[b-hebrew] CV syllables, was music in Hebrew

Rochelle Altman willaa at netvision.net.il
Mon Jan 30 15:36:58 EST 2006


As every teacher (retired or not) knows, it's easier to get important 
points across with a touch of humor. "Bean-counters" is not snide, some 
probably consider it irreverent,;it's just a light-hearted approach  -- and 
accurate.

A little irreverence goes a long way to counter the folks who seem to 
believe that the Masoretes slanted the texts to suit their theological 
agenda. Pointing out that they sat there doing the equivalent of counting 
beans and letting majority rule -- whether it made sense or not -- is 
important. Those grammatical errors are evidence for their integrity. .

Besides, a light touch and an understanding of the agonal sense of serious 
play is quite necessary to approach the Psalms... and the Psalms are my 
focus. (I once gave a presentation at a conference titled: "What have they 
done to my songs?" <G>)

Feeling better?

Rochelle


>Dr Altman wrote:-
>
> >Then, when you come down to it, the Masoretes do not display fine ears
> >for anything. They were accountants, bean counters, and they just went 
> by the
> >numbers  and copied what was in the texts at their disposal. If 14 texts
> >has X+. and 12 had Y- ,by gum, X+ it was -- whether it made grammatical
> >or musical sense or not.
>
>One could interpret their actions in a kinder light. Perhaps they did
>this because of their great reverence for the text before them. Copying
>and preserving sacred texts was probably viewed as both a great
>priviledge and responsibility. Your snide remark about them being
>bean counters should really be seen as developing systems to ensure
>the accurate transmission of the sacred. Bean counters or preservers
>of the sacred? I'll take the second interpretation any day.
>
>Bill Rea, IT Services, University of Canterbury \_
>E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz               </   New
>Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332       /)  Zealand
>Unix Systems Administrator                   (/'
>
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