Yiddish, derived from Medieval High German, is a common language among northern European Jews. In the nineteenth century, many Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews immigrated to the United States. Many settled on the east and west coasts of the United States. In the twentieth century, many more came, having survived the Holocaust. Over the years, Yiddish gave way to English, and the number of Yiddish speakers declined, as did much of its vibrant literature and drama. Yiddish words became embedded into New York English. More recently, it persists and is growing among Hasidic, Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who use it at home and school. It also persists as a cultural marker among nominal, cultural Jews but to a much lesser degree.
Fervency of Orthodoxy and Ultra-Orthodoxy close the Hasidim to the gospel. Biblical illiteracy and secularism tend to shut off non-Hasidim Yiddish speakers to the gospel. Another obstacle shared by non-Yiddish-speaking Jews is the Holocaust. Indeed, anti-semitism turns many Jews away from the Messiah. Yiddish speakers also live in a closed community.
Gospel songs, plays and music in Yiddish may be useful. Bible studies in Yiddish could be tried.
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:13-14
Pray that this people group will understand and embrace that they are created by God, and that His ways are marvelous!
Pray that the non-Jewish church would repent of anti-semitism. Pray that Messianic believers would be Jesus' ambassadors to this community. Pray that God would prepare the Yiddish-speaking Jews to be open to a gospel witness and that there would be a massive movement to their loving Messiah in the 2020s.
|People Name:||Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jew|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Online Audio NT:||Yes|