Monday, March 21, 2005

HaJomel l'Hayavim Tovoth...



1882: Yemenite Jews come to settle in the village of Silwan in the outskirts of the city of Jerusalem. Their kooky pronunciations of the Hebrew letters "Gimmel," "Chet" and "Taf" as "Jimmel," "Hhet" and "Thaf" notwithstanding, they were able to live and coexist amidst the other Jews in Jerusalem, who were toiling so hard for their survival in the shadow of the Ottoman Empire that they neglected to spend the energy required on helping the Yemenites to correct their nutty pronunciations. Much to their eventual surprise, historians and linguists later proved that the Yemenites' pronunciations, though admittedly more wacky, were actually a lot closer to ancient Biblical pronunciations than their transmogrified, Europeanized pronunciations had been for generations. Round 1, better late than never, to the Yemenites.

1991: I come to Jerusalem for the first time ever.

Thanks to these two occurrences, God blessed me to discover Schug, or as most internet search engines would have it, Zhug. Thank you God, and thank you, Yemenite Jews.

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