Yiddish as a Hilfsmittel for Theological Studies
In addition to Protestant concern with Jews and Judaism in Germany, Christian interest in the Yiddish language and literature also stemmed from the Protestant ambition to utilize the language for intra-Christian purposes, such as the study of Hebrew and the biblical text. Protestants must have an accurate reading and understanding of the Hebrew Bible for theological purposes, and Yiddish was a handy solution. In other words, Yiddish was considered a useful medium through which to learn the Hebrew language. Aside from the Yiddish lexicographical tradition of biblical glosses and dictionaries, another Ashkenazi literary tradition arising from the centuries-old Jewish practice of explaining every word of the holy text through a Yiddish equivalent was the literal translation of the Bible known as taytsh-khumesh. Examples of these biblical translations were those written by Joseph Athias, Jekuthiel Blitz, and Johann Otto Glüsing and Hermann Heinrich Holle.
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