Language

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The Otifier
Infinity Labs unveils The Otifier launching a whole new series to explore the mysteries of the Hebrew Alphabet--along with some real practical lessons.
As we enter the classroom and take our seats, my heart beats a good bit faster. Anticipation is what they call it; lack of intestinal fortitude is my definition! Oh no! The teacher’s going to call on me next! What is she saying?
When languages die, whole cultures die with them, and communities lose their identity. Jewish languages are no different.
Question: After attending a lecture on the holiness of the Hebrew language, a question comes to mind: Why is it that so many of the great books in Torah—including the Talmud—are not written in Hebrew? Does that make them less holy? Response: You’ve stumbl...
1 + 1 = Word
At the same time we teach every schoolchild that one plus one equals two, in another class we teach that one plus one equals a lot more than two. It's called spelling, and that's pretty mystical if you ask me. Takes a kabbalist to know.
Those Jews standing around him all understood Hebrew, and I seriously doubt that any one of them would have been comforted or impressed to hear it over again in Outer Mongolian or Swahili...
The Not-thing
The other day I realized that I hadn't seen G-d in quite a while -- probably not since childhood... Where did I misplace Him?
There is the shapes of the letters themselves. The dance of black and white on the page. The delight in having these strange lines take on sound. The surprise when, all at once, four or five of these shapes group together to make a word with length, depth...
"Look," he tried. The poor angel was almost hysterical. "Our job was software. How were we supposed to know that the hardware was to be made from mud? We pleaded with The Engineer to find a more fitting encasement for such an ultimate being than this gray...
Every translator grapples with two conflicting aims: to faithfully convey the content of the original, and to make it understood, attractive and “natural” in its foreign enclothment. How far to go? The Rebbe sees a precedent in the first Torah scroll writ...
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