[b-hebrew] Takhrir and Shikhrur

Will Parsons wbparsons at alum.mit.edu
Mon Nov 21 21:24:58 EST 2011

On Tue, 22 Nov 2011 00:31:37 +0200, Yigal Levin <Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il> wrote:
> I have not checked this, and since I'm sitting at the food court of the
> Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco at the moment I have no way to
> check, but I think that the root of Tahrir is cognate to the Hebrew XRR (Het
> Resh Resh), from which we get the Mishnaic Hebrew Herut and "Benei Horin"
> (free men). I don't recall this root in the Bible.
> I think (but am not sure) that "Shihrur" is a modern form, using the binyan
> Shaph'el, common in Akkadian but not in Classical Hebrew, but very much used
> in Modern Hebrew (Shakhpel - replicate; Shakhtev - rewrite; Shadreg - up(or
> down)grade; and so Shahrer - make free).
> Karl is of course correct that Hebrew SH is often paralleled by Aramaic
> T. This is also true for Arabic, and thus Hebrew Shnayim (two) is Arabic
> Tneyn, Aramaic Tarten; Hebrew Shalosh (three) is Thalath and so on. I don't
> know enough Arabic grammar to know what binyan Tahrir is, but it's obviously
> related.

Yes, related in that they have a common root, but not superimposable on each
other.  I.e., there is no correspondence between the initial ש/sh in Hebrew
and the initial ﺕ/t (ta) in Arabic.  Rather am Arabic ﺙ/th (tha) corresponds
to Hebrew sh.  So, Hebrew שנים/shnayim corresponds to (modern) Arabic tneyn,
but only because the latter is a development from Classical Arabic
ﺍﺛﻨﺎﻥ/(i)thnaan.  So, since the initial letter of ﺗﺤﺮﻳﺮ/tahriir is ta rather
than tha, it doesn't correspond directly to Hebrew shin.

> On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM, Uzi Silber <uzisilber at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Greetings fellow Tanakh aficionados:
>> During the Arab upheaval in Cairo's Tahrir Square, reportage always
>> translated 'Tahrir' as 'Liberation'.
>> Now Tahrir does resemble the Hebrew 'shikhrur' which also means
>> liberation.  I suspect the two are indeed linguistically related.
>> Are they? Please advise.  If indeed 'T'  would be substituting for
>> 'Sh', are there other examples of this particular substitution in the
>> Mikra? I do know there are other letters that substitute for each
>> other.

William Parsons

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