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Talking Israeli Politics? There’s a Dialect for That

In Israel, a common language does not mean a common dialogue. And Israelis love to argue. Here’s a linguistic guide to help you traverse those moments.

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That English You’re Speaking? It’s Hebrew. (Well, Some of It.)

The derivations of the words cinnamon, ruthless, scapegoat, and amen

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Embrace the Ivrit

The Academy of the Hebrew Language has released a new set of words intended to help Israelis lean less on English. Will it catch on?

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What Language Do the Angels Speak?

Must prayers be uttered in Hebrew? Plus: Were ancient Israelite spies the size of grasshoppers?

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Jon Stewart’s Jewnacular

Chuck Schumer: ‘It’s a miracle: You took one day’s worth of schtick and kept it going for 16 years. Mazel tov!’

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Syrian State News Now Available in Hebrew

‘Impartial’ Hebrew-language site will detail attacks on Palestinians, Syrians

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Should Hebrew Be Israel’s Official Language? Has It Ever Been?

A new piece of legislation seeks to upset the status quo over which language the Jewish state deems official. It’s deeply misguided.

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Tuvia Ruebner Never Stops Mourning the Lost

New English translations of the 90-year-old’s Israel Prize-winning work remind us why he’s the doyen of postwar poets

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The Opposite of Schadenfreude?

The Hebrew word ‘firgun’ describes taking pleasure in another’s good fortune

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Examining Edenics, the Theory That English (and Every Other Language) Came From Hebrew

An eccentric Jerusalem-based researcher believes he’s found the key to the origin of tongues—in the Bible

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The Teachers’ Lounge: Stories

An original translation of new Hebrew fiction from Bernstein Prize-winner Dror Burstein, author of ‘Kin’

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German Loses Its Longest Word

And the precious debate over Hebrew’s longest word

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Queen for a Day

The rabbis who reasoned about the day of rest also celebrated it. Plus: The Talmud on iPad and in translation.

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Fwr Vwls 4 Futr Englsh?

As Twitter and text messages force linguistic brevity, English starts to look more like vowel-free Hebrew

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Hebrew’s Special Pride

Firgun is the ungrudging pleasure one takes in another’s good fortune, and there’s no English word for it

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European Modernism, in Hebrew

With a rediscovered 1930s novel, Viennese Romance, Austrian writer David Vogel becomes a key figure in the creation of Modern Hebrew literature

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Etgar Keret’s Chaos Theory

Suddenly, A Knock on the Door, the acclaimed Israeli writer’s new story collection, offers wry, coy looks at the paradoxes of life in the Jewish state

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Yiddishkeit

The last fully realized work by Harvey Pekar illuminates the bluntness and delight of American Yiddish in the last century. A new excerpt.

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Letters Lost and Found

Type designer Scott-Martin Kosofsky explains the creation of Le Bé, his new digitization of a beautiful 16th-century Hebrew typeface. It debuts in The Selected Poems of Yehuda Halevi, a Nextbook Press e-book published this week.

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Q&A: Noam Chomsky

The world’s most important leftist intellectual talks about his Zionist childhood and his time with Hezbollah

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Israelispeak

Test your knowledge. Take the quiz.

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Lost in Translation

A Ramallah man struggles to find a reading public for Maimonides

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‘The Leviathan,’ in Hebrew

Hobbes classic gets its first full Hebrew translation

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Sundown: Obama’s Jewish Brother

Plus Ponzi fatigue, mother tongues, and a strange souvenir

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Sundown: The Big Questions

On Halloween, heresy, and Hitler

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Sundown: Hebrew’s Not Just for Jews

A starving school, an appetite for Israel, and the finer points of slaughter

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Sundown: Mother Tongue

Pundit love, school apartheid, and Zappa’s birthright

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Sundown: Sir, Proper Hebrew, Sir!

Human rights, lotion, and kosher foot-longs

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Uncle Bloomberg Wants YOU

Mayor seeks campaign workers. Yiddish preferred.

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Israeli M.K. Wants Book Bailout

Plan to freeze prices

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