In my writing, I very purposefully label my ultra-Orthodox non-Hasidic community of origin the “Yeshivish” community or sect, although I know it is a strange label for some, like Ezra Glinter, who in a footnote to his thoughtful and thorough essay “Ex-Hasidic Writers Go Off the Path and Onto the Page,” questions my use of the term, calling it “irritating.”
“Vincent” he says “…trades in cliché, since it is easier to slot her community into the Hasidic sect-based model familiar to readers of other ex-Orthodox memoirs than it is to deal with the vagaries of denominational hair-splitting.”
There are plenty of ultra-Orthodox non-Hasidic people who don’t fit under the Yeshivish umbrella, but a significant percentage does. And while there are many sub-sects within the Yeshivish community (as the joke goes — two Jews, three opinions), the Yeshivish community is at least as homogenous as the Hasidic community, which manages to stretch wide enough to encompass sub-groups as divergent as Satmar and Lubavitch, Belz and Breslov. One might even say that the Yeshivish community is as homogenous as a single Hasidic sect like the deeply fractured Satmar Hasidim.
Philologos re-considers the linguistic distinctiveness of Yeshivish, with a Yeshivish translation of the Gettysburg Address as exhibit A.
Michael Kaminer visits an exhibit the Royal Ontario Museum that ponders the future of “the world’s most valuable resource” in the Middle East.
Jordana Horn reviews “The Gift to Stalin,” a Kazakh movie not starring Borat about a Jewish boy trying to save his parents from Stalin’s post-war purge.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Yoel Matveev revisits the relationship between Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, Isaac Halevi Herzog, and the Irish nationalist movement.
Purim is almost here! Check out our annual Backward edition.