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dhimmi no more: about "Rising", etc

Reader comment on item: Poll: Israel Victory Gains Strength
in response to reader comment: Motke: What is the Hebrew word for "Rising, standing, resurrection"?

Submitted by Motke (Israel), May 30, 2019 at 18:24

Hi, DNM!

I'm sorry for not replying sooner. Life has turned a bit hectic for me. Your posts are very interesting.

>
> May be I'm missing something here. The Jewish
> Aramaic, as well as in Syriac, word for "standing,
> rising, resurrection" is ܩܝܡ or Qayim (compare
> with قاءم [...] And yes I see an א or ܐ in added
> which would be similar to Arabic قاءم or قايم
>
> My question is: What is the Hebrew equivalent?

In Hebrew:

"he is rising / has risen" = /qam/ (spelled قَم)
"rising" (noun) = /qima/
"stature" = /qoma/
"resurrection" = /tquma/
"exists" = /qayyam/

(My dictionary says the (Hebrew) root is Q-W-M. But you never get to hear this 'W' as a consonant.)

There are also a few Aramaic phrases we use in Hebrew, like /bar qyama/ = "sustainable, durable", /qayma lan/ = "we accept that...".

But for the other words you listed we use different roots:

"[he is] standing" = /عomed/ (cf. Arabic's عمود)
"resurrection" (more common) = /tحiyya/ (cf. Arabic's تَحِيَّة)

Now, back to Aramaic:

The word /qa'em/ ("[he is] standing"; spelled ܩܐܡ, not ܩܝܡ , BTW) also has a grammatical function in Jewish Aramaic:

In the Babylonian Talmud, /qa/ (short for /qa'em/) often precedes a verb to denote a continuous action, or to refer to an action that was already mentioned.

(In the Jerusalem Talmud (Galilean Aramaic), /qa'em/ is used instead of /qa/, but it's used much less, and only for the 1st function I mentioned.)

>
> More? How do we know that the word cave
> in Arabic is not معارة? After all the
> ductus of the Qur'an lacked the nuqat
> [...] I guess we will never know

Yes, there's a lot we'll never know :-(

As happy as I am bashing Arabs & Arabic with you, I'm afraid we're standing on the wrong side of "the world of academia" ;-)

Linguists say that old Semitic languages, having evolved from "Proto Semitic", had separate ع and غ, and ح and خ. But with time these consonants merged. Arabic kept them distinct.

In the 3rd or 2nd centuries BCE, the Hebrew Bible was translated to Greek (the Septuagint). Based on the way names of people and places are transcribed in Greek, linguists opine that Hebrew still distinguished between these consonants at the time.[1]

And what about Aramaic?

I don't know, but the Talmud contains the following interesting story[2] (It's Aramaic, written in Hebrew letters, but I used an on-line tool to convert them to Syriac letters, as I guess you're more comfortable with them):

ܕܗܗܘܐ ܒܪ ܓܠܝܠܐ ܕܗܘܗ ܩܐܙܝܠ ܘܐܡܪ ܠܗܘ: ܐܡܪ ܠܡܐܢ, ܐܡܪ ܠܡܐܢ؟ ܐܡܪܘ ܠܝܗ: ܓܠܝܠܐ ܫܛܝܐ, ܚܡܪ ܠܡܝܪܟܒ ܐܘ ܚܡܪ ܠܡܫܬܝ , ܐܘ ܥܡܪ ܠܡܝܠܒܫ ܐܘ ܐܝܡܪ ܠܐܝܬܟܣܐܗ؟

(Note: ܩܐܙܝܠ means ܩܐ ܐܙܝܠ, as explained above. And the ܝ in it signifies /e/ vowel.)

Translation:

A Galilean was walking and announcing: "Who has AMR? Who has AMR?". People replied: "You Galilean fool! Do you ask for حAMAR (donkey[3]) to ride or حAMAR (wine[4]) to drink? عAMAR (wool[5]) to wear or ءIMAR (goat[6]) to slaughter?"

The Galileans (those living in the Galilee region, north Israel) are rebuked here for not pronouncing guttural sounds correctly (because of Greek influence, probably).

E.g., they didn't distinguish ع from ء (and from ه‍).

But what about "donkey" and "wine"? These words are pronounced about the same (in Aramaic; we're not speaking about Hebrew here), so what is the Talmud complaining about? According to Jastrow[6], the speaker didn't pronounce the vowels correctly (short vs long). According to others, it's just that these two words were indistinguishable from the other two.

But these explanations seem lacking to me, because of the way the story arranges the words. (Note: the punctuation marks are mine, though, as the Talmud hasn't them. They could change the interpretation.) So I suggest that perhaps in old Aramaic "wine" was pronounced خAMAR (even though it was written with ح).

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghayn
[2] https://www.sefaria.org/Eruvin.53b.3
[3] https://www.sefaria.org.il/Jastrow%2C_חֲמָר.1?with=all
[4] https://www.sefaria.org.il/Jastrow%2C_חֲמַר_III.1?with=all
[5] https://www.sefaria.org.il/Jastrow%2C_עֲמַר_III.1?with=all
[6] https://www.sefaria.org.il/Jastrow%2C_אִימַּר.1?with=all

(Apropos pronunciation: I stumbled upon a few youtube videos showing young Syriac speakers. They weren't pronouncing the ع and ح like in Arabic. This surprised me. Is this normal? And do they distinguish between the stop/fricative variants of ܒ ܓ ܕ ܟ ܦ ܬ ? )

>
> Q9:30 says: قالت اليهود
>
> Notice that the word قالت [...]
> it is in the feminine form [...]
> How did this happen? If we check the word Jews
> in Syriac it is ܝܗܘܕܝܘܬܐ or ihudaiuta
> Notice the "ta" at the end of the word

Interesting. Thanks.

(The conventional explanation is that a verb preceding a collective noun (يهود) can be either masculine or feminine, right? I typed "قالت العرب" into google and also got results.)

>
> More? al-Mufasereen tell us that the
> word امي means: unlettered when in fact
> the word امي must be a loan word from Syriac
> [meaning] non Jewish and non Christian

Do you mean that "Muhammad is ummi" was originally meant to say that he's to be regarded as a prophet belonging to non Jewish/Christian nations? (And that therefore Muslims shouldn't try to convert them?)

That'd be a very nice idea! (and it'd concur with the concept of "أهل الكتاب".)

(BTW, the other day I watched a video in which a "Quranic Muslim" derided the notion that Muhammad was unlettered.)

‎> امي must be a loan word from Syriac
> (as well as Hebrew. No?) ܥܡܡܐ or 'Amma
> [mean] non Jewish and non Christian

Hebrew has both ء-M-M and ع-M-M, with the basic meaning of "nation, people". These words mean "non Jews" in certain phrases. E.g., the Talmud mentions a few non-Jewish prophets: "Seven prophets prophesized to the /ummot/ of the world: Balaam, Job, ...". Looking at this sentence, your theory doesn't seem to be far fetched. Perhaps the term was used by the early Muslims, who knew enough Jewish theology, to lend legitimacy to Muhammad's prophesying (as if saying: "He was sent to preach for the /ummot/, for the benefit of the world at large, so you Jews should regard him favorably").

Pheww! that was a long post.

Submitting....

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