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The Info List - Solitreo



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SOLITREO is a cursive form of the Hebrew alphabet . Traditionally a Sephardi script, it is nonetheless the predecessor of the modern Ashkenazi Cursive
Cursive
Hebrew currently used for handwriting in modern Israel
Israel
and for Yiddish
Yiddish
. The two forms differ from each other primarily in that Solitreo uses far more typographic ligatures than the Ashkenazi script, creating a more flowing style resembling Arabic .

Historically, Solitreo was used in two parallel ways. In Judaeo-Spanish
Judaeo-Spanish
("Ladino") of the Balkans
Balkans
and Turkey
Turkey
, it served as the standard handwritten form that complemented the Rashi script
Rashi script
character set used for printing. In Sephardi communities in the Maghreb
Maghreb
and the Levant
Levant
, it was used for manuscript documents in Hebrew and the Judeo-Arabic languages . While both the Balkan and Maghrebine-Levantine forms are called "Solitreo", they are quite distinctive, and readers familiar with one type may find the other difficult to read.

With the decline of Judaeo-Spanish
Judaeo-Spanish
and the dispersion of Sephardic population centers, examples of Solitreo have become scarce. The February 2012 digitization of a Jewish merchant's memoir from late 19th century Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
, Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
(now in Greece
Greece
) by scholars from Stanford University
Stanford University
provided a new, high-quality resource for scholars of Judaeo-Spanish
Judaeo-Spanish
and Solitreo.

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