The contributions to this book explore various questions concerning religious aspects and references in non-religious language, whether in idioms, place names, economic discourses or political rhetoric, and non-religious (among other) aspects and references in religious language, whether in prayers, sacred texts, rituals and religious treatises. The research presented applies a variety of methods, ranging from discourse analysis to onomastics, from sociolinguistics to metaphor analysis. The data come from languages such as Aramaic, Bosnian, German, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Catalan, Croatian, Latin, Portuguese, Ladino and Spanish.
The use of three languages in the textbook Otzar haHayim, printed in Vienna 1823
← 320 | 321 →Friederike Ruth Winkler
Rabbi Israel ben Haim came to Vienna in around 1811 as a refugee from Belgrade, where the Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire had led to severe persecutions of the Jewish community. He had been the president of the Sephardic congregation in Belgrade (cf. Lebel 2007: 68). In Vienna, a Sephardic community had existed since the 18th century, consisting mainly of merchants who were Ottoman subjects and were allowed to come to Vienna for purposes of trade, a right which dated back to the Habsburg-Ottoman peace-treaties from Passarowitz/Požarevac (1718) and Belgrade (1739) (cf. Gelber 1948: 359). The language spoken by the Sephardic Jewish population of the Balkans and in Vienna was Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish, often perceived as a variety of Spanish, which used to be written in Hebrew script up to the first decades of the 20th century.1
When Israel ben Haim came to Vienna, Hebrew book printing had already been established in Vienna, but up to then only by the Ashkenazic ← 321 | 322 → Jewish community. From 1811 until his return to Belgrade in 1837,2 Israel ben Haim made use of the Hebrew printing presses in Vienna and edited an impressive amount of Hebrew and Ladino books. Among those were not only various prayer books but also a whole Bible translation into Ladino and even a Ladino version of the Wisdom of Ben Sira. One of the most interesting books Israel ben Haim published was Otzar haHayim (), a textbook printed in 1823 by Anton...
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