Modern Hebrew 1

Randall Buth ButhFam at
Sat May 18 19:58:04 EDT 2002

shalom Qobbi, (="Jim", ya`aqov)

Shavuot and Shabbat delayed a response. 

>in short- to suggest that if one does not read modern hebrew- or control
>(whatever that is supposed to mean) then one isnt a good scholar of
>texts is a gross misstatement and falsity.  one can be a profoundly good
>exegete and not have any inkling of modern hebrew.

Your comment seems to make a common misunderstanding. No 
language skills, ancient or modern, make a person a good exegete, 
scholar or analyst. But good scholarship will always be improved with 
better language skills. Modern Hebrew contributes to that, as may 
become clear in following emails.
>>It's hard for a school to require something at a PhD level that would 
>>naturally have been expected in the first two-three years of a first
>what do you mean *naturally expected*?  are you implying that nature 
>itself teaches us that we should have mastery of modern hebrew before 
>we can be competent in exegesis?  where exactly does nature teach us 
>this lesson????

Mother-tongue English allows "naturally" to exegete as "commonly
expected". Initial language learning is commonly assigned the status 
of the first two years of university in the US.

>i await your articulate response.
ani mode lexa `al sifrexa. atta biqqashta mimmeni
ma`ane `al ha`erex ha-rav
asher la-safa bat yamenu.
  ha-nifla me`enexa
im lo hitbonanta 
ki katavti el Trevor
bisfat `Ever mime qedem?

she'elat ha-niv heHadash ba'a. 
reshit kol ha-kol nishma` --
ki yisha'alu anshe-da`at.
  lo shama`ti tlunnot 
`al da`at ha-safa ha-Hadasha
me`ish asher shoTeT vayydabber bah.
  bemiqre venimtsa halaze,
ha-davar yisha'er veqam bil`adav
ki ha-qahal ha-rav yeHeretsu et ha-mishpaT
vehe`idu ki yeTivu asher yuxlu lishloT ba-safa.

shavua` Tov,

Randall Buth

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