The opening page of the 1828 Yiddish-written Jewish Holiday of Purim play Esther, oder die belohnte Tugend from Fürth (by Nürnberg), Bavaria
The calligraphic segment in the Worms Machzor. The Yiddish text is in red.
A page from the Shemot Devarim, a Yiddish–Hebrew–Latin–German dictionary and thesaurus, published by Elia Levita in 1542
American World War I-era poster in Yiddish. Translated caption: "Food will win the war – You came here seeking freedom, now you must help to preserve it – We must supply the Allies with wheat – Let nothing go to waste". Colour lithograph, 1917. Digitally restored.
1917. 100 karbovanets of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Revers. Three languages: Ukrainian, Polish and Yiddish.
Map of the Yiddish dialects between the 15th and the 19th centuries (Western dialects in orange / Eastern dialects in green)
An example of graffiti in Yiddish, Tel Aviv, Washington Avenue (און איר זאלט ליב האבן דעם פרעמדען, ווארום פרעמדע זייט איר געווען אין לאנד מצרים Un ir zolt lib hobn dem fremdn varum fremde seit ir geven in land mitsrayim). "You shall have love for the stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Deuteronomy 10:19)
NEP-era Soviet Yiddish poster "Come to us at the Kolkhoz!"
State emblem of the Byelorussian SSR with the motto Workers of the world, unite! in Yiddish (lower left part of the ribbon): ״פראָלעטאריער פון אלע לענדער, פאראייניקט זיך!״, Proletarier fun ale lender, fareynikt zikh! The same slogan is written in Belarusian, Russian and Polish.
The Jewish Autonomous Oblast in Russia
Banner from the first issue of the Yidishe Folksshtime ("Yiddish People's Voice"), published in Stockholm, January 12, 1917
1917 multilingual poster in Yiddish, English, Italian, Hungarian, Slovene, and Polish, advertising English classes for new immigrants in Cleveland
Women surrounded by posters in English and Yiddish supporting Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert H. Lehman, and the American Labor Party teach other women how to vote, 1936.
A typical poster-hung wall in Jewish Brooklyn, New York
A road sign in Yiddish (except for the word "sidewalk") at an official construction site in the Monsey hamlet, a community with thousands of Yiddish speakers, in Ramapo, New York.

West Germanic language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews.

- Yiddish

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Middle High German

Term for the form of German spoken in the High Middle Ages.

German territorial expansion before 1400 from F. W. Putzger
Middle High German dialect boundaries
Manuscript B of Hartmann von Aue's Iwein (Gießen, UB, Hs. 97), folio 1r
Manuscript C of the Nibelungenlied, fol.1r

"Judeo-German", the precursor of the Yiddish language, is attested in the 12th–13th centuries, as a variety of Middle High German written in Hebrew characters.


Instrumental musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern Europe.

Jewish musicians of Rohatyn (west Ukraine)
Medieval Jewish wedding procession (date unknown)
Portrait of Pedotser (A. M. Kholodenko), nineteenth century klezmer virtuoso
Klezmer musicians at a wedding, Ukraine, ca. 1925
Max Leibowitz orchestra from 1921
Elane Hoffman Watts, klezmer drummer, in 2007
Issachar Ber Ryback - Wedding Ceremony

The term klezmer, as used in the Yiddish language, has a Hebrew etymology: klei, meaning "tools, utensils or instruments of" and zemer, "melody"; leading to k'lei zemer, meaning "musical instruments".

Haredi Judaism

Haredi Judaism (יהדות חֲרֵדִית , ; also spelled Charedi in English; plural Haredim or Charedim) consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism that are characterized by their strict adherence to halakha (Jewish law) and traditions, in opposition to modern values and practices.

Haredi Jewish men during a Torah reading.
Young Haredi Jews in Jerusalem, 2005
Hasidic boys in Łódź, 1910
Haredi Jews from Galicia at the in Vienna's second district, Leopoldstadt, 1915
Haredi Jewish women and girls in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, 2013
Styles of Haredi dress
Typical Haredi dress for men and women
Gender-separate beach in Israel. To accommodate Haredi and other Orthodox Jews, many coastal resorts in Israel have a designated area for sex-separate bathing.
The Bais Yaakov graduating class of 1934 in Łódź, Poland
Tziporah Heller, a weekly columnist for Hamodia
photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto
Members of Neturei Karta protest against Israel (Washington, 2005)
Haredi demonstration against the conscription of yeshiva pupils
Hasidim walk to the synagogue, Rehovot, Israel.
Haredi Rabbis and students writing a Torah scroll (Haredi settlement of Beitar Illit, Gush Etzion)
Hasidic family on the street in Borough Park, Brooklyn
Students of Telshe yeshiva, 1936

Common Yiddish words include (Jews), (virtuous Jews), (son of the Torah), (pious), and (home-like; i. e., our crowd).

Ashkenazi Jews

Ashkenazi Jews (יְהוּדֵי אַשְׁכְּנַז, ; אַשכּנזישע ייִדן), also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim, are a Jewish diaspora population who coalesced in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium CE.

The Jews in Central Europe (1881)
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at its greatest extent.
Jews from Worms (Germany) wearing the mandatory yellow badge.
The example of the chevra kadisha, the Jewish burial society, Prague, 1772

Their traditional diaspora language is Yiddish (a West Germanic language with Jewish linguistic elements, including the Hebrew alphabet), which developed during the Middle Ages after they had moved from Germany and France into Northern Europe and Eastern Europe.

The Forward

American news media organization for a Jewish American audience.

Jewish. Fearless. Since 1897.
Survivor of Nazi concentration camp reading The Forward in Germany on 11 March 1946
Abraham Cahan, patriarch of The Forward until 1946
Newsboys for the Forward wait for their copies in the early morning hours in March 1913
This November 1, 1936, magazine section of The Forward illustrates its evolution from a Democratic Socialist publication to a Social Democratic supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal"
Forward Building facade
Top of Forward Building
Front view of Forward Building

Founded in 1897 as a Yiddish-language daily socialist newspaper, The New York Times reported that Seth Lipsky "started an English-language offshoot of the Yiddish-language newspaper" as a weekly newspaper in 1990.

West Germanic languages

The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of languages (the others being the North Germanic and the extinct East Germanic languages).

The varieties of the continental West Germanic dialect continuum around 1900.  ):
Grouping of the main Germanic languages, including historical dialects, according to Friedrich Maurer.

The language family also includes Afrikaans, Yiddish, Luxembourgish, and Scots, which are closely related to Dutch, German and English respectively.

Yiddish dialects

YIVO on 16th Street in Manhattan, New York City

Yiddish dialects are variants of the Yiddish language and are divided according to the region in Europe where each developed its distinctiveness.

High German languages

Imprecisely also called High German, comprise the varieties of German spoken south of the Benrath and Uerdingen isoglosses in central and southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and eastern Belgium, as well as in neighbouring portions of France (Alsace and northern Lorraine), Italy (South Tyrol), the Czech Republic (Bohemia), and Poland (Upper Silesia).

The national and regional standard varieties of the German language.

As a technical term, the "high" in High German is a geographical reference to the group of dialects that forms "High German" (i.e. "Highland" German), out of which developed Standard German, Yiddish and Luxembourgish.

Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem, 1907
Sholem Aleichem statue in Netanya, Israel
Monument to Sholem Aleichem in Bohuslav, Ukraine
Sholem Aleichem
A volume of Sholem Aleichem stories in Yiddish, with the author's portrait and signature
Sholem Aleichem's funeral on May 15, 1916
A 1959 Soviet Union postage stamp commemorating the centennial of Sholem Aleichem's birth
Israeli postal stamp, 1959
Museum of Sholem Aleichem in Pereiaslav
Portrait bust of Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916) sculpted by Mitchell Fields

Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddish and שלום עליכם, also spelled in Soviet Yiddish, ; Russian and Шо́лом-Але́йхем) (March 2 1859May 13, 1916), was a Yiddish author and playwright.

Hebrew alphabet

Paleo-Hebrew alphabet containing 22 letters, period, geresh, and gershayim
The Aleppo Codex, a tenth century Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible. Book of Joshua 1:1
The lower clock on the Jewish Town Hall building in Prague, with Hebrew numerals in counterclockwise order.
The four-pronged Shin
An example of a Hebrew keyboard.

The Hebrew alphabet (אָלֶף־בֵּית עִבְרִי, ), known variously by scholars as the Ktav Ashuri, Jewish script, square script and block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language and other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Persian.