Monday, June 23, 2008

Respect thy forefathers' accent

Sure, it feels good to speak Israeli Hebrew. To read Maqor Rishon, or Maqor Chayyim. To pronounce Tav without a dagesh as Tav. To go from L'hoidois to L'hodot. Maybe it feels better to daven the local Sephardi pronunciation as well.

Sure, all other languages are not holy and mundane. We are living in Geula (not Geula the part of Jerusalem).
Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the author of the modern Hebrew grammar, was so happy to be here that he, paradoxically, severely beat his family members when they slipped and spoke a word of Yiddish!

The pronunciation is not worth family violence here. There is no holiness in changing one's accent just to comply with the politically correct trends.

The straight and honest holocho menayseh is that ashkenoizim must keep their pronunciation. The saintly and revered, the Israeli R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach said so, V'olehu Lo Ibul, Part 1, Opinion 44.

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