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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 Hebrew currently used for handwriting in modern Israel and for 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 ("Ladino") of the Balkans and Turkey , it served as the standard handwritten form that complemented the Rashi script character set used for printing. In Sephardi communities in the Maghreb and the 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 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 , Ottoman Empire (now in Greece ) by scholars from Stanford University provided a new, high-quality resource for scholars of Judaeo-Spanish and Solitreo.

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