The Trilingual Prayer Copied by Avraham Firkowicz: The First Hebrew, Judeo-Slavic, and Crimean Judeo-Turkic Trilingual Text

In: Journal of Jewish Languages
Alexander I. Grishchenko St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University Moscow Russia
HSE University Moscow Russia
Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow Russia

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Dan Shapira Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan Israel

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This article presents a unique trilingual (Hebrew, Turkic, and Slavic) religious literary work from the personal archive of Avraham Firkowicz (National Library of Russia, St. Petersburg). The text, containing 129 lines (verses) in Hebrew characters, is written in Firkowicz’s own hand. Its author has not been reliably identified, but it is assumed that he could be a Karaite Jew from Łuck / Lutsk (Wolhynia, present-day Ukraine) with a good speaking-level knowledge of Slavic and Turkish (e.g., Joseph-Solomon Lutski or Mordechai Sultanski). The language of the Turkic version is a variety of Crimean Judeo-Turkic with many Turkish (Oğuz) features; the language of the Slavic version is based on standard Russian of the early 19th century with Church Slavonic, Ukrainian, and Polish elements.

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