[b-hebrew] Yodh-Yodh

TedBro at aol.com TedBro at aol.com
Wed Jun 30 17:09:18 EDT 2010

I've been wondering for a long time how yod-yod came to be shorthand for  
The Name. Does anyone on this list have an answer?
Ted Brownstein
In a message dated 6/30/2010 4:36:56 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
yitzhaksapir at gmail.com writes:

On Tue,  Jun 29, 2010 at 3:38 PM, Jason Hare wrote:
> Yitzhak,
>  So, since יְיָ is a common representation of the Tetragrammaton in
>  some religious literature, the vowels of this shortened form were
>  imported into the Leningrad Codex? That would indeed make sense, but I
>  hadn't seen that explanation before I read this message (I've been
>  kinda ignoring some of the messages in these threads and have filtered
>  Dave's e-mail to the delete bin, so I must have overlooked it). Thanks
>  a lot, Yitzhak.
> Jason Hare
> Rehovot

Hello  Jason,

I got this idea when I realized there was a shorthand for Elohim  too.  A
while ago, I got books on the early Piyyut.  This has to  do with my thesis
that the Hebrew language survived as a spoken language  for a very
long time, due to the survival of a large agrarian population in  the
Galilee in these conditions.  The farming villages in the Galilee  survived
from the Second Temple period down to the Crusades, and this  puts
the time frame where I want to see additional evidence for the  survival
of Hebrew as a native spoken language.  To this end, I felt  early works
on the Piyyut could furnish linguistic evidence from this  theorized spoken

Anyway, one of the works on the Piyyut --  מחזור פיוטי יניי לתורה 
ולמועדים --
contains the following in a piyyut on Ex  31:1-17:
כי כשמך כן תהילת / וכל הנקרא בשמך ייקרא .. / ... אותך / 
... ממך /  זה שמך לעולם
ומכל נעלם / ואראלים לא חקרוהו / ושרפי (מעלה) לא ידעוהו 
/ שמו  יי
וכינויו אים / ועדי עד ייקרא יי
זכרו בשילוש קדושות

The editor,  Zvi Meir Rabinovitz, writes in a footnote on אים:
The opinion of the paytan  is that Elohim is a כינוי and so it seems from 
Barayta in Shavuoth 36a  תנו רבנן איש איש כי יקלל את אלהיו etc.

So, Rabinovitz apparently reads  the shorthand אים as referring to אלהים
This אים is transcribed with two  dots on top just like יי is earlier on 
the same
verse transcribed with one  dot on top.  On this basis we can explain then
not just the two vowel  (schewa-qamats) tradition for Adonai but also the
two vowel tradition of  vocalization of the tetragrammaton as Elohim.

But still, it is just an  idea of mine, a working explanation for  that

Yitzhak  Sapir
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