[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Josephus & DSS

>>My Hebrew still has a long way to go, but I think (?) that Ya'akov
was called "ha-Tzadiyk," not "ha-Tzeddek"?  The former connotes the filling
of a relationship or b'riyt.  I'm not aware of any implication in the title
peculiar to the Therapeutae.<<

<Actually, that's 50% correct.  the adjective is indeed ha-tzaddiq (tzedeq 
is a noun!) but the bearer of that title is not Jacob but Joseph.>

Since the Hebrew grammar turned out as I thought, it's 100%.  It was 
Ben-Yosef Ben-David who was the first N'tzarim paqiyd and called "ha- 
Tzadiyq."  Jack, and/or you, are confusing him with some Yosef I'm not 
familiar with among the Essenes in Y'rushalayim.  Who is the Yosef you're 
referring to?

>One more point:  idiosyncratic transliterations are very hard to read.  So
here are some helpful hints for the future:....  Also, it's important to 
differentiate the two letters kaf and qof by using k and q respectively. 
Otherwise some readers may be bum-steered as to the spelling.<

	You've convinced me relative to kaf and qof because, in addition to 
your argument, it is just as effective in preserving something more likely 
to be pronounced closer to the Hebrew spoken word.  I'll do my best to 
remember to change my spell checker, change my habit in this respect, and 
adopt this change, as it really does seem better in all respects.
	I don't transliterate idiosyncratically because I don't 
transliterate.  I phonemicize.  These aren't the same and shouldn't be 
expected to be the same.  I stress pronunciation over spelling.  Most 
laypersons couldn't find v'hamiytO in a dictionary regardless of how it was 
transliterated because they don't know how to break out the SHOResh or the 
mode construction.  But at least by phonemicizing it they would be far more 
likely to pronounce it intelligibly so that a Hebrew speaker would 
immediately recognize what they're talking about.  Since a Hebrew speaker 
would immediately recognize their pronunciation I have trouble understanding 
why phonemicization represents a problem, while the problems with 
transliteration are obvious.
	Where spelling and vowelization of a word is a pivotal dispute 
transliteration is more understandable.  In such rare cases I'd resort to 
simply spelling the word out (pey - kof - yud - dalet) and giving the 
vowels, points and cantillation.  However, the words I've used are not in 
dispute that I'm aware of.  Scholars know how to spell these words.  But how 
many readers can pronounce the scientific encryptions that have no meaning, 
neither oral (which supports phonemicization) nor written (which would be 
Hebrew -- only indirectly via decryption of transliteration), except to the 
scholars?  Though not comfortably fluent yet, I read, speak, and translate 
Hebrew, yet I find the scientific transliteration bears no semblance to 
Hebrew words and too alien to Hebrew to bother decrypting.  Most Hebrew 
isn't vowelized, so encrypting vowels and other nuances in English letters 
just makes a nearly unintelligible mess that requires decrypting even by 
someone fluent in Hebrew.  It's easier to go get a book and look up the 
Hebrew, followed by "Oh, THAT'S what they're transliterating!"
	Yirtzeh to most non- Hebrew- speaking laypersons you ask will be 
pronounced YURTZ-eh and Kippur will be pronounced KIP-per; both of which 
mangle Hebrew.  While perhaps not your convention, it's transliteration we 
have to think for a radio announcer wishing Jewish listeners "Happy 
TchaNOOKah!"  (kha-nuk-AH -- probably the first time many will pronounce it 
reasonably accurately).  Mispronunciation is also invited by paqid (PACK-id, 
or PAKE-id).  The use of doubled letters also evokes different rules of 
pronunciation in English than in Hebrew.  Tzaddiq would invariably be 
pronounced TZADiq, perhaps leading to confusion with TZEDiq (S'phardiy / 
Israeli pronunciation) -- particularly since the Teymaniy pronunciation of 
this noun is TZADiq.
	These are rules English speakers most generally apply to pronounce 
the written word.  It doesn't seem productive to me to use a system that, 
when said to an Israeli, would prompt the Israeli (of any era) to reply 
"There's no such word as that in Hebrew."  Particularly since both Tan"kh 
and Oral Law place the greater emphasis on the spoken word.  An English- 
speaker would have a far better chance of communicating with the same 
Israeli trying to pronounce pa-QIYD.  All they need to know is about six 
rules that _always_ apply: "iy" is always pronounced as "ee"; "a" is always 
pronounced as in father; "ay" always like "eye"; "ey" always like the a in 
sale; "u" always like "oo" in poor; "e" alone always like in Ted) -- the key 
is _always_ -- and they're up and running at least understandably.  If one 
knows Hebrew, what problem is there in _spelling_ paQIYD, kiyPUR, yiyrTZEH, 
etc.?  Grade schoolers here known how to spell these words.  It's not like 
we're disputing how to communicate v'ham-iyt-U vs v'hem-iyt-O.  Even with 
these there's no doubt which is which either in the Israeli dialect (above) 
or in the older and more authentic Teymaniy dialect: v'hawm-iyt-U vs 
v'ham-iyt-O.  Certainly lay readers can read, and pronounce, these 
phonemicizations much more accurately than the transliterations.
	Even the Teymaniy (with one exception), Bavliy and S'phardiy 
(Israeli) pronunciations are simple to communicate recognizably with 
	I recognize that phonemicization doesn't communicate every nuance or 
pronunciation, much less spelling, but it's immediate likeness to spoken 
Hebrew, in contrast to the decryption process necessary to bring 
transliteration into some semblance of the spoken Hebrew words, does bring 
the proper pronunciation of Hebrew into the realm of the recognizable for 
most English- speaking laypersons -- something which cannot be said for 
transliteration.  Scholars are already familiar with the spellings while 
laypersons, and, I suspect, often not the scholars either, can derive proper 
pronunciations from transliterations that a Hebrew- speaker would easily 
recognize.  Particularly since I often see Jews visiting Israel speaking 
something or other that no one here is able to recognize until they write it 
down.  Though you may not have this problem, many others do.
	I look forward to the day, as I'm sure you will, when we can simply 
write the Hebrew on Internet.  There is already a capability here in Israel 
but it isn't compatible with all platforms.  In the meantime, I remain 
persuaded that, in most cases, phonemicization is MUCH more important than 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Yirmiyahu Ben-David, Pakiyd 16; Ra'anana, Israel
K'hiylat Ha-N'tzarim
(Global Congregation of Nazarene Jews)

N'tzarim Virtual Community Center:

N'tzarim... Authentic
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *