Atbash (Hebrew: אתבש; also transliterated Atbaš) is a monoalphabetic substitution cipher originally used to encrypt the Hebrew alphabet. It can be modified for use with any known writing system with a standard collating order.
- "Atbash – Ancient Hebrew Cryptography" | 2016-02-01 | 43 Upvotes 7 Comments
The Dreyfus Affair (French: l'affaire Dreyfus, pronounced [lafɛːʁ dʁɛfys]) was a political scandal that divided the Third French Republic from 1894 until its resolution in 1906. "The Affair", as it is known in French, has come to symbolise modern injustice in the Francophone world, and it remains one of the most notable examples of a complex miscarriage of justice and antisemitism. The role played by the press and public opinion proved influential in the conflict.
The scandal began in December 1894 when Captain Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason. Dreyfus was a 35-year-old Alsatian French artillery officer of Jewish descent. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly communicating French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, and was imprisoned on Devil's Island in French Guiana, where he spent nearly five years.
In 1896, evidence came to light—primarily through an investigation instigated by Georges Picquart, head of counter-espionage—which identified the real culprit as a French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy. When high-ranking military officials suppressed the new evidence, a military court unanimously acquitted Esterhazy after a trial lasting only two days. The Army laid additional charges against Dreyfus, based on forged documents. Subsequently, Émile Zola's open letter J'Accuse…!, stoked a growing movement of support for Dreyfus, putting pressure on the government to reopen the case.
In 1899, Dreyfus was returned to France for another trial. The intense political and judicial scandal that ensued divided French society between those who supported Dreyfus (now called "Dreyfusards"), such as Sarah Bernhardt, Anatole France, Henri Poincaré and Georges Clemenceau, and those who condemned him (the anti-Dreyfusards), such as Édouard Drumont, the director and publisher of the antisemitic newspaper La Libre Parole. The new trial resulted in another conviction and a 10-year sentence, but Dreyfus was pardoned and released. In 1906, Dreyfus was exonerated and reinstated as a major in the French Army. He served during the whole of World War I, ending his service with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He died in 1935.
The affair from 1894 to 1906 divided France into pro-republican, anticlerical, Dreyfusards and pro-Army, mostly Catholic "anti-Dreyfusards". It embittered French politics and encouraged radicalisation.
- "The Dreyfus affair" | 2013-06-23 | 13 Upvotes 2 Comments
Edward Louis Bernays (; German: [bɛɐ̯ˈnaɪs]; November 22, 1891 − March 9, 1995) was an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, referred to in his obituary as "the father of public relations". Bernays was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life. He was the subject of a full length biography by Larry Tye called The Father of Spin (1999) and later an award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC by Adam Curtis called The Century of the Self.
His best-known campaigns include a 1929 effort to promote female smoking by branding cigarettes as feminist "Torches of Freedom" and his work for the United Fruit Company connected with the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected Guatemalan government in 1954. He worked for dozens of major American corporations including Procter & Gamble and General Electric, and for government agencies, politicians, and non-profit organizations.
Of his many books, Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and Propaganda (1928) gained special attention as early efforts to define and theorize the field of public relations. Citing works of writers such as Gustave Le Bon, Wilfred Trotter, Walter Lippmann, and his own double uncle Sigmund Freud, he described the masses as irrational and subject to herd instinct—and outlined how skilled practitioners could use crowd psychology and psychoanalysis to control them in desirable ways.
This is a list of common misconceptions. Each entry is formatted as a correction; the misconceptions themselves are implied rather than stated. These entries are meant to be concise, but more detail can be found in the main subject articles.
The revival of the Hebrew language took place in Europe and Palestine toward the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century, through which the language's usage changed from the sacred language of Judaism to a spoken and written language used for daily life in Israel. The process began as a diversity of Jews started arriving and establishing themselves alongside the pre-existing Jewish community in the region of Palestine in the first half of the nineteenth century, when veteran Jews in Palestine (largely Arabic-speaking by that time) and the linguistically diverse newly arrived Jews all switched to use Hebrew as a lingua franca, the historical linguistic common denominator of all the Jewish groups. At the same time, a parallel development in Europe changed Hebrew from primarily a sacred liturgical language into a literary language which played a key role in the development of nationalist educational programs. Modern Hebrew was one of three official languages of Mandatory Palestine, and after the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, one of two official languages of Israel, along with Modern Arabic. In July 2018, a new law made Hebrew the sole official language of the state of Israel, with Arabic having "special status". More than purely a linguistic process, the revival of Hebrew was utilized by Jewish modernization and political movements, and became a tenet of the ideology associated with settlement of the land, Zionism and Israeli policy.
The process of Hebrew's return to regular usage is unique; there are no other examples of a natural language without any native speakers subsequently acquiring several million native speakers, and no other examples of a sacred language becoming a national language with millions of "first language" speakers.
The language's revival eventually brought linguistic additions with it. While the initial leaders of the process insisted they were only continuing "from the place where Hebrew's vitality was ended", what was created represented a broader basis of language acceptance; it includes characteristics derived from all periods of Hebrew language, as well as from the non-Hebrew languages used by the long-established European, North African, and Middle Eastern Jewish communities, with Yiddish (the European variant) being predominant.
Sabbath mode, also known as Shabbos mode (Ashkenazi pronunciation) or Shabbat mode, is a feature in many modern home appliances, including ovens and refrigerators, which is intended to allow the appliances to be used (subject to various constraints) by Shabbat-observant Jews on the Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The mode usually overrides the usual, everyday operation of the electrical appliance and makes the operation of the appliance comply with the rules of Halakha (Jewish law).
- "Sabbath mode" | 2015-03-21 | 93 Upvotes 168 Comments
Tza'ar ba'alei chayim (Hebrew: צער בעלי חיים), literally "suffering of living creatures", is a Jewish commandment which bans causing animals unnecessary suffering. This concept is not clearly enunciated in the written Torah, but was accepted by the Talmud as being a biblical mandate. It is linked in the Talmud from the biblical law requiring people to assist in unloading burdens from animals (Exodus 23:5).
- "Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim" | 2019-09-13 | 54 Upvotes 27 Comments
Chiastic structure, or chiastic pattern, is a literary technique in narrative motifs and other textual passages. An example of chiastic structure would be two ideas, A and B, together with variants A' and B', being presented as A,B,B',A'. Chiastic structures that involve more components are sometimes called "ring structures", "ring compositions", or, in cases of very ambitious chiasmus, "onion-ring compositions". These may be regarded as chiasmus scaled up from words and clauses to larger segments of text.
These often symmetrical patterns are commonly found in ancient literature such as the epic poetry of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Classicist Bruno Gentili describes this technique as "the cyclical, circular, or 'ring' pattern (ring composition). Here the idea that introduced a compositional section is repeated at its conclusion, so that the whole passage is framed by material of identical content". Meanwhile, in classical prose, scholars often find chiastic narrative techniques in the Histories of Herodotus:
"Herodotus frequently uses ring composition or 'epic regression' as a way of supplying background information for something discussed in the narrative. First an event is mentioned briefly, then its precedents are reviewed in reverse chronological order as far back as necessary; at that point the narrative reverses itself and moves forward in chronological order until the event in the main narrative line is reached again."
Various chiastic structures are also seen in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Quran.
- "Chiastic Structure" | 2021-09-13 | 41 Upvotes 12 Comments
Lawsuits against God have occurred in real life and in fiction. Issues debated in the actions include the problem of evil and harmful "acts of God".
- "Lawsuits Against God" | 2021-09-30 | 20 Upvotes 4 Comments
Yiddish words used in the English language include both words that have been assimilated into English - used by both Yiddish and English speakers - and many that have not. An English sentence that uses either may be described by some as Yinglish (or Hebronics), though a secondary sense of the term Yinglish describes the distinctive way certain Jews in English-speaking countries add many Yiddish words into their conversation, beyond general Yiddish words and phrases used by English speakers.
In this meaning, Yinglish is not the same as Yeshivish, which is spoken by many Orthodox Jews, though the two share many parallels.
- "Yiddish Words Used in English" | 2021-12-05 | 13 Upvotes 2 Comments