[b-hebrew] FYI: Aramaic study

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Mon Dec 27 11:14:40 EST 2010

Hello Jack:
I trust you are having a nice day 3 of christmas.

I don't mind the falstaff implication of me here ....; though i disagree
....; in any event, i have received much education here; and for that i am

And the response to your learned comments:

1. I am not in ארץ ישראל . So, I don't know the haredim. But .... do you
know that the government sponsors the haredim; excuses the haredim from work
and military service. America government also enjoys a large group of people
that the government sponsors; excuses from work and military service. Do you
tag this latter group as fringe element of society? I am sure they and their
government would disagree, in both instances.

2. The haredim may well be experts in and consumers of aramaic. But the
existential question you have deflected. And that remains, does the biblical
hebrew language ("BH") rest comfortably entombed for millennia with the
patriarchs here?


3. Or ..... does BH continue as a language in common use every saturday
morning across ארץ ישראל , in its synagogues? Permit me to suggest the
affirmative answer to that question you have avoided. Permit me to
also suggest that every day התורה is consumed by and amongst the haredim
(and a lot of other people) silently and with sound ....and exclusively in

4. Your nice reproduction of the encyclopedia judaica excerpt focuses on my
point exactly. The well respected, well credentialed universities and
publishing houses all across america and elsewhere announce continuously the
death, funeral and pleasant burial of BH. My question was, is and continues
to be .... does this nice conclusion of the mainstream err? .... Surely, the
august oxford english dictionary recognizes the error ... its error; others'
error in this regard. The Oxford English Dictionary has receded from the 400
b.c., death, funeral and burial of BH ...; and has moved the funeral date
forwards to 200 a.d. ... What's next? ... The next edition eases the date
out to 750 a.d.? The mainstream universities also recognized the flat earth
as a bald fact for centuries ...; and then, ooops ...

5. I was not present in ארץ ישראל in 10 a.d. The mainstream conclusion that:
since aramaic speaking peoples surrounded the land from the east; and greek
speaking peoples surrounded the land from the west ....;  BH was
naturally abandoned and buried. And that conclusion sounds reasonable
enough. But the same circumstances exist today. Arabic speaking peoples
surround the land; and yet for some strange reason, the israelis insist on
speaking modern hebrew on the street and BH in the synagogue. Imagine that.
It seems to me an inference arises that the hebrew resistance to
assimilation now, represents but a continuation of the tradition then, even
in 10 ... a.d.


fred burlingame

On Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 1:18 AM, Jack Kilmon <jkilmon at historian.net> wrote:

>  I hope everyone had a great Holiday season whether Hanukkah the first
> week of the month or Christmas the last week of the month.  I do hope that
> all of us, when enjoying the company of our friends on these holidays, took
> time to remember those who are lonely, those who are homeless and those who
> are hungry and took some measure to assist.
> OK, let's see what Fred had to say:
>  *From:* fred burlingame <tensorpath at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Friday, December 24, 2010 9:39 PM
> *To:* Jack Kilmon <jkilmon at historian.net>
> *Cc:* Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> *Subject:* Re: [b-hebrew] FYI: Aramaic study
> 1. do these people speak arabic, write arabic, read arabic ... in their
> synagogues in 2010? .... despite being surrounded by tens of millions of
> arab speakers? .... uh, negative ....
> http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4003644,00.html
> JK  This article is about the Haredim, the ultra conservative, some would
> claim even radical, ultra-orthodox Jews.  I don't know whether or not you
> are being facetious and I won't break net etiquette but the Haredim use the
> Talmud and do you want to guess what language is used?  Aramaic!
> 2. did these people speak arabic, write arabic, read arabic in their
> synagogues in 1010 a.d., despite being surrounded by millions of arab
> speakers? ... negative. ....
> http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4003823,00.html
> JK  Again I don't know whether you are being deliberately facetious since I
> assume that you know that the Haredim are a relatively recent form of
> Judaism.  Do they sing the Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur?  Also as far as Arabic
> is concerned, I assume you are aware of the history of both the Eastern and
> North African communities of Arabic speaking Jews.
> 3. did these people speak aramaic, write aramaic, read aramaic in their
> synagogues in 110 a.d., despite being surrounded by millions of aramaic
> speakers? .... negative ...
> http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4002402,00.html
> this is not rocket science ....; you may not like it; but the fact remains,
> the hebrews generally spoke, read, and wrote in hebrew .... now and then ...
> JK  No, it is NOT rocket science. I was acquainted with Werner Von Braun
> but he has passed. BUT if we instead defer to history and common sense, you
> would know that there were indeed Arabic speaking Jews, Yehudim Aravim,  in
> the 2nd century as well as today in Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, etc and spoke
> Arabic in their synagogues and Hebrew was used, as always, for their liturgy
> and Aramaic AND ARABIC for their targumim.  You should know that there were
> no Haredim in the 2nd century but that the Tannaim and the Amoraim (an
> Aramaic word) did indeed use Aramaic.
> a. do arabic translations of the tanakh exist and circulate in ארץ ישראל
> today? affirmative ....
> b. did aramaic translations of the tanakh books exist and circulate in ארץ
> ישראל in 110 a.d.? affirmative ...
> c. do "a" & "b" change "1," "2" and "3?" ... negative.
> JK  I'm very sorry, Fred. I am totally confused by non sequiturs, strawmen
> and red herrings.  I have no earthly idea what all of the above has to do
> with Aramaic as the commonly spoken tongue of the Levant in the 2nd temple
> period.
> Since I am discussing this with you as well as my old internet friend,
> Randall, I am going to defer now to the Encyclopedia Judaica whose
> contributors and authority cannot be disputed.  It is lengthy but it covers
> all of the issues you misunderstand above regarding Arabic as well as those
> under discussion.
> *Aramaic Displaces Hebrew.*
> Aramaic was destined to become Israel's vernacular tongue; but before this
> could come about it was necessary that the national independence should be
> destroyed and the people removed from their own home. These events prepared
> the way for that great change by which the Jewish nation parted with its
> national tongue and replaced it, in some districts entirely by Aramaic, in
> others by the adoption of Aramaized-Hebrew forms. The immediate causes of
> this linguistic metamorphosis are no longer historically evident. The event
> of the Exile itself was by no means a decisive factor, for the prophets that
> spoke to the people during the Exile and after the Return in the time of
> Cyrus, spoke in their own Hebrew tongue. The single Aramaic sentence in Jer.
> x. 11 was intended for the information of non-Jews. But, although the living
> words of prophet and poet still resounded in the time-honored language, and
> although Hebrew literature during this period may be said to have actually
> flourished, nevertheless among the large masses of the Jewish people a
> linguistic change was in progress. The Aramaic, already the vernacular of
> international intercourse in Asia Minor in the time of Assyrian and
> Babylonian domination, took hold more and more of the Jewish populations of
> Palestine and of Babylonia, bereft as they were of their own national
> consciousness. Under the Achæmenidæ, Aramaic became the official tongue in
> the provinces between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean (see Ezra iv. 7);
> therefore the Jews could still less resist the growing importance and spread
> of this language. Hebrew disappeared from their daily intercourse and from
> their homes; and Nehemiah—this is the only certain information respecting
> the process of linguistic change—once expressed his disapproval of the fact
> that the children of those living in mixed marriage" could no longer "speak
> in the Jews' language" (Neh. xiii. 24).
> How long this process of Aramaization lasted is not known. About the year
> 300 B.C. Aramaic makes its appearance in Jewish literature. The author of
> Chronicles uses a source in which not only documents concerning the history
> of the Second Temple are reproduced in the original Aramaic (Ezra iv. 8-22;
> v. 1-6, 12; vii. 12-26), but the connecting narrative itself is written in
> Aramaic (Ezra iv. 23, v. 5, vi. 13-18). In the time of Antiochus Epiphanes,
> the authorof the Book of Daniel begins his narrative in Hebrew, but when he
> introduces the Babylonian sages and scholars as speaking Aramaic to the
> king, as if only awaiting this opportunity, he continues his history in
> Aramaic (Dan. ii. 4, vii. 28).[Other explanations have been attempted in
> order to account for the appearance of both Aramaic and Hebrew in Daniel and
> Ezra. Prof. Paul Haupt supposes that Daniel was originally written in
> Hebrew, that portions of it were lost, and that these portions were supplied
> later from an Aramaic translation. See A. Kamphausen, "The Book of Daniel"
> ("S. B. O. T."), p. 16; J. Marquart, "Fundamente der Israel. und Jüd.
> Gesch." p. 72.—G.]The employment of the two languages in these Biblical
> books well illustrates their use in those circles in which and for which the
> books were written. In point of fact, at the time of the Second Temple, both
> languages were in common use in Palestine: the Hebrew in the academies and
> in the circles of the learned, the Aramaic among the lower classes in the
> intercourse of daily life. But the Aramaic continued to spread, and became
> the customary popular idiom; not, however, to the complete exclusion of the
> Hebrew. Nevertheless, while Hebrew survived in the schools and among the
> learned—being rooted, as it were, in the national mind—it was continuously
> exposed to the influence of Aramaic. Under this influence a new form of
> Hebrew was developed, which has been preserved in the tannaitic literature
> embodying the traditions of the last two or three centuries before the
> common era. So that even in those fields where Hebrew remained the dominant
> tongue, it was closely pressed by Aramaic. There is extant an almost unique
> halakic utterance in Aramaic ('Eduy. viii. 4) of Yose b. Joezer, a
> contemporary of the author of Daniel. Legal forms for various public
> documents, such as marriage-contracts, bills of divorce, etc., were then
> drawn up in Aramaic. Official messages from Jerusalem to the provinces were
> couched in the same language. The "List of the Fast-Days" (nullMegillat
> Ta'anit), edited before the destruction of the Temple, was written in
> Aramaic. Josephus considers Aramaic so thoroughly identical with Hebrew that
> he quotes Aramaic words as Hebrew ("Ant." iii. 10, § 6), and describes the
> language in which Titus' proposals to the Jerusalemites were made (which
> certainly were in Aramaic) as Hebrew ("B. J." vi. 2, § 1). It was in Aramaic
> that Josephus had written his book on the "Jewish War," as he himself
> informs us in the introduction, before he wrote it in Greek. That he meant
> the Aramaic is evident from the reason he assigns, namely, that he desired
> to make this first attempt intelligible to the Parthians, Babylonians,
> Arabs, the Jews living beyond the Euphrates, and the inhabitants of
> Adiabene. That the Babylonian diaspora was linguistically Aramaized is shown
> by the fact that Hillel loved to frame his maxims in that language.
> *The Targum, the Aramaic Version of the Scriptures.*
> The oldest literary monument of the Aramaization of Israel would be the
> Tarcum, the Aramaic version of the Scriptures, were it not that this
> received its final revision in a somewhat later age. The Targum, as an
> institution, reaches back to the earliest centuries of the Second Temple.
> Ezra may not have been, as tradition alleges, the inaugurator of the Targum;
> but it could not have been much after his day that the necessity made itself
> felt for the supplementing of the public reading of the Hebrew text of
> Scripture in the synagogue by a translation of it into the Aramaic
> vernacular. The tannaitic Halakah speaks of the Targum as an institution
> closely connected with the public Bible-reading, and one of long-established
> standing. But, just as the translation of the Scripture lesson for the
> benefit of the assembled people in the synagogue had to be in Aramaic, so
> all addresses and homilies hinging upon the Scripture had to be in the same
> language. Thus Jesus and his nearest disciples spoke Aramaic and taught in
> it (see Dalman, "Die Worte Jesu").
> When the Second Temple was destroyed, and the last remains of national
> independence had perished, the Jewish people, thus entering upon a new phase
> of historical life, had become almost completely an Aramaic-speaking people.
> A small section of the diaspora spoke Greek; in the Arabian peninsula Jewish
> tribes had formed who spoke Arabic; and in different countries there were
> small Jewish communities that still spoke the ancient language of their
> home; but the great mass of the Jewish population in Palestine and in
> Babylonia spoke Aramaic. It was likewise the language of that majority of
> the Jewish race that was of historical importance—those with whom Jewish law
> and tradition survived and developed. The Greek-speaking Jews succumbed more
> and more to the influence of Christianity, while the Jews who spoke other
> languages were soon lost in the obscurity of an existence without any
> history whatever.
> *Language of Amoraim.*
> In these centuries, in which Israel's national language became superseded
> by the Aramaic, the literature of Tradition arose, in which Aramaic was
> predominant by the side of Hebrew; it was a species of bilingual literature,
> expressing the double idioms of the circles in which it originated. In the
> academies —which, on the destruction of Jerusalem, became the true foci of
> Jewish intellectual life—the Hebrew language, in its new form (Mishnaic
> Hebrew), became the language of instruction and of religious debate. With
> but few exceptions, all literary material, written and oral, of the
> tannaitic age, whether of a halakic or non-halakic description, was handed
> down in Hebrew. Hence the whole tannaitic literature is strongly
> distinguished from the post-tannaitic by this Hebrew garb. The Hebrew
> language was also the language of prayer, both of the authorized ritual
> prayers and of private devotion, as handed down in the cases of individual
> sages and pious men. According to a tannaitic Halakah (Tosef. Ḥag.,
> beginning; compare Bab. Suk. 42*a*), every father was bound to teach his
> child Hebrew as soon as it began to speak. It is no doubt true that there
> was a knowledge of Hebrew in non-scholarly circles of the Jewish people
> besides that of the Aramaic vernacular; indeed, attempts were not lacking to
> depose Aramaic altogether as the language of daily intercourse, and to
> restore Hebrew in its stead. In the house of the patriarch Judah I., the
> female house-servant spoke Hebrew (Meg. 18*a*). The same Judah is reported
> to have said that in theland of Israel the use of the Syriac (Aramaic)
> language was unjustifiable; people should speak either Hebrew or Greek
> (Soṭah 49*b*; B. Ḳ. 83*a*). This remained of course only a pious wish,
> exactly as that deliverance of Joseph, the Babylonian amora in the fourth
> century, who said that in Babylon the Aramaic language should no longer be
> used, but instead the Hebrew or the Persian (*ib.*).
> When the Mishnah of Judah I. provided new subject-matter for the studies in
> the academies of Palestine and Babylonia, the Aramaic language was not slow
> in penetrating likewise to those seats of Jewish scholarship. As shown in
> the two Talmuds—those faithful "minutes" of the debates, lectures, and
> deliberations of the colleges—the Amoraim partially adhered to the Hebrew
> form of expression for their propositions and explanations: but the debates
> and lectures in the academies, together with the deliberations and
> discussions of their members, were, as a rule, in Aramaic; and even the
> terminology of their exegeses and dialectics was Aramaized. The older
> collections of haggadic Midrash also evidence the fact that the language of
> the synagogue addresses and of the Scripture explanation in the amoraic time
> was, for the greater part, Aramaic. As a justification for the preponderance
> thus given to Aramaic within a field formerly reserved for Hebrew, Johanan,
> the great amora of Palestine, said: "Let not the Syriac (Aramaic) language
> be despised in thine eyes; for in all three portions of sacred Scripture—in
> the Law, the Prophets, and the Holy Writings—this language is employed." He
> then quoted the Aramaic fragments in Gen. xxxi. 47; Jer. x. 11; and Dan. ii.
> (Yer. Soṭah vii. 21*c*). The same idea is probably intended to be conveyed
> by Rab, the great amora of Babylonia, when he says that Adam, the first man,
> spoke Aramaic, which, therefore, was not inferior to Hebrew in point of
> antiquity (Sanh. 38*b*). But the same Johanan felt it his duty to oppose
> the possibility that Aramaic should ever become the language of prayer, by
> declaring that "He who recites his prayers in the Aramaic tongue, will
> receive no assistance from the angels in waiting; for they understand no
> Aramaic" (Shab. 12*a;* Soṭah 33*a*). This utterance, however, did not
> prevent the Ḳaddish-prayer—said at the close of the public addresses, and
> later of more general employment—from being recited in amoraic times in the
> Aramaic language, or the insertion, later, of other Aramaic portions in the
> prayer-ritual.
> *Arabic Displaces Aramaic.*
> For more than a thousand years Aramaic remained the vernacular of Israel,
> until the conquests of the Arabs produced another linguistic change, as a
> sequel of which a third Semitic language became the popular tongue for a
> large portion of the Jewish race, and the vehicle of their thought. The
> spread of Arabian supremacy over the whole country formerly dominated by the
> Aramaic tongue produced with extraordinary rapidity and completeness an
> Arabizing of both the Christian and Jewish populations of western Asia, who
> had hitherto spoken Aramaic (Syriac). At the beginning of the ninth century,
> in districts where the Jews had previously spoken Aramaic, only
> Arabic-speaking Jews were to be found; Arabic, as the daily language of the
> Jews, held sway even beyond the territory formerly occupied by Aramaic, as
> far as the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean; and Aramaic then became, in a
> certain measure, a second holy tongue, next to Hebrew, in the religious and
> literary life of the Jewish people.In northern Mesopotamia, in Kurdistan,
> west of Lake Urmia, Aramaic dialects are still spoken by Christians and
> occasionally by the Jews, which dialects are termed "Neo-Syriac." [The Jews
> in those regions call their Aramaic tongue "Leshon Galut." For the
> literature on the subject, see R. Gottheil, "The Judæo-Aramæan Dialect of
> Salamas," in "Journal of Amer. Orient. Soc." xv. 297 *et seq.*—G.]It was
> especially to the Aramaic Targum that religious sentiment paid the highest
> regard, even after it had ceased to be useful as a vernacular translation of
> the Hebrew original —serving only as the subject of pious perusal or of
> learned study—and had itself come to require translation. In the ritual of
> public worship the custom survived of accompanying the reading from the
> Scriptures with the Targum upon the passage read, a custom observed for
> certain festival-readings down to the very latest centuries. To these Targum
> selections were added Aramaic poems, some of which have retained their
> places in the festival-liturgies. Aramaic, as the language of the Babylonian
> Talmud, of course always remained the principal idiom of halakic literature,
> which regarded the Babylonian Talmud as the source for all religio-legal
> decisions and as the proper subject for explanatory commentaries. In richer
> and more independent form this idiom of Aramaic appears in the Halakah in
> the responsa of the Geonim; whereas in the still later literature, the
> so-called rabbinical idiom is entirely dependent upon the language of the
> Talmud, although it but possesses a copious admixture of Hebrew elements. In
> the haggadic literature, which developed wonderfully from the close of the
> amoraic age until after the termination of the gaonic period, Aramaic
> predominated at first; but in the course of time it was entirely displaced
> by Hebrew.
> *The Zohar.*
> A new field was suddenly conquered by Aramaic when the nullZohar, with its
> assumed antiquity of origin, made its entrance into Jewish spiritual life.
> This book, which became the most important textbook of the Cabala, made
> itself the Holy Bible of all mystical speculation, and owed not a little of
> its influence to the mystic-sounding and peculiarly sonorous pathos of the
> Aramaic tongue, in which it is mainly written. The Aramaic of the Zohar
> itself—a clever reproduction and imitation of an ancient tongue—served in
> its turn as a model; and its phraseology exerted a very marked influence
> over other than cabalistic writers. An Aramaic extract from the Zohar found
> its way into the prayer-book (Berik Shemeh), and is recited before the
> reading from the Law in the majority of synagogues of Ashkenazic ritual. In
> poetic literature, however, both liturgic and secular, Aramaic, apart from
> the above-mentioned poems belonging to the Targum, occupied a steadily
> decreasing place. Masters of Hebrew versification, especially under the
> influence of the Cabala, tried their skill now and then on Aramaic poems. An
> Aramaic poem by Israel Nagara ("Yah Ribbon 'Olam") is still widely sung at
> table after the Sabbath meal.In Hebrew philology, Aramaic was especially
> useful in the explanation of Hebrew words in the Bible; and it served as the
> foundation for a comparative philology of the Semitic languages inaugurated
> by Judah ibn Koreish and Saadia. Nevertheless, Aramaic was never treated
> either grammatically or lexicographically by the Jews of Spain, in spite of
> the high development to which they otherwise carried philology. In Nathan
> ben Jehiel's Talmudical lexicon, the 'Aruk—which covers also the
> Targumim—Aramaic naturally occupies the most prominent place. The first
> Aramaic lexicon limited to the Targumim was compiled by Elijah Levita. Among
> Jewish scholars of the nineteenth century, Aramaic grammars have been
> written by Luzzatto, Fürst, Blücher, and C. Levias; Jacob Levy published a
> compendious lexicon of the Targums as well as a large dictionary of the
> Talmudic and Midrashic literature, which distinguishes throughout between
> Hebrew and Aramaic; G. Dalman has published a full glossary, and Marcus
> Jastrow has recently completed a similar work.
> *Names and Dialects of Aramaic.*
> *The Hebrew word "Aramit,"* employed in the Bible (Dan. ii. 4—"Syriac" in
> A. V.—and elsewhere) to designate the Aramaic language, is similarly used in
> later times, particularly in Babylonia; while in Palestine as early as the
> tannaitic period, the Aramaic language is also called Sursi by reason of the
> Greek designation of the Arameans as Syrians. The second book of Maccabees
> calls it "the Syriac tongue" (ὴ Συριακὴ φωνή); and the Septuagint translates
> "Aramit" (Dan. ii. 4, etc.) by συριστί; compare Yer. Ned. x. 42*a*, where
> read for . Among Christian Arameans, Syriac is the exclusive appellation
> for their language; and the Arabic form of this term, "Suryani," was the
> usual designation for Aramaic among the Arabic-speaking Jews. In addition to
> these two chief names for Aramaic, other terms were also employed in Jewish
> circles: Targum (literally "translation" of the Bible, specifically the
> Aramaic version) denoted the language of the Aramaic portions of the Bible.
> But the Syrian inhabitants of the town lying below the monastery on Mount
> Sinai were described by Benjamin of Tudela as speaking the "Targum language"
> (leshon Targum). The Aramaic of the Bible (Daniel and Ezra) was called the
> Chaldaic language because of Dan. i. 4 (Masora upon Onkelos; Saadia);
> Jerome, too, calls it "Chaldaicus Sermo." The term "Chaldaic" for the
> Biblical Aramaic, and indeed for Aramaic generally, is a misnomer, persisted
> in, moreover, until the present day. It is also called "Nabatæan"—denoting,
> according to Bar-Hebræus, the dialect of certain mountaineers of Assyria and
> of villagers in Mesopotamia—which is the term used by Saadia to denote
> Aramaic in his translation of Isa. xxxvi. 11. Likewise in his introduction
> to the book "Sefer ha-Galui" he complains that the Hebrew of his Jewish
> contemporaries had become corrupted by the Arabic and "Nabatæan." This
> designation is due to Arabic influence ("Jew. Quart. Rev." xii. 517).
> Aramaic contributions to Jewish literature belong to both the eastern and
> the western branches of the language. West Aramaic are the Aramaic portions
> of the Bible, the Palestinian Targumim, the Aramaic portions of the
> Palestinian Talmud, and the Palestinian Midrashim. In Palestinian Aramaic
> the dialect of Galilee was different from that of Judea, and as a result of
> the religious separation of the Jews and the Samaritans, a special Samaritan
> dialect was evolved, but its literature can not be considered Jewish. To the
> eastern Aramaic, whose most distinctive point of difference is "n" in place
> of "y" as the prefix for the third person masculine of the imperfect tense
> of the verb, belong the idioms of the Babylonian Talmud, which most closely
> agree with the language of the Mandæan writings. The dialect of Edessa,
> which, owing to the Bible version made in it, became the literary language
> of the Christian Arameans—bearing preeminently the title of Syriac—was
> certainly also employed in ancient times by Jews. This Syriac translation of
> the Bible, the so-called Peshiṭta, was made partly by Jews and was intended
> for the use of Jews; and one book from it has been adopted bodily into
> Targumic literature, as the Targum upon Proverbs.
> For detailed information concerning the Aramaic literature of the Jews, see
> the respective articles. Only a summary is proper here, as follows:
> (1)
> The Aramaic portions of the Bible already mentioned.
> *Extent of Aramaic Literature.*
> (2)
> The Targum literature includes:
> (*a*)
> The two Targums to the Pentateuch and to the Prophets respectively, which
> received the official sanction of the Babylonian academic authorities. Both
> originated in Palestine, and received their final form in the Babylonian
> colleges of the third and fourth centuries. That to the Pentateuch, owing to
> the misunderstanding of a statement concerning the Bible translation made by
> Akylas (Aquila), was denominated the Targum of Onkelos ('Akylas). That to
> the Prophets is ascribed by ancient tradition to a disciple of Hillel,
> Jonathan b. Uzziel:
> (*b*)
> The Palestinian Targum to the Pentateuch, the full text of which has come
> down to us only in a late recension, where it has been combined with the
> Targum Onkelos. Instead of being called by its proper name, Targum
> Yerushalmi, this full text had erroneously been called by the name of
> Jonathan. A less interpolated form of the Targum Yerushalmi to the
> Pentateuch revealed numerous fragments that must have been collected at an
> early period. There are also Palestinian fragments of the Targum to the
> Prophets.[On a peculiar Targum to the Hafṭarot, see R. Gotthell, "Journal of
> Amer. Orient Soc. Proceedings," xiv. 43; Abrahams, "Jew. Quart. Rev." xi.
> 295; "Monatsschrift," xxxix. 394.—G.]
> (*c*)
> The Targums to the Hagiographa vary greatly in character. A special group
> is formed by those of the Psalms and Job. According to well-founded
> tradition there was as early as the first half of the first century of the
> common era a Targum to Job. The Targum to Proverbs belongs, as already
> mentioned, to the Syrian version of the Bible. The Five Rolls had their own
> Targums; the Book of Esther several of them. The Targum to Chronicles was
> discovered latest of all.
> (3)
> Aramaic Apocrypha: There was at least a partial Aramaic translation of the
> book of Sirach as early as the time of the Amoraim. A portion of the Aramaic
> sentences of Sirach, intermingled with othermatter, is extant in the
> "Alphabet of Ben Sira." The Aramaic "Book of the Hasmonean House," also
> entitled "Antiochus' Roll," contains a narrative of the Maccabeans'
> struggles, and was known in the early gaonic period. A "Chaldaic" Book of
> Tobit was utilized by Jerome, but the Aramaic Book of Tobit found by
> Neubauer, and published in 1878, is a later revision of the older text. An
> Aramaic Apocryphal addition to Esther is the "Dream of Mordecai," of
> Palestinian origin.
> (4)
> Megillat Ta'anit, the Fast Roll, is a list of the historically "memorable
> days," drawn up in almanac form. It was compiled before the destruction of
> the Second Temple, edited in the Hadrianic period, and later on augmented by
> various Hebrew annotations mostly of the tannaitic age.
> (5)
> The Palestinian Talmud (Talmud Yerushalmi), completed in the beginning of
> the fifth century.
> (6)
> The Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Babli), completed at the end of the fifth
> century. The Aramaic contents of both Talmuds are the most important and
> also the most abundant remains of the Aramaic idiom used by the Jews of
> Palestine and Babylonia respectively. The numerous stories, legends,
> anecdotes, conversations, and proverbs reveal faithfully the actual language
> of the popular usage. Neither Talmud is, however, entirely an Aramaic work.
> As the utterances of the Amoraim and their halakic discussions retain a
> great deal of the New Hebrew idiom of the tannaitic literature, both idioms
> were employed in the academies. Moreover, a large proportion of the material
> contained in the Talmud is composed of the utterances of tannaitic tradition
> that were couched only in Hebrew.
> (7)
> The Midrash Literature: Of this branch the following are especially rich in
> Aramaic elements: Genesis Rabbah, Leviticus Rabbah, Lamentations Rabbati,
> the Midrash Ḥazita upon the Song of Songs, and the old Pesiḳta. The Rabbot
> Midrashim on Ruth, Esther, and Ecclesiastes, and the Midrash on the Psalms,
> contain also much Aramaic. The younger Midrashim, especially those belonging
> to the Yelamdenu (or TanḦuma) group, are, in part, the Hebrew revisions of
> originally Aramaic portions. The Aramaic parts of the older Midrashim are
> linguistically allied most closely to the idiom of the Palestinian Talmud.
> (8)
> The Masorah. The terminology of the Masorah, which, in its beginnings,
> belongs to the amoraic period, and the language of the oldest Masoretic
> annotations and statements, are Aramaic.
> (9)
> The Gaonic Literature: The legal decisions of the Geonim were for the
> greater part written in Aramaic, in harmony with the language of the
> Babylonian Talmud; but they possessed this advantage, at least in the first
> few centuries, that this was likewise the living language of the people. The
> same is true concerning those two works of the older gaonic period, the
> "She'eltot" and the "Halakot Gedolot," which contain some material not found
> in the vocabulary of the Talmud.
> (10)
> Liturgical Literature: In addition to the Kaddish already mentioned,
> several liturgical pieces originating in Babylon received general acceptance
> throughout the diaspora. Such were the two prayers beginning "Yeḳum Purḳan"
> in the Sabbath-morning service, the introductory sentences of the Passover
> Haggadah, and certain older portions of the liturgy for penitential days.It
> is curious to note that the Yemen Siddur contains a larger quantity of
> Aramaic than the Siddurim of other countries. A unique Targum of the 'Amidah
> (Tefillah) is to be found in a Yemen MS. (Gaster, No. 61) of the seventeenth
> or eighteenth century; it has been printed in the "Monatsschrift," xxxix. 79
> *et seq.*—G.The Aramaic poems introducing certain Targumic selections from
> the Pentateuch have been mentioned above.
> (11)
> Cabalistic Literature: The revival of Aramaic as the literary language of
> the Cabala by the Zohar has already been mentioned.
> (12)
> Rabbinical Literature: The Aramaic coloring of a large proportion of the
> works commenting upon the Babylonian Talmud, as well as of other productions
> of halakic lore continuing the literature of the gaonic age, was derived
> from the Babylonian Talmud, from which the terminology and phraseology were
> adopted at the same time as the contents.
> Bibliography: Th. Nöldeke, *Die, Semitischen Sprachen*, 2d ed., Leipsic,
> 1899;
> G. Dalman, *Einleitung zu einer Grammatik des Jüdisch-Palästinenischen
> Aramäisch*, Leipsic, 1894;
> idem, *Die, Worte Jesu*, pp. 60 *et seq.*, Leipsic, 1898;
> A. Büchler, *Die Priester und der Cultus*, Vienna, 1895;
> S. Krauss, *Jew. Quart. Rev.* viii. 67.
> Upon the liturgical Aramaic literature, see Zunz, *Literaturgesch*. pp.
> 18-22;
> Bacher, in *Monatsschrift*, 1873, xxii. 220-228.G. W. B.
> Jack
> Jack Kilmon
> San Antonio, TX
> regards,
> fred burlingame
> On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 8:47 PM, Jack Kilmon <jkilmon at historian.net>wrote:
>>  How does how well a targum weathered the millennia effect the FACT that
>> a Targum was a translation or paraphrase or explanation of a Hebrew biblical
>> text in the common language?  11Q10, the Qumran Targum of Job consists of
>> thirty eight columns and is a targum of the 1st century BCE.  The fragment
>> of the Targum of Leviticus, 4Q156, is still a targum and is the oldest from
>> the 2nd century BCE. The Genesis Apocryphon "...fits squarely into the main
>> stream of targumim and midrashim and represents the oldest prototype of
>> both..." M. Lehman resQ 1 (1958-59) 251.  The Targumim of the Beb-Ezra
>> Synagogue of the Cairo Genizah date to the 7th century.  These are not
>> "speculations" nor "opinions" because they conflict with your position.
>> These are facts and there is a long bibliography.
>> Jack
>> Jack Kilmon
>> San Antonio, TX

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