In eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, the subject of language was hotly debated among Jewish thinkers. Compare the attitudes toward language, especially Yiddish, in Isaac Dov Levinsohn’s “Yiddish is a Corrupt Jargon” (1828) and Mendele Moykher Sforim’s “My Soul Desired Yiddish” (1862).

In eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, the subject of language was hotly debated among Jewish thinkers. Compare the attitudes toward language, especially Yiddish, in Isaac Dov Levinsohn’s “Yiddish is a Corrupt Jargon” (1828) and Mendele Moykher Sforim’s “My Soul Desired Yiddish” (1862).

CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS FOR YOUR ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY:

  1. In eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, the subject of language was hotly debated among Jewish thinkers. Compare the attitudes toward language, especially Yiddish, in Isaac Dov Levinsohn’s “Yiddish is a Corrupt Jargon” (1828) and Mendele Moykher Sforim’s “My Soul Desired Yiddish” (1862). Both mean lived in the Russian Empire and were proponents of the Jewish Enlightenment, the Haskalah. Apart from the obvious – that one author is seemingly hostile to Yiddish and the other sympathetic to it – are their attitudes toward language use in Jewish society really different? In answering this question, be sure to consider the various languages then used by Jews in the Russian Empire.

Note: Mendele Moykher Sforim (“Mendele the Bookseller”) is the pen name of Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh. It is correct to refer to him either as “Mendele,” “Mendele Moykher Sforim” or by his family name (i.e. Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh or just Abramovitsh).Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!

  1. In 1782, the Austrian Emperor Joseph II issued “The Edict of Tolerance,” which granted unprecedented opportunities and obligations for a limited number of Jews within his realm. Some see this document as representing the first step toward the Jews’ emancipation and integration into European societies. Others view it as an extension of coercive policies meant to exploit them for the benefit of the state. How do you understand it? In formulating your answer, be sure to consider what integration and emancipation, two subjects we have discussed in class, mean.

Length: 1300-1600 words (5-6 pages)

Due by 11:59 PM, Wednesday 14 March (Note: this is a revised due date; the original due date was a week earlier.)

Essays should be written in Microsoft Word or compatible form and submitted through “Turnitin.com.” Please DO NOT submit PDFs.

Note: for the purposes of this course, there is no correct or incorrect answer to either of the questions posed. Your essay will evaluated for its ability to present a thesis and to prove it with arguments from the text.

 

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