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The Chiddushei HaRim and Rav Moshe Montefiore On Jews Speaking Foreign Languages Print E-mail

writingsOne time when Rav Moshe Montefiore was in Warsaw he went to visit the Chiddushei HaRim.  He asked him why the parents of religious children do not teach them to speak languages other than Yiddish?  We see that our gedolim in Sanhedrin all spoke 70 languages and it ultimately saved Klal Yisroel in the Nes of Purim when Mordechai was able to understand the conversation between Bigsan and Seresh.

The Chiddushei HaRim answered that on the contrary what saved Am Yisroel was the fact that Jews did not speak other languages.  Only because Bigsan and Seresh knew that Jews only spoke the Jewish language did they not have a problem speaking such delicate matters, with Mordechai sitting within earshot.  We see that the Sanhedrin was the exception not the rule.  (This was only incumbent on the Sanhedrin since testimony is only valid in first person and not through a translator.) - Yeina Shel Torah -
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