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Re: DSS in Hebrew, not in Rashi Script

On Mon, 21 Oct 1996, Rochelle Altman wrote:

> On Mon, 21 Oct 1996, Niels Peter Lemche wrote:
> > Dear AVigdor,
> > 
> > I thought the name was Frankruhl - at least that name is given by my 
> > word processor for what I would call a classic square printed 
> > typeface.
> > 
> > A lot of confusion here?
> The "confusion" is the result of copyright laws. While computer font
> (screen and printer) names sometimes come perilously close to infringing
> copyright,  they are never the exact same name as a typeface font. These
> names and designs, both print and computer, are protected.
> In any case, isn't "Hebrew" Naveh's designation for the square DSS 
> script? And, isn't it just a bit anachronistic to refer to the scroll
> scripts by modern names? 
> Rochelle

Dear Rochelle,
Hebrew is nlt "Naveh's" designation of the DSS Hebrew Script.  I think 
that everyone who knows HEbrew wouold call the script Hebrew.  ONe must 
note, however, that the script used in Qumran and in the vast majority of 
HEbrew documents from the second period until the present is not the 
origijnal HEbrew script.  That one is still used by the Samaritans and 
was used in an occasional dead sea scroll and some other later 
documents.  The script used now and since the nd temple period is a 
derivative of the Aramaic script.  The Rabbi's called it Ashurit 
(Assyrian) because, so they say, Ezra brought it back from Ashur.  The 
paleo-Hebrew script of the firs temple period was called ketav da'ats or 
ra'ats- neither term being of a know mening and etymology.

One may argue in favor of calling the HEbrew script "Aramaic" or Ashurit, 
but it would be a purposeless debate.  Everyone knows what is the 
meaning, ane when there is room for confusion proper corrective are 
added.  IN summary, the Hebrew language has been written in two major 
forms- paleo-Hebrew in the first temple period, and Ashurit in the second 
temple until the present.  Teh RAshi script which was the topic of 
discussion is a special form of Ashurit adapted for economically and 
densely writing rAbbinic commentaries in the margins of works. SInce 
Rashi wrote the major commetnary on the Talmud and the Bible, and since 
these commentaries were printed in the specialized script and since they 
were popular, they received the name Rashi script.  Rashi did not use 
it.  ONe may call non-Rashi script block-Hebrew, and there are numerous 
variations just as there are variations to the Latin alphabet.
Avigdor HUrowitz

> PS: Copyright infringement on font design is something with which I am
> intimately familiar...  I've lost track of how many of my computer font
> designs have been pirated. (All the pirate has to do is to add a hairline,
> or increase internal whitespace, etc. I've even run across a Bitstream (c) 
> design pirated as is... and on a major project!) 
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