Nu, Raytz Ladino?
by: Schvach Yid
What has become of the Ladino speakers of the world? I know what happened to the Yiddish speakers . In
And what of Ladino speakers? Well, I’m almost acquainted with one native Ladino speaker, a sabra, who went ‘chutz’ decades ago, and I’ve met a Ladino speaking family (that’s right, and entire family of Ladino speakers) in shul. Also, I had a classmate in high school whose parents were emigrants from
Where have they all gone? We all know – the same story as the Yiddishists.
Thanks to Batya Medad’s article on Arutz Sheva entitled When Will They Ever Learn? , at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7222, I’m ruminating about the Sefardim, more specifically, the so-called crypto-Jews of the Spanish speaking world. It’s past the half millennium mark since the Catholic Church of Spain inaugurated its Inquisition, which began about 1480, and crypto-Jews have been cryptic about their Judaism ever since. They’re still in hiding. What’s Spanish for oy veh! (no, it’s not ole!; according to one account I’ve heard, the Spanish ole takes its etymology from Arabic’s Allah).
Jews in the Spanish speaking domains are still in hiding. Perhaps the majority, according to a former article published by Moment Magazine about the Jews of Mexico, aren’t informed about their Jewish roots, blithely following Jewish religious practices handed down within their families for generations.
Thirty years ago I attended a New Years Eve party given by a married couple with whom I worked at the time – Latino. She was from
My brother and his family live in central
As a Jew the thought of the reestablishment of Spanish cultural supremacy causes me some angst, to say the least. I behold psycho-images of Elizabeth Holtzman shoving her advocating clenched fisted arm into the air, missing its ostensibly undefined mark in the cyclopic politics of her day, pro anything that negated her Judaism. The desperation for success knows no reason.
Cezar Chavez and his organized United Farm Workers of America chose as their flag a design and color scheme that emulated the flag of the Nazi Party of Germany’s Third Reich. And let’s not forget the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel campaigns of Hugo Chavez of
This isn’t racial folks; there’s no ‘melanin power’ advocated or rejected here. We Jews count among our population lots of ‘dark’ Jews – Sefardim, Mizrachim – and I’m glad for it, as much as I am for the varieties of our culture within the Jewish community (see my earlier blog, Tali Farkash’s Déjà Vu, at http://schvach.blogspot.com/2007/04/tali-farkashs-dj-vu-tali-farkash.html). The point is about getting Jews who are uninformed about their Jewish identity and heritage, due to a centuries long rabid victimization, back into Judaism.
And what about ‘lost’ Jewish languages? A past edition of Pakn Treger, the quarterly publication of the National Yiddish Book Center (http://yiddishbookcenter.org/), founded by Aaron Lansky, listed over 20 Jewish languages, now mostly extinct or nearly so, and this shouldn’t be the case.