[b-hebrew] naming the characters in SoS

Baruch and Ruthy Alster alster at bezeqint.net
Wed Jul 28 15:38:57 EDT 2004

Shalom to all!

Many English translations of the Song of Songs use the terms "lover" and "beloved" for the main characters - the active form for the man and the passive form for the woman.  This terminology seems quite inappropriate for the SoS (where the woman is the center of the action), but goes well with traditional stereotypes...

On the other hand, an 18th century Jewish commentator I am working on (R. Jehiel Hillel Altschuler, author of Metsudat David / Metsudat Zion), uses the passive form for both characters: "hashuq" and "hashuqah", respectively.

Does anyone know of other examples of either of these phenomena (in translations, commentaries, etc.).  I am especially looking for examples current in Western and Central Europe in Altschuler's time (late 18th cent.).

Thank you,
Baruch Alster
Zufim, Israel

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