[b-hebrew] Definite Article 7:14

JoeWallack at aol.com JoeWallack at aol.com
Sun Jul 15 11:17:23 EDT 2007

In a message dated 7/10/2007 11:49:17 PM Central Daylight Time,  
if at math.bu.edu writes:


I admire  your tenacity on being so completely and wholeheartedly on the side 
of the  the-ists, defending this doctrine so valiantly and persistently 
against the  repeated onslaught of the a-ists. But to me this the/a argument is 
vain. It is  crystal clear that HA-(ALMAH is in reference to a well known [very 
well known,  absolutely well known?] notable person in Jerusalem at the time 
Isaiah spoke  these words, and therefore should be translated as the-(ALMAH. 
Those who want  to translate it, for whatever reason, as an-(ALMAH have the right 
to do  so. 
I am uneasy  about lofty terminology and am not sure about this business of 
the "partial  determinant of pronouns". In my opinion the entire Hebrew 
language consists of  roots [compounds themselves of simpler single-literal roots] 
and personal  pronouns, or identity markers. Thus HA- is HI-, 'she'. I see the 
issue of the  "definite article" is an example of terminology assuming a life 
of its  own---of the golem "definite" turning against its own creator. 
I find it  noteworthy that the English personal pronoun 'she' is considered a 
descendent  of the ancients words 'so' and 'he', so similar to the Hebrew ZEH 
and HA- or  HI. Also in Hebrew the personal pronoun HI is apparently but a 
variant of XI  or XAYI, 'alive'.   
As to  (ALMAH, I hold it possible that it evolved from a connotation for a 
young  woman to an honorary title, the same way the English word queen evolved 
from  the base word gune---wife. After all (ALMAH contains an L for elevation 
and an  M for massivity, two letters that form also the awe inspiring word 

Isaac  Fried, Boston University

Isaac, regarding the above you remind me of Chaz from the classic, "The  
Wedding Crashers", "By the way, you didn't tell me that he's totally insane...Or  
he may just be a genius, because it really does work." Plus, these days, I 
live  by 3 maxims, Never start a ground war on a large continent, never 
underestimate  the greed of the other guy, and never assume that anyone with an 
advanced degree  at BU (where my wife did HIre Residency) is wrong. 
You are correct that the position of Translators usually does not change.  
The Translators, however, do. I like to think that this process is achieved at  
least partially through the very type of dialogue happening here at B-Hebrew. 
While I have difficulty incorporating your word evolution theories into the  
7:14 discussion, on the other hand I see you as being very useful for the  
offending word of 22:17 where everyone tries to artifically do to K)RW what  
comes naturally to you. I have placed your contact info on the speed dial.
B'Shalom, Joseph Wallack

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