[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Mon Oct 29 02:08:51 EDT 2007

"The Torah speaks in human language". And just like in any language, some 
words have several different meanings dependent on context, and the native 
speaker or reader is expected to recognize the different meanings from 
context, so might the Torah use the same word when meaning two different 
things. I've already given the example of "yom", "day". "'Et", "time" or 
"season" could mean a specific season with specific dates, or a general 
"time of year". For that matter, it could also mean just "time". The native 
speaker would easily recognize the difference. Since we are NOT native 
speakers of BIBLICAL Hebrew, we might not always recognize them. I'm not 
saying that I agree with Jim's theory in this case (I don't!), just that his 
way of thinking is not illigitimate. Quite the contrary - he came up with 
his theory BECAUSE he insists on a literal reading of the Torah.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 6:25 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year"

> OK, so I should not have used the word "lying".  But what does it
> mean when the Torah specifically says, in all that great detail about
> the chronology of the flood, that a year was 12 months, and then
> someone comes along and says, no, a year was 6 months?  Is that not
> implying that the Torah was lying when it said 12 months?
> "In some cases" - is he saying that sometimes the Torah says one
> thing and sometimes another?  That the Torah is inconsistent?  In
> which case, it also would be lying some of the time?  In which case
> no one would know when it was lying and when it was not lying, so why
> bother spending so much time trying to study it?
> Shoshanna Walker
> Shoshanna,
> While I think that Jim's theory does not work, he does NOT claim that the
> Torah is "lying". All he is sayng is that the word "shanah" in the Torah
> might refer, in some cases, to a six-month period, just like the word 
> "yom"
> can refer to either a 24-hour period or to just the daylight hours. In his
> view, this makes it easier to understand the Torah literally. You might 
> not
> agree (I don't), but the first paragraph of your post below, stating your
> BELIEF in Chazal, is really a non-starter.
> The second paragraph, about the two "new years", is of course perfectly
> correct and has been stated several times.
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