[b-hebrew] FYI: Aramaic study

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Wed Dec 29 12:46:47 EST 2010

Hello Yigal:

You make some good points.

1. I stand corrected about מלל .

2. But let's move to the next relevant word in numbers 36:1:

a. hebrew: הנשאים ; and

b. aramaic: רברביא .

I can anticipate your response that hebrew enjoys a similar root word to the
above aramaic word. I would observe however, that we are not describing a
person reading and examining the written text, slowly at 0.5 miles per hour.
Rather we are talking about a person on the street or in synagogue hearing
the words stream together at 35 miles per hour. That difference presents a
distinction in my humble opinion, especially when all the nuanced
differences in words and verb conjugation (however, similar they may appear
in print or on reflection) become considered. I just don't see a person
fluent in hebrew capturing spoken (versus written) aramaic.

3. I can understand how continuing research may invalidate older texts of
history. But has time and research invalidated this author's monumental


I don't think so. And likewise, the writings of Moses Segal and Meyer Waxman
enjoy a lot of continuing vitality today, despite the passage of time and
the discovery of new facts, such as dead sea scrolls.


fred burlingame

On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 11:02 AM, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>wrote:

> Fred, you're doing what Jack did earlier. In this case, quoting a history
> written in the 1940's as if it is the last word on the history of the Hebrew
> language. As far as your example below, the root MLL meaning "to speak" is
> not uncommon in Hebrew. For example, Gen. 21:7, Ps. 106:2. It is actually
> the source of the very common noun Millah, meaning "word". So that anyone
> fluent in Hebrew would have no problem with that particular Aramaic word.
> Yigal Levin
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:
> b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of fred burlingame
> Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 6:05 PM
> To: Paul Zellmer
> Cc: Hebrew
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] FYI: Aramaic study
> Hello Paul:
> I call your attention, by way of example, and not limitation, ... to two
> corresponding words; one in hebrew and one in aramaic in the verse in
> question, numbers 36:1.
> a. the hebrew: וידברו ; and
> b. the aramaic: ומלילו
> The pronunciation of these two words resemble one another, not. The fluent
> hebrew speaker, who cannot speak aramaic, will experience zero
> comprehension
> of the aramaic vocalized here.
> And I also observe that some people aside from fred, do disagree with Jack
> as to the usage of aramaic in judah in 10 a.d. This author of
> jewish history contends hebrew, not aramaic, represented lingua franca on
> the streets of judah at that time. see page 681 of the link.
> http://books.google.com/books?id=JlqjTTlHMjoC&pg=PA680&lpg=PA680&dq=moses+segal+language+of+ordinary+life&source=bl&ots=sAkoz7n9-6&sig=3kIAl5ynFWiduR0FVIsZfDuwjjk&hl=en&ei=40IbTa2HIIL_8Abjn7CzDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=moses%20segal%20language%20of%20ordinary%20life&f=false
> regards,
> fred burlingame
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