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Syriac, Arabic, geography, etc.

Reader comment on item: Poll: Israel Victory Gains Strength
in response to reader comment: Motke: Magdal Shams is no doubt Syro-Aramaic and it is not an Arabic name

Submitted by Motke (Israel), Nov 8, 2018 at 14:29

Hi, DNM!

Sorry for not replying earlier: I was swamped with work.

(So it's best that I reply in several small comments instead of finding the time to write a single giant one ;-)

> > Druz village مجدل شمس (whose Wikipedia
> > page says name originates in Aramaic (not Arabic)).
>
> The name is not Arabic and the reasons are:

Yep, I figured مجدل isn't naturally Arabic when I saw that google's results contained nothing much more than names of towns in the Levant.

> if you have a Masdar (verbal noun) that has
> a letter meem prefix then the word is more
> likely a loan word from Syriac, because this
> grammatical construct is not common in Arabic.

(Ah, masdar meemee. I learned of it just a few days ago (when trying to figure out why my dictionary didn't list the singular form of مزاعم).)

> Notice that the word شمس or Shams lacks the
> Arabic language definite article ال or Al which
> makes it either poor Arabic syntax/grammar

Interesting point.

> BTW the root GDL [..] also means pleat/weave

(In Hebrew too. E.g., /gdilim/ are the fringes of the tzitzit.)

> The word Great in Syro-Aramaic
> is ܪܲܒܵܐ or Rabba not gaddol and in
> Arabic it is عظيم or 'Azim not gaddol

(Right. Hebrew has these roots as well (RBB = numerous, AZM = huge/numerous/mighty, KBR = huge/mighty).)

> The real tragedy of the Arabic language and
> Islam is that Arabs believe in the doctrine
> of al-Jahiliyya and that Islam is a new start
> when in actual fact history and languages
> are about continuity

Yep. If it were just about the language, so be it. But this mindset is also about history/culture, and this causes a lot of suffering. E.g., in Iraq they teach in schools that their native Christians are foreigners[1]. This sets the stage for their horrific persecution. In the case of Jews, Israelis are seen as European ("khazar") colonialists who popped up on the land in the 20th century with some re-invented language. This makes peace impossible.

[1] https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13193/iraq-christians-annihilation

Othertimes it's merely funny. Take humus, for example. It's mentioned in the Bible and Talmud already. Yet when Arabs learn of Israelis eating humus they become indignant (or livid), accusing us of "stealing their foods".

Or /istinja/. Or charity. They tout such things as Islam's exclusive gift to the world, ignoring the fact that others had it before them.

(Judaism, in contrast, never claimed that knowledge started with Mount Sinai. E.g., Issac studied at Shem and Eber's. Speaking of which, and of Iraq, and of town names, and of history denied: it's interesting how things pop up in surprising places: I was reading a bit about Fallujah on Wikipedia (in the context of the Iraq war) and came upon "The region played host for several centuries to one of the most important Jewish academies, the Pumbedita Academy, which from 258 to 1038 along with Sura (ar-Hira) was one of the two most important centers of Jewish learning worldwide". Alas, nothing of this remained after Islam came. Nothing but destruction and depleted uranium.)

Submitting....

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