Jewish Heretics and Heretical Jews

by Bennett Muraskin   A JEWISH HERETIC, in Yiddish and Hebrew, is an apikoyris –– a reference to the 3rd-century BCE Greek philosopher Epicurus, who taught that the gods have no interest in human affairs and that people would be better off if we did not believe in divine rewards and punishment. (It is not surprising […]

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Why Be Anything? Why Be Jewish?

THE JEWISH-UNIVERSALIST DILEMMA by Adam Chalom from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ONE HUNDRED and thirty years ago, a new language was born. It had regular rules and simple grammar, and could be learned in one tenth the time it takes to learn English. The inventor of Esperanto was a Polish Jewish doctor […]

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The Uncivil Servant: In Praise of Esperanto

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Bridge of Words by Esther Schor. Metropolitan Books, 2016, indexed, 364 pages SOME TIME NEAR the end of the 20th century, the late, lamented magazine Lingua Franca ran an article about the international language, Esperanto. It presented it so attractively that I immediately picked up some teach-yourself books, […]

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December 15: Ludwig Zamenoff’s International Language

Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, an opthalmologist who created and promoted the world’s most successful language invented by an individual, Esperanto, was born in Bialystok on this date in 1859. Zamenhoff had native fluency in Yiddish and Russian, and his father, a language teacher, gave him knowledge of German and French. Zamenhof also learned Polish, and […]

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