[b-hebrew] the dead returns

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 18:07:15 EST 2010

the more you talk, nir ... the deeper the hole gets ... and the bigger the
problem arises .... for the glory that was and is ... aramaic language ...
and its advocates.

"aramaic also fell out of favor between the greek and roman occupation,
ceasing to be understood by the average jew"

that's a low stress statement, nir ...; since pompey arrived and desecrated
the temple in 64 b.c.


What language was the average hebrew speaking on the streets of nazareth in
64 a.d.?

and "ma(e)gidim?" what's up with these travelling human memory banks? If
aramaic had buried hebrew by 64 a.d., why would "ma(e)gidim" travel around
the country reciting biblical hebrew to congregations that understood a word
of it ... not? It sounds pointless, if hebrew had died, and received a nice


fred burlingame
On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 3:08 PM, Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. <nir at ccet.ufrn.br>wrote:

> > If modern Hebrew evolved from Biblical Hebrew, the latter cannot be dead
> -
> nothing can evolve from something dead!
> > ERGO, Biblical Hebrew hasn't really died, it evolved.
> > Rivka Sherman-Gold
> as an israeli, i agree completely that the bible is perfectly readable
> and understandable to a present-day speaker of the laguage. i am not sure
> whether this argument alone suffices to eliminate the possibility that
> hebrew disappeared completely and later was revived. but there is plenty of
> evidence this was not the case.
> i should also add (all from memory) that the absence of written documents
> in
> some communities (even well before the 10 century) was compensated by
> emissaries whose sole profession was to memorize part of the text
> (Torah as well as talmud) and recite it. i think at some point they
> were called MA(E)GIDIM. correct me if i am wrong, but this practice
> was in effect as early as talmudic time and as late as hassidic time,
> both in israel and in the diaspora, mostly restricted to the rabbinical
> schools.
> i can only guess they recited the torah in hebrew and the talmud as in the
> original (a hebrew-aramaic mix), and doubts were settled between the
> communities using the internet predecessor (SHU"T). whether they also
> cleared their throats in perfect hebrew, i do not know...
> [aramaic also fell out of favor between the greek and roman occupation,
> ceasing to be understood by the average jew. but if i recall
> correctly, the aramaic needed for reading most of the talmud is
> minimal and is restricted to a small number of "logical implication
> words" which were easily memorized by the students.]
> this state of affairs complements, rather than contradicts, the obvious
> need,
> formed by large groups both within and outside the jewish community, to
> translate the torah to other languages. as a non-expert, i do not enter the
> question whether this translation occured before or after a hebrew written
> complete text was produced.
> nir cohen
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