Bintel Blog

WikiHome for the Jews: Where To Go and Where Not to Go

By Dan Friedman

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Visitors to the main page of the English language Wikipedia today were treated to a short history of New York’s Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue.

Every day Wikipedia features a short article that they think might interest their readers which, on the English site, is always an article in English. There are however 267 different languages on Wikipedia, ranked by number of articles from English (with nearly three million articles and 300 million edits) down to Toki Pona (zero articles, but 1,710 edits!). Toki Pona, by the way, is a language with only 118 words invented by by Sonja Elen Kisa in 2001 to be “a minimal language that focuses on the good things in life.”

Hebrew is ranked number 28 in the article rankings with just under a 100,000 articles and Yiddish is ranked a disappointing 101 with fewer than 7,000 articles. However, making up for quantity through quality, some of the Yiddish entries are surprisingly graphic. For educational reasons, we suppose, the entry for prostitutes — should you ever need to avoid them — has a picture. Annabel, the German prostitute pictured (steer clear of Germans and prostitutes?), is blond and (barely) wearing red, so should be easy to spot in most Yiddish-speaking enclaves.


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