[b-hebrew] ALEF-LAMED: NOT Samekh-lamed: Another 2 handwritten examples to clear up the confusion: In ISRAEL and ELIEZER

David Sheby hosp at voicenet.com
Thu Jul 10 15:20:43 EDT 2003

>Message: 5
>From: Peter Kirk <peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com>
>To my untrained eye, the 1890 spelling does not look like it has any Aleph
>at all, but rather a "defective" Samekh-Lamed... Is this possible, or was
>Saloniki/o always spelled with an Aleph?

I can understand your confusion if not accustomed to Sephardic
cursive script (solitreo). It is NOT samekh lamed as you suggest.
It is alef-lamed. Another 2 examples  are uploaded to (same directory, 
different file name):

which should eliminate the ambiguity.

Item #1 written in 1892 from Jerusalem, is addressed to Israel Rozanes
Note the following in this example:
Line 1: The clear lamed (shown in red arrow)
         in the word Y-R-U-SH-L-M (Yerushalim=Jerusalem)
Then look at Line 2: Y-S-R-(ALEF-LAMED).

(Note This is not the "best" example only because
the writer doesn't clearly distinguish his "S" from "SH" but
that's not for this discussion: only so I don't get a comment on it

The second in this file (3rd total) shows , from another piece of 
that he signs his name Eliezer Papo (BEN (son of) PELE)
(indicating that he's a descendent of the famous R' Papo from Sarajevo).
Here to there is an A-L ligature to form the first two letters of EL-iezer
Note that the AL-ligature never looks like a samekh: it is open on the
right but the samkekh is closed on the right.

I thought the one example would suffice. PLEASE understand
that you will exhaust me if I'm challenged on every example.

Now to the second question: As a rule, Ladino and many place
names in PERSONAL correspondence (NOT Ketubot or RESPONSA)
were written phonetically.
How many variants one can quote is based on one's personal experience.
So what a person says is a function of his/her personal experience with 
such material.
So with this said, two comments:
1. Alef-lamed ligature is not always used in spelling "Saloniko" or any 
variants as shown
before: two distinct letters, alef and lamed are sometimes used. The same 
is true of a word
like "s-AL-u-d-o" and its variants. Also the name "SH-M-U- [ (alef-lamed)]

I don't have all examples computerized, so it's difficult, without a time
consuming manual search, to respond to every
question with an example or counter-example. I hope
that the 3 examples provided in the two PDF files demonstrate that 
"alef-i-lamd"  (alef-lamed
ligature) was used as a single character in handwritten correspondence, and 
QUESTION the notion that the ligature (i.e., two-letter combination 
by a distinct new single character, rather than as an unbroken combination 
of two letters)
was used as a "space-saver".

Dr. David Sheby
VP, Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture 
Secretary, Ottoman and Near East Philatelic Society (www.oneps.org)

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