Weekly Freebies: Nishmas Avraham

 

Dr. Abraham S. Abraham is one of the world’s leading experts on medical halakhah. His Nishmas Avraham, which follows the order of the Shulchan Arukh, examines a plethora of halakhic questions that arise in the practice of modern medicine. Translated and adapted into English as Nishmat Avraham (link), all four Hebrew volumes are available online: Orach Chaim, Yoreh De’ah, Even Ha-Ezer, Choshen Mishpat

See prior posts here: link

 

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Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

 
The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.
 

137 Responses

  1. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    can you please explain why if the author – and Artscroll!!! – called the book Nishmat Avraham, you took the liberty of calling it Nishmas Avraham?

    There’s always a limit to how far you can take the ashkenazis meshugas.

  2. Hirhurim says:

    I don’t base my standards on Artscroll. Ashkenaic pronunciation is not a meshugas. It is a mesorah.

  3. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Gil,
    You make use of Ashkenazis in contexts in which no other person would. No one but you thinks that modern Hebrew should be transliterated and spoken in ashkenazis. That being said, I think that the title of the work at hand is some thing of a borderline case as it stands between traditional halakhic and modern medical discourse. The fact that Artscroll disagrees with you, is I think,
    significant. No one has done as much to perpetuate Ashkenazi pronunciation in the past generation than Artscroll. No reason to be more Catholic than the pope.

  4. MDJ says:

    As someone who uses this sefer (in Hebrew) and havarah ashkenazit (at times), I must say that I have always called this sefer Nishmas Avraham and had never noticed the title on the English version. Had I been writing this post in certain moods, I’d have written it as Gil did. It depends, as Moshe pointed out, on whether I was thinking of halacha or acadmics/medicine.

  5. Hirhurim says:

    I repeat: I don’t let Artscroll set my standards. I have llittle interest in using Modern Hebrew unless I am trying to make my way through the streets of Israel.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about an Ashkenazi kamatz?

  7. Hirhurim says:

    I have yet to find an elegant way to represent it without causing more confusion.

  8. GIL:

    you think “a” is less confusing than “o” for ashkenazi kamatz?

    “I have llittle interest in using Modern Hebrew unless I am trying to make my way through the streets of Israel.”

    i hope you mean modern hebrew pronounciation rather than just modern hebrew?

  9. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Gil,
    Your contempt for Modern Hebrew smacks of latent anti zionism, or just plain no-nothing parochialism. You refer to Modern Hebrew as some vulgar street jargon.

  10. MJ says:

    Since this comment thread is totally off the rails, can someone explain to me the provenance of the contemporary yeshivish “oy”?

    The people of my father’s generation who are musmachim of TvD, RJJ, MTJ, etc. do not emphatically “oy” every cholom. From where did this affectation arise?

  11. Yeedle says:

    MJ, it’s most probably Chassidic influence

  12. Hirhurim says:

    Yeah, I’m an anti-Zionist. You caught me. Having grown up among Israeli yordim, the language is to me a vulgar street jargon.

  13. Hirhurim says:

    MJ: It could be Polish or Hungarian influence. See this post: http://torahmusings.com/2011/06/the-pronunciation-of-the-cholam-vowel/

  14. Mordechai says:

    Way to go R. Gil. I would have rendered it as Nishmas Avrohom, but I understand that some people might get confused that way.

    The question is why Artscroll has it as Nishmat. Perhaps the author wanted it that way, due to where he is coming from?

    There are problems with modern Israeli Hebrew (linguistically), so why the vehemence of certain commenters here. Do you guys think that Moshe Rabbeinu spoke that way? R. Gil should be commended for sticking to his mesorah in loshon kodesh.

    “MJ on January 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Since this comment thread is totally off the rails, can someone explain to me the provenance of the contemporary yeshivish “oy”?

    The people of my father’s generation who are musmachim of TvD, RJJ, MTJ, etc. do not emphatically “oy” every cholom. From where did this affectation arise?”

    The oy is the Polish pronunciation of the cholam. See http://torahmusings.com/2011/06/the-pronunciation-of-the-cholam-vowel/

  15. shaul shapira says:

    Moshe Shoshan- modern spoken hebrew IS worse than vulgar street talk. Do you know why it was invented? Read Ben Yehuda’s biography ‘Tounge Of The Prophets’ to understand. It’s hard to agree with very much in Vayoel Moshe but his analysis of ben yehuda’s motives is spot on. That new language is what allowed the recent translation of Richard Dawkin’s “The God Delusion” into “Yesh Elokim?” A real triumph for the Dvar Hashem!

  16. MJ says:

    “The oy is the Polish pronunciation of the cholam”

    …and the Poles complain that the Hungarians took over?

  17. MJ says:

    “That new language is what allowed the recent translation of Richard Dawkin’s “The God Delusion” into “Yesh Elokim?” A real triumph for the Dvar Hashem!”

    I suppose in Biblical Hebrew it would have been “HaYesh Elohim” without a question mark. Quite an astounding difference.

  18. S. says:

    Moshe Shoshan

    “Your contempt for Modern Hebrew smacks of latent anti zionism, or just plain no-nothing parochialism. You refer to Modern Hebrew as some vulgar street jargon.”

    Or, it’s a badly-needed corrective to Modern Hebrew triumphalism.

  19. IH says:

    Ashkenaic pronunciation is not a meshugas. It is a mesorah.

    True, for some. But is it your family mesorah, Gil, or an adopted affectation? Do you parents speak ashkenazis? Did your grandparents?

  20. IH says:

    I shouldn’t presume with the tense of the last question. Apologies in advance.

  21. Moshe Shoshan says:

    S-

    I am in favor of Gil using Ashkenazis in most contexts, as I do on this blog. but there are certain cases in which it makes no sense and appears to be either ignorant or some sort of ideological statement. Bottom line is, his blog, his shtick. I just found his response suugested an actual aversion to Modern Hebrew. Iobviously dont think Gil is anti Zionist, but thats the way I feel he comes off.

  22. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Saul

    What language do you think the neviey habaal spoke? What about the Tzedukim?

    I can say one thing, R. Yehudah Hanassi must be happy up in heaven to see his vision of spoken Hebrew restored finally realized.

  23. S. says:

    Moshe Shoshan

    “I am in favor of Gil using Ashkenazis in most contexts, as I do on this blog. but there are certain cases in which it makes no sense and appears to be either ignorant or some sort of ideological statement. ”

    Fair enough – however, Gil used “Nishmas Avraham” to refer to the Hebrew book, and Nishmat Avraham to refer to the English version, as it’s written on the cover. I see that as reasonable, because that is undoubtedly how he pronounces the Hebrew book’s title. Thus I see it as neither ignorant nor ideological.

  24. Ploney Almoney says:

    Another post hijacked by the Anti-Zionists.

  25. Abba's Rantings says:

    i think some of the comments confuse hebrew pronounciation with hebrew language.
    and i’m still not sure which gil was referring to. if the latter, then i agree with moshe shoshan.

  26. Hirhurim says:

    IH: My paternal grandmother, she should be well, speaks many languages, including Modern Hebrew. But she and my grandfather were taught Polish pronunciation in their youth. I follow my rabbeim’s pronunciation.

  27. IH says:

    Ad me’ah v’esrim.

    Going with the off-track flow of conversation: in your shita, how do you choose between what your family has taught (mesorah) and do (minhag) vs. what your rabbeim taught and do?

    This seems non-trivial to me given your principled position on both mesorah and minhag and I’d genuinely like to understand.

  28. Hirhurim says:

    R. Moshe Sternbuch holds that BTs may choose a mesorah because their mesorah was broken.

  29. R.W. says:

    It’s hard to agree with very much in Vayoel Moshe but his analysis of ben yehuda’s motives is spot on.

    Wow! This must be the Satmar Rebbe’s lucky day.

    http://www.vosizneias.com/98410/2012/01/08/new-york-mbd-the-satmar-rebbe-was-right

  30. IH says:

    BTs may choose a mesorah because their mesorah was broken.

    I always assumed that was for people who grew up with no religious background whatsoever. Is there a measure of when someone is a BT in this regard?

    And for non-BTs — e.g. an MO kid who goes to a RW Yeshiva between High School and College — what is the principle?

  31. IH says:

    To clarify the question and not mince words, can anyone who “moves to the right” in observance claim they are a BT for the purpose of giving up their family mesorah and minhagim in favor of their rabbeim’s?

  32. Hirhurim says:

    I know for a fact that my family’s mesorah was changed and I didn’t know what it was until I was older. Bt that’s why I don’t object when my sons learned to say “oy” like my grandfather was taught. They don’t say “Sikkah” but it’s closer than my pronunciation.

    In general, someone from a frum family can’t change his minhagim. But specific situations can vary depending on details. Ashkenazim pronouncing Hebrew in Sephardic or modern pronunciation is not, in my opinion, a valid minhag and can be easily changed.

  33. Anonymous says:

    “Bt that’s why I don’t object when my sons learned to say “oy” like my grandfather was taught.”

    And if you did? What choice did you have? Clearly you have reasons other than how they teach pronunciation in Pre 1A for where you send your kids to yeshiva.

  34. IH says:

    In my shtiebel when I was growing up, half the congregants would pronounce הוא as “who” and the other half as “he”. Each being sure to be heard.

    My parents spoke modern Hebrew (as did my grandparents). We used to joke about all the feminist old men :-)

  35. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the sefer is titled Nishmat Avraham because Professor Avraham is of sefardi descent and that is how HE pronounces the title. This I know first-hand because that is how he has always pronounced the title when he has spoken with me. He calls his Hebrew sefer Nishmat Avraham and so I am certain that is why Artscroll called it that. I do not think it has anything to do with modern Hebrew.

  36. MDJ says:

    Well, does anyone think it would be inappropriate for Israelis or Sefardim to refer to the S’fat Emet or the Chatam Sofer?

  37. Abba's Rantings says:

    1) what people today refer to as havara sefaradit is not really sefaradit. modern israeli hebrew is really a syncretic pronounciation that retains both sephardi and ashkenazi elements (and some have argued is in fact more ashkenazi that sefardi)
    2) do sephardim have the same angst as ashkenazim that their own pronunciations have been usurped by modern israeli hebrew?
    3) the truth is pronunciations do change over time within any given community. so le-maaseh, does it really matter if this occurs organically and slowly or overnight by fiat?
    4) what does one do when the ashkenazi pronounciation that everyone tries to guard actually violates what is codified by modern ashkenazi gedolim? (you might be surprised at what i am referring to)

  38. Nachum says:

    What’s the parsha after Shemini?

  39. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “I don’t base my standards on Artscroll. Ashkenaic pronunciation is not a meshugas. It is a mesorah.”

    I agree. That’s why I daven using Ashkenazis pronunciation – though I’ve been somewhat switching over for things like borkat hamazon, kiddush and havdala at home so as not to confuse my children who are learning sefardic pronunciation.

    “Fair enough – however, Gil used “Nishmas Avraham” to refer to the Hebrew book, and Nishmat Avraham to refer to the English version, as it’s written on the cover. I see that as reasonable, because that is undoubtedly how he pronounces the Hebrew book’s title. Thus I see it as neither ignorant nor ideological.

    As was pointed out in a later comment, the author of the sefer is Sefardic and refers to the Hebrew edition of the sefer as “Nishmat Avraham”. Even if the above reasoning was the underlying rationale, it is not relevant and, I would think, insulting to the author.

    Abba- there is actually evidence that in many places in Ashkenaz in the middle ages the communities used what we would call today – sefradic pronunciation.

    My own view here is that Gil has obviusly absorbed some of the flatbush/boro park Weltanschauung which sees modern Hebrew as “treif” “posul” and to be avoided at all costs – when it fact is the spoken and written language of the majority of Jews in the world and of the overwhleming majority of religious and traditional Jews.
    I grew up in that world so I know what it’s like.

  40. MDJ says:

    Nachum,
    Do you want to know the name of the parsha, or the 3rd word of the relevant pasuk?

  41. avi says:

    Clearly, the book is meant to be pronounced Nishmath Awrahem as that is how you pronounce “real” hebrew. :)

  42. Nachum says:

    MDJ: Ah-ha! Believe it or not, I have seen the name of the parsha written “Sazria.” I can only assume this is non-Zionist hyper-correction, the same impulse that causes people to refer to me (in writing) as “Nochum” and in speaking as “Nuchim.” (Look up the name in Tanach. There isn’t a Kamatz in sight.)

  43. Nachum says:

    By the way, if you’re going to insist on “Sazria,” then you’ll have to refer to Sefer (and parshat) “Bemidbar” and “HaDevarim,” parshat “HaMishpatim,” “HaShimini,”: and so on. On the other hand, you’re safe with “Shemot” and “Mishlei.”

  44. joel rich says:

    i’d be cautious of the “my family’s original minhag” line of reasoning – how far back does one go? which practices? (and how accurate? i’ve been told that “everyone in Poland” had upsheirin.
    KT

  45. Garry Wayland says:

    Suggestion for next week – Noam and Torah Shelemah are now available in their entirety on HB. V exciting.

  46. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “By the way, if you’re going to insist on “Sazria,” then you’ll have to refer to Sefer (and parshat) “Bemidbar” and “HaDevarim,” parshat “HaMishpatim,” “HaShimini,”: and so on. On the other hand, you’re safe with “Shemot” and “Mishlei.” ”

    Nahum – actually if one is frum, but alas also an am haaretz, they will refer to it as Parshas HaMishpasim. Vehayu devarim meyolam…

  47. Hirhurim says:

    Well, does anyone think it would be inappropriate for Israelis or Sefardim to refer to the S’fat Emet or the Chatam Sofer?

    I agree. If Dr. Abraham wants to call his book Nishmat Avraham, he has my blessing for what little it is worth.

    Shachar Ha’Amim: My own view here is that Gil has obviusly absorbed some of the flatbush/boro park Weltanschauung which sees modern Hebrew as “treif” “posul” and to be avoided at all costs 

    This comment represents the difficulties in making observations from a geographic distance based on vague stereotypes. My Ashkenazic adherence stems from my teenage years in Teaneck.

  48. IH says:

    One of the things I loved about living in the UK were the variety of regional accents, mostly among the working class. Growing up, I loved the diversity of Hebrew accents among the older people I knew – even if we sometimes poked fun, as kids do – who spoke these accents authentically without pretense.

    But, as a matter of personal taste, I find the affectation of accents – e.g. by Americans pretending to be British, or by modern American Jews pretending to have grown up in Lita or Galicia – to be silly. It is one thing to take on local pronunciations (e.g. tomatoes, project) but quite another to pretend to be something one is not.

    The problem I have is ashkenazis transliterated into English characters, particularly in quoting from Hebrew textual sources. Perhaps it is just me, but I am often forced to slowly parse the transliteration to work out what is being quoted – because it is not the way I speak Hebrew or have ever learned it. I have a similar problem with English words transliterated into Hebrew in newspaper articles.

  49. IH says:

    Of course grammatical use of the language is essential regardless. That should have been “one…was the variety”.

  50. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “This comment represents the difficulties in making observations from a geographic distance based on vague stereotypes. My Ashkenazic adherence stems from my teenage years in Teaneck.”

    Having been around those parts as well, I can certainly say that Askenazic adherence in Teaneck would have indicated a usage that involved ashkenazis in praying and learning, but using sefradit when refering to what are obviously Hebrew colloguial usage or titles that clearly call for Modern Hebrew usage. Your affectation for going Ashkenazis in those latter contexts is clearly an affectation developed under the influence of “frummer” flatbush and boro park.

  51. Hirhurim says:

    Having been around those parts as well, I can certainly say that Askenazic adherence in Teaneck would have indicated a usage that involved ashkenazis in praying and learning, but using sefradit when refering to what are obviously Hebrew colloguial usage or titles that clearly call for Modern Hebrew usage

    Incorrect. I guess you don’t know everything about Teaneck.

    I remember being challenged one Purim for singing “asher yishletu ha-Yehudim” until I pointed out it is spelled with a “tes”.

  52. Hirhurim says:

    I’ll just note that this blog has heroically championed the term “Metzitzah Be-Feh” against seemingly all others.

  53. S. says:

    “(Look up the name in Tanach. There isn’t a Kamatz in sight.)

    Or look it up in siddurim or pointed Mishna texts, and not only among Ashkenazim – there is (usually) a kamatz.

  54. S. says:

    “But, as a matter of personal taste, I find the affectation of accents – e.g. by Americans pretending to be British, or by modern American Jews pretending to have grown up in Lita or Galicia – to be silly. ”

    A lot of times it’s not conscious. Pronunciations do change in different environments. Furthermore, the same way an American raised on Ashkenazis is going to try not to sound like a fool in Israel, there’s really no reason why he would not try the same thing in other environments.

  55. MDJ says:

    >>“(Look up the name in Tanach. There isn’t a Kamatz in sight.)

    >>Or look it up in siddurim or pointed Mishna texts, and not only among Ashkenazim – there is (usually) a kamatz.

    I believe H. Yalon discuss this in his book on niikud of the mishna.

  56. MDJ says:

    Who here has ever heard someone with Ashkenazi havara sing ” Ki mitzion teitzei sorah”?

  57. Hirhurim says:

    MDJ: Who here has ever heard someone with Ashkenazi havara sing ” Ki mitzion teitzei sorah”?

    I’ve corrected my kids on specifically that.

  58. Nachum says:

    Nachum Ha-Madi, eh? The only one in the Mishna. Sometimes with a patach.

  59. MDJ says:

    Which way have you corrected them?

  60. Hirhurim says:

    To do it properly. I even took out a navi to prove the correct pronunciation. This goes back quite a few years, though. I remember this specifically because my son asked how I knew that and my daughter responded “Because he’s Sefer Man”. They must have both been under 8 at the time.

  61. S. says:

    MDJ

    “Who here has ever heard someone with Ashkenazi havara sing ” Ki mitzion teitzei sorah”?”

    I do.

    I will acknowledge that the average Ashkenazis person has almost no knowledge of dagesh and rafeh, and what they say is mostly what’s embedded in their mind, rather than what the rules are or even what’s written. Grammarians almost always mentioned dagesh and rafeh as something important when they are pointing out or deploring the lack of popular knowledge of grammar.

    Nachum

    “Nachum Ha-Madi, eh? The only one in the Mishna. Sometimes with a patach.”

    That’s why I said “usually.” However, this is late, part of the correction of the siddur based on the Bible. IIRC earlier siddurim and mishna texts always, or nearly always, had kamatz. This would seem to prove that in Mishnaic or rabbinic Hebrew the kamatz version is authentic. If you see it today with a patach it’s because people decided to change it to accord with Tanach.

    In any case, if I met you I would have called you “Nuchum” as the default. I would of course have changed because I believe people should be called what they want, but without a doubt my default would have been what I was accustomed to. Not as an anti-Zionist plot – it’s probably the same way you would default to the modern Hebrew pronunciation of someone’s name before you realized that they didn’t use it.

  62. Hirhurim says:

    I heard R. Yisroel Belsky lein last Thursday at mincha. He distinguishes between dagesh and rafeh. Although obviously he does not represent common practice.

  63. S. says:

    I find that people who lein generally (though not always) do, and I would certainly hope that R. Belsy would. I was talking more about in speaking or reading. There seems to be very little consistency. This is also why “metzitzah b’peh” or “ki mitziyon teztei torah” persist. Not only is that how most people say it, but it also doesn’t sound wrong to their own ear.

  64. Hirhurim says:

    S: I meant dagesh chazak on non-beged kefes letters.

  65. MDJ says:

    Actually, regarding Ki mitzion, I think the last word should be pronounced with a ‘t’. This is how I learned it as a ashkenazi speaker, who still davens, leins and “learns” ashkenzi. Not only doesn’t it sound wrong to my ear (and I assure you my ear is well tuned to proper ashkenzi pronunciation, perhaps specifically to dagesh kal and chazak) but it sounds better, because of the alliteration — BGD KFT be darned. Of those who sing “Sorah” (I guess I mean Gil and Fred) do you do this because that is how you always knew it and heard it, or because you corrected yourself to make it right. It is my theory that even among ashkenzim, the song was always “Torah” because that sounds better, (much like many misplaced accents, though for a somewhat different reason) and so it should remain.

  66. S. says:

    Ah, I see.

    Okay, that is relatively rare in leining, although I notice that some seem to randomly do some of them – maybe if they remember it or something.

  67. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gil wrote:

    “I don’t let Artscroll set my standards. I have llittle interest in using Modern Hebrew unless I am trying to make my way through the streets of Israel.”

    I agree with the above and view many of the comments as purely motivated by PC considerations.

  68. Hirhurim says:

    Before someone corrects me, let me state that I know this was redundant: “I meant dagesh chazak on non-beged kefes letters”

  69. Steve Brizel says:

    It is a sad commentary that no one has noted the value of the sefer that R Gil has linked to. I found that Halichos Shlomo Vol. 1 cited the sefer directly on many medical-halacha issues.

  70. S. says:

    MDJ, we are talking about a prescriptive versus descriptive approach to language. You are without a shadow of a doubt correct that in the way Ashkenazim actually did and do speak Hebrew, BGD KPT letters are pretty much irrelevant. A descriptive linguist might be able to actually find the rhyme and reason in when and how Ashenazim do apply them (e.g., at the end of words, where they are not meaningless). Our pronunciation “mistakes” and all, by definition sound perfectly fine to our ears. Probably the reason for BGD KPT letters in the first place is because 1500 years ago the language forced people to make that distinction and not doing it sounded wrong; obviously this doesn’t apply to us.

    But I have to ask you, if you are davening for the amud (assuming you do) would you really not say “teitzei sora”? I mean, do you not distinguish between liturgical correctness and the vulgar pronunciation?

    I did indeed “correct” myself, and taught myself dagesh and rafeh to the point where almost always the distinction sounds right to my ears, and not making it sounds wrong. I would never insist on or correct others, but this is the internet. It’s practically an obligation to be pedantic.

  71. S. says:

    >I did indeed “correct” myself

    Should say “corrected”

  72. Nachum says:

    Fred, did they even have a difference between a kamatz and a patach in Mishnaic times? Not necessarily, as you know.

  73. S. says:

    I’m not talking about Mishnaic times, as there obviously was no vocalization. But in ge’onic times . . .

    As for whether they did, it is possible that they did. Shadal pointed out that there are two Syriac dialects, one of which pronounces /o/ and another /a/. I’ve heard this myself through the miracle of modern surfing for Syriac hymns (Abun dishmaya vs Abun dishmayo). My own contribution is that this apparently exists in Arabic too, as there is both “Allah” and “Olloh,” to be heard at countless files on youtube. So it seems like this is another one of those things which exists in language.

    As for whether it existed in Mishnaic times, I guess the best way to determine the probability is to see if words with kamatz are ever confused with cholem.

  74. shaul shapira says:

    moshe shoshan- if you think the neviim wuold associate the words “sar habitachon” with Ehud Barak, you got another thought coming. I went to Israel knowing Lashon HaKodesh. I learned Ivrit there.

  75. S. says:

    “moshe shoshan- if you think the neviim wuold associate the words “sar habitachon” with Ehud Barak, you got another thought coming. I went to Israel knowing Lashon HaKodesh. I learned Ivrit there.”

    To be fair, they also wouldn’t associate the word “Sanhedrin” with the Shivim Zekeinim. לשון תורה לעצמה לשון חכמים לעצמן. A lot of people mistake the subsequent development of Hebrew with Lashon Hakodesh, and that is a mistake too. (Unless the mistake is segregating biblical and later Hebrew.)

  76. shaul shapira says:

    Can’t argue with S. My point was more that Ben Yehuda pretty much emasculated Hebrew words that had always had a sacred ring to them, and sometimes turned them on their head. He took a godly language and made it banal.

  77. shaul shapira says:

    “godly” shuould’ve been Godly. Guess I’ve been infected too.

  78. S. says:

    Some people complain that modern Hebrew is too removed from biblical Hebrew.

  79. IH says:

    Some people complain.

  80. S. says:

    Some people.

  81. Abba's Rantings says:

    SAUL:

    “He took a godly language and made it banal”

    what a galus mentality statement
    (please don’t make me eat my words and tell me you live in israel :) )

    “I went to Israel knowing Lashon HaKodesh”

    what is lashon hakodesh?

    S:

    “Some people complain that modern Hebrew is too removed from biblical Hebrew.”

    how much farther removed is modern israeli hebrew than 19th c. rabbinic hebrew from then earliest layer of biblical hebrew?

  82. S. says:

    My point is that some people like to joke about how Israelis check their “email” and ride the “autobus” etc. etc.

    All I know is that when I hear Israelis speak I notice plenty of references to Tanakh and rabbinic literature in their daily idiom; these are usually the things which frum Yiddishists point to as the element of kedusha in Yiddish.

  83. Abba's Rantings says:

    GIL:

    “I heard R. Yisroel Belsky lein last Thursday at mincha. He distinguishes between dagesh and rafeh. Although obviously he does not represent common practice.”

    i don’t recall from r. wieder’s leining recordings on yutorah.org if he distinguishes, but he once gave me a little tochecha that i missed some

    “I meant dagesh chazak on non-beged kefes letters”

    why do you specify non-beged kefes? beged kefes letters also can get a dagesh chazak (which would sound different than if they have only dagesh kal)

  84. Abba's Rantings says:

    S:

    “Grammarians almost always mentioned dagesh and rafeh as something important when they are pointing out or deploring the lack of popular knowledge of grammar.”

    which dagesh do you think this refers to?

  85. MDJ says:

    S.,
    Davening for the Amud one should certainly say “Sorah”. I was talking about singing the song, as one might do at hakafos on Simchas Torah.

  86. shaul shapira says:

    Abba- 1) It’s removed to the point where they have translations of Tanach into Ivrit. I’m no expert but I think that would be quite redundant into mishnaic hebrew. It’s a fact of life that ben yehuda singlehandedly semi invented a new language.
    2) My main problem is with what they did to words like ‘agaddah’, ‘bitachon’, ‘tzur yisrael’ etc, etc, ad nauseam. Not to mention elohim- which seems to have become quite chol. My hebrew-english milon tranlates ‘great scott!’ as ‘elohim adirim!’.
    Hearing things like ‘bitachon atzmi’ makes me very nervous.

  87. shaul shapira says:

    “What a galus mentality statement”
    What’s a galus mentality- the belief that mashiach hasn’t come yet? I believe that makes me Jewish. :)
    I was in in Mir Yerushalyaim for two years recently but spent alot of time in Merkaz Harav, and am now back in good ol’ USA where I can petition my elected officials to try and help improve US policy towards those of my brethren in the promised land.

  88. shaul shapira says:

    And according to the Rambam, Lashon Kodesh is called that because it has no foul language. So anyone cursing me in ivrit…
    (I sometimes imagine maaseh bereishis in Ivrit: Yehi Ohr! Shniyah!)

  89. IH says:

    I’m reminded of a famous story, recently retold in an Ha’aretz article:

    the wallet of Zina Dizengoff, the wife of Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor, was stolen. Instead of chasing the thief, she told her husband: “Now I know that Tel Aviv has become a city” – paraphrasing the words of national poet Haim Nahman Bialik, that “we will be a normal country only after we have the first Hebrew thief and the first Hebrew prostitute.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/when-walls-tell-all-1.400518

  90. SHAUL:

    “What’s a galus mentality”

    the romantic attitude that hebrew is not for mundane purposes

    “Lashon Kodesh is called that because it has no foul language”

    does classical greek/latin have foul language?
    where does rambam say that?
    in any case, what is lashon kodesh?

  91. Nachum says:

    Any foul word you can name in English has a rather prosaic origin or a euphemistic one. That statement of the Rambam is a little strange, as there *is* foul language in Tanach, attested by the fact that we turn them into other words in k’ri.

    What sort of Hebrew is “Achashdarpinim,” by the way? “Pardes?” “Dat?” These all occur in Tanach. And that does include actual Aramaic in Tanach.

  92. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    abba: Guide 3:8

  93. IH says:

    I think Abba is subtly pointing out that the phrase is “Lashon ha’Kodesh” not “Lashon Kodesh”.

  94. IH says:

    It would be interesting to use Rambam’s examples in Guide 3:8 to see if, slang aside, there are Modern Hebrew words created to uniquely describe them: i.e. a word whose first meaning is that functionor thing.

  95. IH says:

    Sperm, for example, remains זרע; urine, is שתן which is in the Tanach. Penis is אֵיבַר הַזַּכְרוּת or פִּין. None of which seem to abrogate what Rambam writes.

  96. avi says:

    “Abba- 1) It’s removed to the point where they have translations of Tanach into Ivrit. I’m no expert but I think that would be quite redundant into mishnaic hebrew.”

    A. It would not be redundant with Mishnaic hebrew.
    B. What is translated into Hebrew from the Tanach is mostly idioms and phrases which have lost their meaning to people who are no longer farmers.

  97. IH says:

    With apologies to those who saw this on Motzei Shabbat in News & Links:

    On the recent discussion of the Modern Hebrew translation of the Tanach, Ya’akov’s Blessings in this week’s parsha will be a good testing point, particularly the bracha for Yoseph (Gen 49:22-26). And, apropos, of Moshe Shoshan’s recent Tradition article, this is also an example of where understanding the p’shat depends on Midrashic sources. R. Aryeh Kaplan’s “The Living Torah” nicely summarizes many of sources for our understanding of the words in his notes. And a careful reading of trsnalation and notes of Alter vs. Fox vs. NJPS vs. Hertz/OJPS is fascinating as well.

  98. abba's rantings says:

    SHAUL:

    i missed your 7:17 comment to me

    “It’s removed to the point where they have translations of Tanach into Ivrit.”

    you think they didn’t need translations of Tanach already in mishnaic times?

    “It’s a fact of life that ben yehuda singlehandedly semi invented a new language.”

    1) who told you he invented a “new language”? because there are some new words? or old words with new meaning? this makes it a “new language”?
    2) do you think mishnaic hebrew and rabbinic hebrew (and the different strata in each of these) are “new languages”? what about the different strata of biblical hebrew itself? this is why i asked you what you mean by “lashon (ha)kodesh.” where is the line btw lashon (ha)kodesh and non-lashon (ha)kodesh. do we arbitrarily draw it with ben yehuda because he was a maskil/zionist with an agenda?
    (3) it wasn’t just ben yehuda involved in this rennaisace)

    just to point out 2 things to complicate the issue:
    in some resepects mishnaic hebrew is more similar to modern hebrew than to biblical hebrew. specificaly wrt to a time-tense system, which really doesn’t exist as we think of it biblical hebrew but does define mishnaic and modern hebrew. remember, lexicography is not the only thing that defines a language. also consider grammar, syntax, gender (think of kos/cup), etc. so why is mishnaic hebrew less of a desecration of lashon (ha)kodesh?
    on the other hand, whereas mishnaic hebrew already used biblical words but with a different meaning (so i’m not sure why you’re hung up on modern hebrew having different meaning for some words), in some cases modern hebrew and biblical hebrew have the same meaning for a word but mishnaic hebrew a different meaning!

    you should also open up ben yehuda’s dictionary. you’d be surprised (i was) at how traditional he was lexigraphically. yes, of course he had to come up with new words (it was the 19th c after all!). sometimes he made it up (or borrowed from another language) or made use of an existing word. but he was trying to make it into a living language for a living nation. (that was also part of my galus mentality comment.) still, most of the time, he recorded the biblical, mishnaic and later rabbinic words (i recall one example from shut hasam sofer) with their original meanings.

    “Not to mention elohim- which seems to have become quite chol.”

    elohim has a chol meaning in tanach as well

  99. Family member says:

    I can assure you that my great-uncle, Rabbi Dr. Avraham Avraham is not in the slightest bit insulted about his Seforim being referred to in the Ashkenazi vernacular. He wrote them in close consultation with many (Ashkenazi) Gedolei Hador, in particular R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Zatzal, R’ Eliezer Waldenberg Zatzal and R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth Shlita. It wasn’t Artscroll’s decision to name the book ‘Nishmat Avraham’, as he translated the volumes himself, with assistance from his (Askenazi) wife, etc.

  100. Anonymous says:

    Abba- there is actually evidence that in many places in Ashkenaz in the middle ages the communities used what we would call today – sefradic pronunciation.

    There is also evidence that the “saf” is an derivative of the medieval Christian German shift in pronunciation from “t” to “ss”…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_German_consonant_shift

    Who here has ever heard someone with Ashkenazi havara sing ” Ki mitzion teitzei sorah”?

    I’ve heard of Ashkenazim looking for the “sachana merkazis” in Jerusalem. @ASemGirlSays

    And according to the Rambam, Lashon Kodesh is called that because it has no foul language. So anyone cursing me in ivrit…

    They’re probably actually cursing you in Arabic, or else using the word for “prostitute” from Tanach.

  101. Anonymous says:

    Abba- there is actually evidence that in many places in Ashkenaz in the middle ages the communities used what we would call today – sefradic pronunciation.

    There is also evidence that the “saf” is an derivative of the medieval Christian German shift in pronunciation from “t” to “ss”…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_German_consonant_shift

    Who here has ever heard someone with Ashkenazi havara sing ” Ki mitzion teitzei sorah”?

    I’ve heard of Ashkenazim looking for the “sachana merkazis” in Jerusalem.

    And according to the Rambam, Lashon Kodesh is called that because it has no foul language. So anyone cursing me in ivrit…

    They’re probably actually cursing you in Arabic, or else using the word for “prostitute” from Tanach.

  102. shaul shapira says:

    1) Abba- I really think you should read Ben Yehuda’s bio by Robert St John. My complaints largely mirror BY’s own declared goals. The book is a great read, at any rate.
    2)Also, I think you can believe in or deny the At’Chalta D’Geula without being pro Ivrit, so I still don’t see what galus mentality has to do with anything.
    3)As an aside no one on this thread seems to have mentioned the reverse phenomenon of bochurim that say they’re learning ‘Metechta Petachim’.
    4) As a final illustration of the emasculation of Lashon (Ha’)Kodesh, Yitzchok Adlerstein had a post on CC a few years back during the swine flu. The Misrad Habriut put out a statement “Ain Issur le’echol basar chazir im nit’bashel Ke’halacha” I’d love to see that anywhere in a SHUT!

  103. shaul shapira says:

    Anonymous 7:24- Exactly my point. He took a word that was part of mesechta yevamos and had a Halachik notation, and turned it into a gutter word. By the way, how did ‘mah pitom’ come to mean what it does, and is there any way in heaven to translate that into english?

  104. shaul shapira says:

    Sorry- Last comment was responding to anonymous 4:18pm (as well as 4:19- They seem to be wholly in agreement.)

  105. IH says:

    Shaul — since you raised the Rambam issue, please respond to my comments of January 10 at 9:19am and 9:27am. I’d like to better understand the words you had in mind?

  106. S. says:

    “I really think you should read Ben Yehuda’s bio by Robert St John.”

    This book, while great fun to read, is flawed. First, Robert St. John did not know Hebrew, as he candidly admits. The only source he used was a translation of Ben Yehuda’s autobiogaraphy. He could neither read nor use a single page of Ben Yehuda’s dictionary, or his many writings in his newspaper, to say nothing of, oh, any other Israeli or Zionist source in Hebrew. Second, his book was for a popular American audience. He tried to tell a good tale, and a good tale he did indeed tell (complete with imagined conversations). The scholarly book to read on Ben Yehuda is by Jack Fellman. But even then, the wider role played by others (including R. Chaim Hirschensohn) in reviving the language is mostly underplayed. Ben Yehuda did a lot, but he was also really a symbol. All writers who continued to write and develop Hebrew played a tremendous role.

  107. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “Who here has ever heard someone with Ashkenazi havara sing ” Ki mitzion teitzei sorah”?

    I’ve heard of Ashkenazim looking for the “sachana merkazis” in Jerusalem.”

    They wanted to make sure the person they were asking understood they were looking for the central bus station rather than the central grain mill.

  108. shaul shapira says:

    IH- To be honest, I never saw the Rambam inside, I got it from the Abarbanel (I think Hakdama to vayikra.) I was therefore very gratified when Prof. Lawrence Kaplan provided the source. My uneducated guess- and this really part of what I’ve been getting at all along- is that the same word can have two completely different emotive meanings. As an analogy, I think of the difference between a diagram of a sperm penetrating an egg versus a XXX rated movie. They may both be illustrating the reproductive process, but they’re worlds apart.
    Again, my main complaint is that they’ve sucked the “apocalyptic sting” (Prof Ravitzky’s term) out the the holy tounge.

    Abba- I finally got your point about Lashon Ha(kodesh). I am guilty as charged. I also eat a meal on shabbes known as “shaleshudis” (one word). Sue me.

  109. shaul shapira says:

    S- Fair enough but, I think he got BY’s goals correct. He did speak to his daughter, which spurred the book. Another book which pretty much says the same thing is “ressurecting hebrew” by aprofessor whose name I can’t recall. It’s slightly more scholarly than St John’s book which is wrriten by an AP journalist.

    And to be fair, St John also freely admits that the conversations are imaginary.
    Also, the main question is who invented words not who wrote hebrew.

  110. shaul shapira says:

    S.- Slightly off the topic, there’s a popular story which I heard in EY about BY’s death. It says that he slumped over his dictionary while working on it on shabbos, as was his wont. RYC Zonnenfeld then said that shabbos took its revenge. St John’s book says no such thing. Is there any truth to this story, and if not who made it up?

  111. Nachum says:

    Well, in slightly different circles, the story is thuswise:

    Ben-Yehuda went to visit his neighbor, R’ Kook, to ask him about a particular word. This was a common occurrence, and R’ Kook stopped his shiur for a moment to answer the question. He then said, apropos of nothing, “R’ Eliezer, maybe it’s time for you to do teshuva?” Ben-Yehuda answered, “Maybe.” He died very shortly after that, and R’ Kook said that he power of that “maybe” was enough to say that he died a ba’al teshuva.

    I like my leaders to be like that.

  112. abba's rantings says:

    SHAUL:

    “Abba- I finally got your point about Lashon Ha(kodesh) . . .

    actually i don’t think you got my point.
    i wasn’t trying to correct your grammar (tangentially, there is a polemical distinction between loshon kodesh vs. ha-kodesh that was used by the maskilim, although right now i forget exactly what that distinction was!)
    i was trying to figure out why davka you consider you consider modern hebrew to be a deviation from loshon kodesh (or whatever we call it, i really don’t care) and i was trying to get you to define what loshon kodesh consits of.
    if you say that loshon kodesh is biblical hebrew, then please explain why modern hebrew is any less of a deviation from loshon kodesh than rav moshe’s hebrew or mishnaic hebrew for that matter (or even why late biblical hebrew itself isn’t a deviation!)
    if you say that davka it is biblical hebrew that is the deviation from loshon kodesh (i.e., everything else, including late biblical hebrew, mishnaic hebrew, geonic hebrew, medieval secular sephardi poetic hebrew, ramchal’s hebrew, measef hebrew, east european maskilic hebrew, rav moshe’s rabbinic hebrew) then qualify how exactly ben yehuda’s hebrew differs that suddenly made modern hebrew no longer loshon kodesh

  113. abba's rantings says:

    SHAUL:

    “if you say that davka it is biblical hebrew that is the deviation from loshon kodesh”

    of course that be “davka it is modern hebrew”

  114. abba's rantings says:

    S:

    “the wider role played by others (including R. Chaim Hirschensohn)”

    ben yehuda famously spoke to his son only in hebrew. less well known is the r. hirschensohn did the same with his daughter! (she later earned a columbia phd on the ralbag)

    PROF KAPLAN:

    thanks for the more reference. i need to find copy, burried in moving boxes

  115. abba's rantings says:

    SHAUL

    “2)Also, I think you can believe in or deny the At’Chalta D’Geula without being pro Ivrit, so I still don’t see what galus mentality has to do with anything”

    because it doesn’t take into account the reality of a living, vibrant, dynamic people using hebrew as a daily vernacular.

    “Fair enough but, I think he got BY’s goals correct.”

    fair enough, but the question isn’t BY’s political/cultural agenda, but rather the extent to which his hebrew–and again, it wasn’t really *his* hebrew–differened linguisitcally from other forms of hebrew. you seem (please correct me if i’m wrong) to be imposing some articificial boundary between BY’s hebrew and all other forms.

  116. shaul shapira says:

    abba- You seem to be pretty much answering your own question when you speak of hebrew as vernacular. What diffrentiates modern hebrew (and possibly maskilic hebrew, I don’t anyone who still reads HaPeles, or whatever.), is that it is no longer a liturgical/legal flowery language but a ‘language like all other languages’ comple with jargon, slang and swear words. Up till recently, hebrew was stilted and could not easily be used to convey much of everyday life. I was reading the hebrew wikipedia article on mendely mocher seforim yesterday and it seems like he may have got the process of ‘normalizing’ it started. The book by st john gives the example of Ben Yehuda coming up with two words for ‘concert’ . Listening to a basketball game in Israel I heard about “averat matkif”. These are all examples of a language that has clearly changed it’s charachter, and frankly I don’t see why you would even deny it as this point is stated quite proudly by many Israeli’s.

  117. shaul shapira says:

    Nachum- I’m trying to find out what happened. I’m quite sure of Rav Kook’s tzidkus (as well as R Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld’s) without folk legends.
    Incidentally, R Yitzchak Daddon of Merkaz Harav told me that Rav Kook cursed R Moshe Blau that the land would spit him out. He ended up dying suddenly while on a fundraising trip to Europe. It seems R Moshe Blau was part of the crowd that made R Kook’s life miserable, and even he had his limits.

  118. shaul shapira says:

    Abba- Sorry, to answer your point about what lashon kodesh is, I’ve heard various answers including the one from the Rambam, above, and that it’s the language Hashem created the world in. I imagine that with the right software you could come up with more info. I use it colloqiually for Hebrew as sacred language, or altenatively, Hebrew that is reserved for sacred topics.

  119. MDJ says:

    Shaul,
    You seem to want to keep Hebrew a dead language. Never mind whether Hebrew had any virtues as a dead language that it lacks as a live one, Hebrew was not always a dead language, and in fact, our Torah is in Hebrew precisely because it was a living language to our ancestors who received it. Was Hebrew less pure, less good then?! And when children were playing their games in the times of King David or in the Midbar, how do you think they spoke about those games and their rule? How do you think they complained to their parents that things were not fair?
    You have some very odd ideas about linguistics.

  120. shaul shapira says:

    MDJ- If by dead language, you mean that I want it out of the sewer, then yes I want it to be a dead language. Otherwise I think it should be learnt by every Jew as part his religion. i don’t know what language they spoke in the dessert sandboxes, but it didn’t include phrases like ‘lech la’azazel’. I saw R Aviner mention that the SR said they spoke aramaic. He obviously disagrees. But either way, society didn’t include nightclubs, porno movies etc and all it’s attendant words. Please read the examples I have given throughout this thread.
    And for the last time, my main problem is what they they have done to words like bitachon- please see my rants, above.

  121. abba's rantings says:

    SHAUL:

    “What diffrentiates modern hebrew (and possibly maskilic hebrew, I don’t anyone who still reads HaPeles, or whatever.), is that it is no longer a liturgical/legal flowery language”

    do you really beleive that prior to the haskalah, hebrew was entirely “a liturgucal/legal flowery languages”? that it had no secular applications/manifestations? do you really think that no new words were made up or borrowed during 3 millenania from avraham avinu to avraham mapu? that grammar, syntax, gender, conjugations/declensions, etc. remained preserved until ben yehuda?

    “the SR said they spoke aramaic”

    what do you think about this?

    “I use it colloqiually for Hebrew as sacred language, or altenatively, Hebrew that is reserved for sacred topics”

    so you are describing it phenemologically rather than linguistically? i guess you can do that, although i’m not sure what the point is.

    le-ma’aseh, how would you like israelis to communicate outside shul/beis midrash? i mean when they are at work, in the supermarket, at the basketball game? yiddish, english, sign language?

  122. abba's rantings says:

    SHAUL:

    how does one write a teshuvah about electricity or a sefer about medical halacha in biblical hebrew?

  123. Nachum says:

    “but it didn’t include phrases like ‘lech la’azazel’”

    “Lech L’Azazel” is pretty mild compared to the words of David (the same one who wrote Tehillim) in Shmuel Aleph, 25:22. Just to give one example. Hebrew was a living language, complete with profanity.

  124. shaul shapira says:

    Abba- I never said there were no new words added. But very many hebrew speakers crow about the fact that hebrew is no longer a stilted language, and I think there’s a reason for that. If you don’t see that as a very fundamental shift, then I think we”ll just have to agree to disagree. As for teshuvos, obviously some words need to be added, but compare R Tukachinksy’s sefer on the dateline in halacha with the wikipedia article on it. They’re speaking a different language. Even Meir Bar Ilan says that that in his intro to encyclopedia talmudit.

  125. shaul shapira says:

    Nachum- I’m going to have to check up the rambam and shmuel. See my comments to IH 1/11 2:24 PM.
    (In the interest of full disclosure, I belong to that radical strain of ultra-orthodoxy that believes that Dovid Hamelech was on too high a level to be cursing, and his words have to be understood differently, but I’m not going to use that argument as I realize it’s a bit circular.)
    And I certainly meant to say *Rabbi* Meir Bar Ilan.

  126. Nachum says:

    I’ll save you the trouble:

    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t08a25.htm#22

    It’s kind of hard to put a non-profane spin on an expression in which a promise to kill every male member of a household is expressed by saying, “So may God do to my enemies [a euphemism, of course] and more if I permit to remain [alive] by tomorrow morning everything of his that p***es on the wall.” (You could say “urinates,” but that loses the obvious flavor, I think.)

    Like it or not, David was a rough n’ tumble kind of guy. See last week’s haftarah. And Hebrew was spoken by all- it was not stilted, much as you might like to think it was. (Arabic, now, that’s a stilted language. All those flowery Arafat speeches were that flowery. There’s even a theory that that places them at a disadvantage in battle.)

    By the way, the theory is that the Avot spoke Aramaic, and Hebrew- which is, by the way, a dialect of Canaanite- was introduced around the time of Moshe or a bit later. Some lines in the Neviim bear this out.

  127. shaul shapira says:

    Nachum- If I’m not mistaken, the same expression is used by the novi himself in reporting the word of God to Shaul. I don’t know how far you’re willing to take this rough ‘n tumble thing -and what do the meforshim say? And have you seen the rambam or do you have a link to it?
    As for the dialect business, I think that’s an old machlokes involving Dunash ibn Labrat and Menachem ibn Saruk. R Samson Hirsch came down on the side that Hebrew is a totally distinct language. Not that this has much direct bearing on our discussion.

  128. Nachum says:

    Please give me a pasuk. And, of course, those aren’t Hashem’s words, those are the Navi’s, who was either reflecting his time and/or his personality. (Shmuel could be rough when need be- was it him?)

    I’m not talking about the Rambam- this has nothing to do with him. Each word, individually, is OK (and not a reference to copulation), but that’s also true of every profanity in English, originally.

    Did R’ Hirsch know Canaanite?

  129. shaul shapira says:

    Nachum- Sorry, I think it was actually talking to Izevel or Achav. You should be able to find it with a search- I don’t have a hebrew keyboard. I will B”N try to post a more substantive reply tomorrow or tues, if you’re still intersted.

    I would also like to know why (or if) *you* think there is anything special about Lashom H other than a cultural connection to the jewish people, and why you think we davka *should* be speaking it in EY, or anywhere else for that matter?

  130. IH says:

    Shaul — for a virtual Hebrew keyboard, just go to google.co.il and click the keyboard icon on the left side in the search box.

  131. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba-I am not sure how a sefer or teshuvah could be written in Biblical Hebrew, but then again so much of Halacha is rooted in TSBP and its concepts that reference to standard Halachic concepts of Hilcos Shabbos in the Talmud IMO ( Melacha, Psaik Resha, etc) would be the key points of departure and reference, as opposed to a verse in the Torah.

  132. shaul shapira says:

    Nachum- First off, the Passuk is in Melachim Alepph 21-21. I note that among the mefarshim on the page there seem to be 3 different perushim of the term. Seems a bit much for some rough and tumbly profanity, but maybe that’s just me.
    More to the point however, I rememberd that the Mechaber uses the term “Yashtin” in SA O”C 3-13, where he says “lo yashtin meumad”. Now even if the Mechaber was part of the profanity club , it seems highly unlikely that he would use it in the SA which is aformal code of law. No municipality, however coarse, would put up a sign reading NO P***ING ANYTIME.

    Again I would like to repeat my question to you (and anyone who shares your opinion): If LH is a language complete with profanities and swearwords and historically spoken by all kinds of characters, what in fact diffrentiates it from any other language? And why write the Torah in it? What’s wrong with Canaanite? Mandarin? Joe Smith’s ancient english?

  133. MDJ says:

    >>what in fact diffrentiates it from any other language?

    I don’t know, maybe that it was spoken by the people who received the torah and wrote the later books.

  134. shaul shapira says:

    MDJ- So if enough seforim get published in english it will begin to take on some kedusha?

  135. shaul shapira says:

    IH- I meant to thank you yesterday for the tip; I’ll probably make use of it in the future. For now it’s much easier to type in english, what with the one-finger-typing and all. :)

 
 

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