London's Haredi Periodicals in Yiddish

Language, Literature and Ultra-Orthodox Ideology

in European Judaism
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  • 1 University of Oxford
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An analysis of Yiddish language periodicals destined for a haredi reading public is fraught with difficulty. First and foremost, the very existence of such reading material is paradoxical. On the one hand haredim strongly discourage wasting time reading anything not directly related to Torah, yet on the other hand Yiddish newspapers have a much stronger readership among haredim than among secular Jews. Even the Forverts, the most widely sold secular paper in Yiddish, has a distribution of 5,000 copies per week, which is far below that of most haredi papers. As one hasid explains, it's a waste of time to read secular papers, but it's a mitsve to read the haredi news publications.