi Frumkin Rodkinsohn, Shivḥe ha-rav (Lemberg, 1864), 5.

158. Israel David Seuss, Ma‘asot me-ha-gedolim ve-ha-tsadikim (Warsaw, 1890), 5.

159. Abraham Hayim Simhah Bunem Michelsohn, ‘Ateret Menaḥem (Bilgoray, 1910; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 75, New York, 1989), 62.

160. Fuenn, “Ha-kadish li-fne Kol Nidre,” 224.

161. Bogrov, “Anashim shovavim,” 510.

162. Samuel Elijah Eisenstadt. “Neshikat melekh,” Ha-melits 10.33–34 (1870): 247–49, 255–56, at 247.

163. Abraham Jacob Brock, “Ḥatan damim, o ketem ha-dam,” Ha-boker Or 2.1–6 (1877): 41–48, 113–28, 221–36, 301–8, at 229.

164. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 64.7.

165. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 176.7.

166. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 22.6.

167. Berger, ‘Eser orot, 88.

168. Bromberg, Toledot ha-nifla’ot, 35.

169. Jacob Kaidaner, Sipure nora’im (Lemberg, 1875; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 3, New York, 1981), 19b.

170. Menahem Mendel Bodek, Seder ha-dorot mi-talmide ha-Besh”t za”l (Lemberg, 1865), 36.

171. Nisselowitz, “Ha-temura,” 87.

172. Brandstädter, “Doktor Yosef Alfasi,” 665.

173. Gottlober, “Orot me-’ofel,” 20.

174. Leinwand, ‘Ose mezimot, 19.

175. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 12.7.

176. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 97.7.

177. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 42.17.

178. Yo’ets Kim Kadish Rakats, Tif’eret ha-yehudi, 2 parts (Piotrkow, 1912; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 3, New York, 1984), 1:55.

179. Lieberson, Tseror ha-ḥayim, 44.

180. Gemen, Sifran shel tsadikim, 58.

181. Nisselowitz, “Ha-temura,” 82.

182. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 107.14.

183. Michael Levi Frumkin Rodkinsohn, ‘Adat tsadikim (Lemberg, 1865), 6.

184. Walden, Kehal ḥasidim, 16a.

185. Nisselowitz, “Ha-temura,” 86.

186. Brock, “Ḥatan damim,” 234.

187. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 69.2.

188. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 167.1.

189. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 168.1.

190. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 92.1.

191. Eliezer Shenkel, Ma‘asiyot peli’ot nora’im ve-nifla’im, part 2 (Lemberg, 1883), 9.

192. Rakats, Tif’eret ha-yehudi, 2:17.

193. Isaac Dov Hirsch. Emunat tsadikim (Warsaw, 1900; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 42, New York, 1985), 73.

194. Menahem Mendel Bodek, Pe’er mi-kedoshim (Lemberg, 1865), 4.

195. Smolenskin, preface, v–xxxii, xxix; Brandstädter, “Doktor Yosef Alfasi,” 662.

196. Fuenn, “Ha-kadish li-fne Kol Nidre,” 334.

197. Reuben Asher Braudes, “Ish ḥasid,” Ha-boker Or 2.4–5 (1877): 189.

198. Gottlober, “Orot me-’ofel,” 23.

199. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 155.2.

200. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 159.1.

201. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 48.6.

202. Bodek, Seder ha-dorot, 3.

203. Solomon Gabriel Rosenthal, Tif’eret ha-tsadikim (Warsaw, 1909), 18.

204. Zak, Bet Yisra’el, 164.

205. Judah Leib Gordon, “Shene yamim ve-layla eḥad be-vet malon orḥim,” in ‘Olam ke-minhago (Warsaw, 1874; repr. in The Works of Judah Leib Gordon: Prose [Hebrew; Tel Aviv, 1960]), 3.

206. Eisenstadt, “Neshikat melekh,” 248.

207. Bogrov, “Anashim shovavim,” 532.

208. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 145.1.

209. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 106.1.

210. Ganzfried, Kitsur, 115.8.

211. Israel Berger, ‘Eser ‘atarot (Piotrkow, 1910; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 97, New York, 1996), 63.

212. Shalom Elijah Stamm, Zekher tsadik (Vilna, 1905; repr. in Holy Books, vol. 35, New York, 1986), 6.

213. Isaac Singer, Pe‘ulat ha-tsadikim, 3 parts (Podgorze, 1900), 2:12.

214. L. Shapiro, “Ha-mistater,” Ha-karmel, 2nd ser., 2.12 (1874): 572.

215. Leinwand, ‘Ose mezimot, 42.

216. Fuenn, “Ha-kadish li-fne Kol Nidre,” 279.

Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0604
Print ISSN
0021-6682
Pages
159-193
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-09
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.