Thursday, December 11, 2003

Read the Comments, Nu!

One of the pleasures of blogsurfing is when the comments overtake the posting. Aaron Haspel made a short posting linking Terry Teachout's piece on the "perils of the goyim among the Jews" (here). I had read Terry's piece (here) and enjoyed it.

But now the comments at God of the Machine have turned into a diatribe (actually a triatribe, if that were a word) between David Sucher, who objects to the use of the word goyim, with Aaron & AC Douglas who defend it (here).

As another Jew, I most certainly come down on the side of AC and Aaron. Goyim is a perfectly acceptable word. I know of no other Yiddish word for gentile. And while it is mildly condescending, it can be said affectionately. It merely connotes the long history of the Jews in which you had us (The Chosen) and them (The Goyim). The Germans refer to foreigners as auslanders, which literally translates as outlanders. The us and them mentality of the word auslander is no more offensive than goyim, but it is their language, just like Yiddish belongs to the Jews (as well as Ladino for the Sephardic amongst us, but I think Sephardics call them goyim as well).

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