[b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew

Noam Eitan neitian at nyc.rr.com
Thu Nov 25 15:21:25 EST 2004

>However I am wondering what
> comments you could make that would help me to continue on the right
> perspective.

It's hopeless. I don't know if your Israeli has ever contemplated seriously 
the alternative views, or is still in the naive stage. There are others on 
this list who can (and have) discuss this better than me, but if my path 
proves anything, than it's hopeless. I started from the (Modern Hebrew) 
naive perspective of past-present-future. I educated myself for several 
years about the way modern and past scholars view the issue, helped a lot by 
this board. I am now back to a total rejection of imperfect and perfect in 
BH, I see everything placed in time from the subject's perspective (the 
'noseh'). I don't know if it is childhood fixations, I just cannot read the 
texts with the perfect/imperfect understanding imposed on them. I agree with 
everything you quote from the guy - I feel like a recovering alcoholic 
resigned to and enjoying an alcoholic relapse.  I experience a wall of 
misunderstanding when I try to discuss this with non-native-Modern Hebrew 
speakers. Based on my sorry experience my advice to you is not to waste your 

I'm curious what are the feelings of Modern Hebrew speakers on this board 
about this issue. I have a vague impression that they have been relatively 
quiet on this thorny grammatical problem on this board, maybe because Modern 
Hebrew speakers don't experience any tension or cognitive dissonance when 
following the tenses (if that's what it is) in the text.

- Noam Eitan, Brooklyn

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