[b-hebrew] Samaritan script/proto-hebrew

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Mar 25 16:36:25 EST 2005

Sorry, I meant to send this to the whole group.

When the DSS traveling display visited the local art museum, about a decade ago, I found that I was able to read most of the displayed scrolls quite easily, knowing only the modern glyphs I learned in school. This was before I learned to read archaic script. 

I wonder if the difficulties that modern Israelis have in reading the scrolls has more to do with the facct that modern orthography -- spelling and grammar -- is so different from ancient usage? Therefore, small differences in handwriting styles, as mentioned below, become major barriers to understanding? (In other words, the modern Israeli has much the same reaction as I have when I attempt to read Ma'ariv or other modern document: many of the words look wierd and out of place.)

My 2¢ worth from experience.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>

> Peter Kirk wrote:
> > On 22/03/2005 20:23, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
> > >No it's not.  It's irresponsible to lump together two different
> > >scripts. ...
> > >
> > Precisely. But by what criterion is your "Jewish" different from modern
> > Hebrew?
> Actually, it seems now that Jewish is a class of scripts that
> includes the Modern Hebrew script variety.  But if I use a table of
> Hasmonean script as a guide, I could point out that the Bet has
> no lower right leg, the Dalet has horns and no upper right leg, the
> He has the lower left leg attached to the upper right corner, the
> Zayin has no horizontal line, the Kaf has horns, the Samekh is
> not closed in its lower feet, and the Pe has no clear upper left
> angle corner.  Besides that,  the slant, size, and proportions of
> some of the letters are unclear, but just these make it very hard
> to recognize the letters for the Modern Hebrew reader.
> Yitzhak Sapir
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