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Introduction to Old Yiddish Literature$
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Jean Baumgarten and Jerold C. Frakes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276332.001.0001

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Conclusion: From the Old to the New

Conclusion: From the Old to the New

(p.386) Conclusion: From the Old to the New
Introduction to Old Yiddish Literature

Jean Baumgarten

, Jerold C. Frakes
Oxford University Press

From the second half of the eighteenth century, Old Yiddish literature underwent a progressive decline and loss of quality. Only one genre, represented by the Tsene-rene, some prayer books, such as the Korbon minkho, and some stories stayed in print until the twentieth century in the milieu of orthodox Jewry. The works in the vernacular, spread for almost three centuries in the vast geographical range of Ashkenazic communities, played a role in the transmission of the sacred tradition, the usages and customs of the Jewish populace, and in the struggle for cultural survival, as well as in the disruptions of traditional Jewish society at the dawn of the modern period. On the other hand, it remains clear that the Yiddish texts continued to play a role in the milieux that rejected modernity. Due to the upheavals that disrupted Jewish society, the works of Old Yiddish literature gradually came to be neglected.

Keywords:   prayer books, Tsene-rene, Korbon minkho, Ashkenazic communities, Old Yiddish literature, vernacular

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