[b-hebrew] The 'Golden Rule of Hebrew Etymology'?

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Feb 6 23:39:02 EST 2007


Dear George,

My stance is that looking up and down the entire Hebrew bible I do not find
evidence for relating ‘bless’ to ‘kneel’. I know that the custom of kneeling
“before” God in prayer is mentioned in the books of Psalms and Daniel, but
not in connection with blessing. It is possible that I miss something. If
proven wrong, I will be glad to admit it. 

You are right in suggesting that one should be careful in expressing
polemical opinions, particularly in situations where their content or intent
could be misjudged. I will be mindful of this in the future. Thank you for
calling my attention to it.
Isaac Fried, Boston University

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of George Athas
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 6:48 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] The 'Golden Rule of Hebrew Etymology'?

Isaac Fried wrote:
 
> The thrust of my argument, though, was to make the
> point, as politely as could, that I am utterly
> convinced that kneel --> bless is first class
> nonsense, Gesenius and his disciples notwithstanding.
> I am unable to accept the fact that for such a
> sublime act as blessing, the bible would use such a
> crude act as the etiquette of falling on the knees
> before a superior.

But Isaac, do you not see that this is highly subjective? You have not
attempted to engage with the idea, but have dismissed it a priori. As Karl
alluded to in his message, there is plenty of evidence for associating
blessing with kneeling. Whether the association is watertight is another
matter, but a case can certainly be made. You do not seem to have made a
case for your stance, other than stating what you can or cannot accept.
 
At B-Hebrew, we want to engage with evidence. Our opinions are most welcome,
but they need to be based on something more substantial than personal
preference. We all need to be mindful of this when we post to the list.
 

Best Regards, 

GEORGE ATHAS 
Moore Theological College (Sydney) 
1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia 
Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774 

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