Thursday, January 21, 2010

Introduction To Bible: The Order, Chapters, Text & Vocalization of the Bible

The Adept is a brilliant man who allows me to disseminate his Torah so long as I don't reveal his name. If you know his name, I'd appreciate it if you also refrained from revealing it. In order to understand the following notes, you MUST HAVE a copy of Tanakh with you (and an online Tanakh will not cut it.) It is preferable that you have the Koren Tanakh (the standard one, in layperson's English) in addition to another kind so that you can compare and contrast the two as indicated. As usual, these are my notes and any and all mistakes are mine. Prepare to have The Adept blow your mind. (And if you learn anything, you really ought to donate something to Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, because they are flipping awesome.)


The Order of the Biblical Books

There's a passage in Mesechet Bava Basra where the Talmud details the order of the books of the Torah. Open up to Bava Basra 14b. Now, first they list the order of the books of Tanakh: Bereishis, Shemos, Vayikra, Bamidbar, Devarim. So far so good. But now notice this statement:

ת"ר סדרן של נביאים יהושע ושופטים שמואל ומלכים ירמיה ויחזקאל ישעיה

Now take a look at your Tanakh. What comes after Melachim (The Book of Kings) in your Tanakh?

*insert our minds boggling* Isaiah! Every Tanakh in our class is against halakha. Now I will cite you from the Rambam to Hilchos Sefer Torah 7:15:

טו מותר לדבק תורה נביאים וכתובים בכרך אחד, ומניח בין כל חומש וחומש ארבע שיטין, ובין כל נביא ונביא שלוש שיטין, ובין כל נביא ונביא משנים עשר שלוש שיטין--שאם בא לחתוך, חותך. וסידורן של נביאים, כך הוא--יהושוע, ושופטים, שמואל, ומלכים, ירמיה, ויחזקאל, ישעיה, ותרי עשר; וסדר הכתובים--רות, ותילים, ואיוב, ומשלי, וקוהלת, ושיר השירים, וקינות, ודנייאל, ומגילת אסתר, ועזרא, ודברי הימים.

There's no machlokes in the Gemara: the unanimous opinion is that Jeremiah comes before Isaiah. It's also in every edition of Shulchan Aruch. Look at Yoreh Deiah, RP"G, Chapter 283, Siman Hey (5). (רפג – שיכול לדבק תורה נביאים וכתובים יחד )

סדרן של נביאים יהושע שופטים שמואל מלכים ירמיה יחזקאל ישעיה תרי עשר וסדר הכתובים רות תהלים איוב משלי קהלת שיר השירים קינות דניאל מגילת אסתר עזרא דברי הימים - it's a pesak halakha that says Jeremiah, then Ezekiel, then Isaiah. And in every manuscript of haftoros ____.

The Adept is pointing out something that should trouble us! We have to figure out who preserved the manuscripts, printed Tanakh. etc.

The same beraita in Bava Basra says regarding Kesuvim that the order is: סידרן של כתובים רות וספר תהלים ואיוב ומשלי קהלת שיר השירים וקינות דניאל ומגילת אסתר עזרא ודברי הימים

Now look at Tehillim in your Tanakh. The class sees that at least some of us have Tanakhs which have the order of Tehillim, Mishlei and then Iyov. The Adept notes that only 2 major Tanakhs have a different order. He cites the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, which has everything the way we said it (is based on the Leningrad manuscript.) And if you look at the order of Kesuvim in your Tanakh, what order do you have? Some people in the class (including me) have the Koren Tanakh. Thus, our order is Shir HaShirim, Rus, Eicha, Koheles, Esther but nothing that accords with the order we are supposed to have. Others in the class with fancier Tanakhs have different orders.

So even in terms of ordering the biblical books, there's significant variation. Now let's look at the chapters of the biblical books.

The Chapters of the Biblical Books

Please open your Tanakh to Genesis 31:55 in the Koren Tanakh. You have that verse. Others in the class have that as the first verse of Chapter 32.

Now look at Jeremiah 30:25 in the Koren Tanakh. You have that verse. Others in the class have that verse as Jeremiah 31:1.

Chazal, of course, knew no chapters. The Tanaim and Amoraim knew Tanakh by heart and thus knew where things were. These chapters are not of Jewish origin. They appear in no Hebrew manuscript. These are Christian in origin. There's much more in Tanakh that is Christian in origin, so you have to be careful (regarding what you are reading.)

The Adept gave us a handout, but there weren't enough copies so I don't have it. (This is a shame, as otherwise I could have scanned it. For the record, the edition I assume The Adept was using isn't in Gottesman Preserve (all the other volumes are) but only in the Rare Book Room, and currently that room's locked. Even if I come back before 5:00 PM on Monday, I'm doubtful they'll let me photocopy it. So someone else in my class should please provide me with the scan.) Thanks so much to the wonderful guy who scanned this for me! Courtesy of our anonymous friend, you can all understand what I am referring to now. Here is the handout:
Modah L'Bina Masoretic Summary Bereishis

In any case, this handout is a page from the end of Sefer Bereishis that comes from the Chumash Modah L'Bina in a rare & out-of-print 19th century version. And in the middle of the page on the right it gives you the sikkum pesukei d'sefer Bereishis. And it tells you as follows: There are 1534 verses in Bereishis. Now see how it gives you this statement: אך ל"ד סימן? So the gematriah of אך is 1000 for the aleph plus 500 for the chaf. And ל"ד is 34. So this is a סימן to remember that there are 1534 verses in Bereishis. And the middle point of these pesukim is Genesis 27:40. And there are 12 parshiyos. What do they refer to when they reference parshiyos? They mean: Bereishis, Noach, Lech Lecha, etc. Now it says: זה שמי לעולם is a סימן. You see, זה is the gematriyah of 12 and thus a sign for the 12 parshiyos. Next it states that there are 43 סדרים. What does that mean?

Those of you who have a Koren Tanakh, please open it up. Now, you will notice that there are two sets of chapter numbers in the Koren Tanakh. That's because one of these sets refers to the sedarim of the Baalei HaMesorah and the other refers to the Christian chapter divisions. The number of the sedarim of the Baalei HaMesorah in Sefer Bereishis is 43 (see how there's a מג there?)

(Adds The Adept: And that's why it's a mitzvah to own a Koren Tanakh even though it is far from the best edition.)

Returning to this page from Moda L'Bina: it says here that there are 29 peskitos. What's that? Look at Genesis 1:5. Look at the verse. You see that little vertical line after the words וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים ? What is that line? That's a pesikta.

And then it says (per the Baalei HaMesorah) that there are 50 chapters. And there they are referring to the Christian chapters!

Now look at the bottom of the page. The editor who is publishing this Tanakh is astounded by what he just read. His name, adds The Adept, is Wolf Heidenheim. He published the best Machzor & Siddur and is one of the great Baalei HaMesorah of Frankfort. So he said: "Many people have no idea how to read this paragraph. They don't know what sedarim are because no edition of Tanakh mentions this. Here I'll inform you of what it's all about." (He gives a history of where the chapters came from in the Latin Bible. Basically, Jews had to have public debates with Christians and had to respond to Christians with exact references, thus the use of Christian chapters.) Heidenheim discusses the true chapter divisions, aka the 43 sedarim that belong to the Baalei HaMesorah.

(The Adept went into a fascinating digression here about the mistakes people make when they assume things are from Sinai, but I can't repeat it without publicly shaming a Gadol. I don't think The Adept would like me to do that, so if you want to know about it, you can ask me to email it to you. I'm going to refrain from making the information available forevermore upon the Web.)

In case we are ever on a quiz show and need to know, Jerome helped invent biblical chapters and Stephen Langton perfected them. All of this is discussed in The Canon and Masorah of the Hebrew Bible.

The Text of the Biblical Books

Please open to Deuteronomy 23:2. Look at the verse.

ב לֹא-יָבֹא פְצוּעַ-דַּכָּא וּכְרוּת שָׁפְכָה, בִּקְהַל יְהוָה. {ס} 2 He that is crushed or maimed in his privy parts shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD.

If you have the Koren Tanakh, you've got the word 'daka' spelled with a 'hey.' Everybody else has an aleph. The question is: Which one is right? This can make the Torah pasul! These aren't small matters.

Please open up to Mishlei 8:16. Look at the verse.

טז בִּי, שָׂרִים יָשֹׂרוּ; וּנְדִיבִים, כָּל-שֹׁפְטֵי צֶדֶק. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

Here, some of you have the verse ending with the word 'tzedek.' But others have the word 'aretz.'

Look at I Samuel 30:30- there's a list of towns there.

ל וְלַאֲשֶׁר {ר} בְּחָרְמָה {ס} וְלַאֲשֶׁר בְּבוֹר-עָשָׁן, {ס} וְלַאֲשֶׁר {ר} בַעֲתָךְ. {ס} 30 and to them that were in Hormah, and to them that were in Bor-ashan, and to them that were in Athach;

If you have the Koren Tanakh, you will see that verse says 'BECHOR Ashan,' while others have 'BeVOR Ashan.'

Here's a fun one. Look at Joshua 21:35-36. Some of you have 'm'mateh Gad' but others have 'm'mateh Reuven.' And if you have the Lublin edition of the Mikraos Gedolos (aka the one with the navy blue cover) you have two whole extra verses there!

The Vocalization of the Biblical Books

Let's look at Jeremiah 11. The differences here are legion. Verse 11:2, for instance, either has v'dibartem or v'dibartam depending on your Tanakh. That's a difference between singular or plural! That's a tremendous difference!


So we've raised the issues. But how to resolve them? For that we have the readings on this section which will provide the background material to answer this. The first readings are:

1. C.D. Ginsburg, Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible (London, 1897; reissued: New York, 1966), pp. 779-976.

2. M B. Cohen and D.B. Freedman, “The Snaith Bible -- A Critical Examination of the Hebrew Bible Published in 1958 by the Brtitish and Foreign Bible Society,” HUCA 45(1974)97-132.

3. M.H. Goshen-Gottstein, ed., The Hebrew University Bible: The Book of Isaiah — (Jerusalem, 1995), English section, pp. xi-xlviii.

4. M. Cohen, “(Hebrew) Mavo LiMahadurat HaKeter” appended to “Mikro'ot Gedolot HaKeter: Yehoshua/Shofetim”, Ramat Gan, 1992, pp. 1-100.


Since the advent of printing (which was approximately created in 1415), you would think the text would be frozen and yet you see that is not so! The ultimate goal of the Baalei HaMesorah was to preserve a perfect copy of Tanakh. Printing should have accomplished this goal but it didn't.

The most important reading of the four mentioned above is C.D. Ginsburg's. He was a meshumad and a pretty good scholar. It's worth reading his books. The late R' Yaakov Kamenetsky in his Emes L'Yaakov quotes C.D. Ginsburg. And don't think he didn't know he was a meshumad! R' Kamenetsky, whenever he had a doubt about vocalization, etc, looked at C.D. Ginsburg Bibles.

What Ginsburg properly recalls is that all printed bibles simply reflect the manuscripts. The manuscripts differed from each other (some were poor; others were better) and printers added printers' errors to add to the mess. There were many first printed editions of Tanakh that were based on terrible manuscripts. The great turning point came in 1524/ 1525 when the Venice Edition of the Mikraos Gedolos was published. It has masoretic notes (which are crucial.) There, for the first time, the editors made a deliberate effort to gather together many manuscripts of Tanakh in an attempt to publish the perfect copy. And that's the model for our Tanakh nowadays.

The Baalei Mesorah would write notes saying how many times certain words (like for example ays vs. es or David with a yud vs. without) would appear in Tanakh and the spelling thereof and would list the places for you. So a sofer writing every book of Tanakh will know that they did this for every word of Tanakh!

We are fortunate to be living in the 21st century. For the first time, Jews are becmoing independent, have their own printing houses (don't have to answer to the Russian cencor, etc.) They can try to publish the perfect copy of Tanakh. Of course, that means one must determine which manuscripts are trustworthy and which are not.

(For those of you who are going to say holchim achar ha'rov, the rule is that you ONLY follow the majority when you are not sure. You only do it when you are not certain. It is a last resort! When we do know which manuscripts are better, we want to focus on those. For example, if we had a manuscript authorized by Rambam, that would be much better than the majority. You could have a sofer who copies poorly who floods the market, etc, so majority means nothing.)

Deliberate attempts were made to produce perfect copies of Tanakh. The best editions of Tanakh are:

1. The Hebrew University Bible Project (they're publishing every book of Tanakh per the best manuscripts.) They read every manuscript just to check who is a sloppy scribe/ who are the best scribes (you can tell this by looking to see which manuscripts have correct or incorrect spelling, pesukim repeating or left out, etc.) They have columns giving every variant reading in Chazal, then every variant reading per the good manuscripts, etc. The one drawback is that they are functioning for about 60 years and yet they've only finished Isaiah, Jeremiah & Ezekiel. At this rate they will not be finished until the Messiah comes.

2. Bar-Ilan's הכתר which publishes a wonderful text of Tanakh, the masoretic text, and some of the mefarshim as well. (Menachem Cohen is in charge of this and they've put out about 15 volumes.)

The only thing that rivals these texts are actual copies of the Aleppo Codex or Leningrad Codex. (No other Tanakh, including Breuers, is based on one single text.)


Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Juxtaposed to 'the best editions of Tanach', how about 'the most useful desktop/classroom editions of Tanach' ? I think many people might still say the Koren Tanach, and I'll throw in a vote for Rav Breuer's 'new' Horev Tanach.

MYG said...

Great post!

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...
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הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Beneficial post.

A few הערות:

Order: Yeah, our order is better than in the Christian bibles, but it's still way off. I think it'd make sense to order them a little more chronologically. For example Ezra and Nechemia happened after the last event in Divrei Hayamim. The only problem is we try to order them by levels of sanctity, not chronology.

"His Wolf Heidenheim"- Heindenheim knew where it's at.

"so if you want to know about it, you can ask me to email it to you"- I want you to email me! I find it hard to believe there's any "gadol" thinks the numbering or order is "from Sinai".

"He was a meshumad and a pretty good scholar"- Unlike Kugel..

"Vocalization of the Biblical Books"- Excuse my um....but I cant imagine reading the Tanach on any serious level using that absurd Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew. All the great Hebrew biblical poetry would just get mangled by it. I'm not mandating differenciating between chaf's and chet's, but I think the Israeli pronunciation, or stressing the ends of words at the very least can be of great assistance in making the Tanach sound....a little more reasonable. I mean, I can't imagine Isaiah pronouncing Hebrew like some Litvish Rosh Yeshiva...

Lion of Zion said...


why are HUBP and bar ilan better than the breuer edition? (i'm talking about the actual text; obviously bar ilan has mefarshim and masorah and HUBP has the apparatus)


hebrew u. published a newer edition of r. breuer than horev

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Thanks Ari for that heads up. I'll have to look at the Hebrew U. edition when we're in Israel for Pesah or over the summer.

Chana, you last two posts 'osim li tov balev'. ;-) Many of my students were completely confused when I taught some of these things. The little that I knew. That's how I got my Breuer Horev Tanach. A student gave it to me as a gift after I taught a bit about variances.

Thanks again from the hinterland! Out here in the boonies these posts are a ray of missing light.

Chana said...

Lion of Zion,

I don't know the answer but if you email me, I can tell you who you should ask to find out!


No problem and you're welcome, though of course it's not like this is my Torah- tis my prof's! I'm happy people read and learn. Tis a party.

MDJ said...

Dotan's edition of Tanach, as well as the Biblia Hebraicas (more or less) are based on a single edition -- Leningrad. This is why MJ Bernstein preferred that his Intro to Biblical Exegesis use the old Tzahal Tanachs (which were Dotan's) to Koren.

Also, to Shlomo, you might want to exercise your imagination a bit. with the exception of issues of milra/milel, which, at any rate, are a feature of colloquial, but not liturigcal, ashkenazi Hebrew, those who punctuated Tanach almost certainly sounded more like Ashkenazim than Israelis. And as for Isaiah, he may not have sounded like a litvish rosh yeshiva, but he didn't sound anything like a sabra either.

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

I've got my old Tanach from Tzahal. It isn't useful for learning at all. At the very least, I think a Tanach should be printed with the same divisions as written in megillot. The Tzahal Tanach may be good as a reference or comparative text, but not for working 'inside' the sefer.

Unknown said...

siddur tehillat hashem at the end has the order of the Neviim thus:

Yehoshua Shoftim Shmuel Melachim Yirmiyah Yechezkel Yishaya Hoshea Yoel Amos Ovadia Yonah Micha Nachum Chavakuk Tzephania Zecharya Malachi

may not connect to the conversation

nice post!

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Tzahal gives out bogus Tanachs. It people Tanachs with the same intention the American army gives people bibles; that it probably won't be read.

MDJ: First of all, I think I kind of look at Chana in the same way Chabad look at Jewish kids on campuses; ripe for evangelizing. Since she's part S'faradi I'm always trying to ignite that "pintele sfardi" in her!

But I don't mean davka using an Israeli or S'faradi system of nikkud, it's just that if stern girls decide to spend all their time in biblical studies they should have a pretty good understanding of Hebrew language and grammar, and that is usually taught in the Israeli accent in America. So when someone is "still" using "suf"s instead of "tav"s you get the impression it would be impossible for them to grasp the beauty in the tongue of G-d.

MDJ said...

Fair enough for someone who signs his name S"T. However, I think your bias against those of us who are proud of our Ashkenazi heritage and believe that liturgical hebrew should still be pronounced with as full a set of vowels and consonants as our forefathers did, is unfortunate. Some of us even know dikduk. As for the beauty of the Hebrew language, try reading bialik with your mivta. Finally, given that dikduk is based on biblical hebrew with Tiberian nikkud, to which Ashkenazi is closer than Sefardi or Israeli, one could argue that it is easier to grasp dikduk if one speaks with Ashkenazi mivta.

BTW, the current "bogus" Tzahal tanachs are Koren. But you seemed to be referring more to the motivation than to the tanach itself.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

So when someone is "still" using "suf"s instead of "tav"s you get the impression it would be impossible for them to grasp the beauty in the tongue of G-d.

Why not go all the way and say all of us who don't use "thow"s give the impression that it'd be impossible for us to grasp the beauty, etc.? Maybe you get that impression, but that's your fault.

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating! The Adept continually amazes me, and please email me the digression. Thanks!


הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

MDJ: Fine. Just G-d man, don't make it sound like English! I mean, there were a lot of S'faradim who used an extremely distinguishable kamatz. It's fine as long as it sounds like it came out of the Middle East and not Brooklyn! (Or as long as it DID come out of the Middle East and not Poland...)

"try reading bialik with your mivta"- ...Bialik was Ashkenazi, and his poetry was intended for the Ashkenazi accent. As an aside, it's said that Bialik once said "I don't hate the Sfardim. I hate the Arabs. Because they remind me of Sfardim!" שר"י

"the current "bogus" Tzahal tanachs are Koren"- I didn't know. Either way, they're tiny!

Steg: The thing is, like I said to MDJ here, Hebrew language, as a living, USED language, is usually taught in the Ashkenazi-Israeli or S'faradi-Israeli pronunciation. Therefore, whether someone is using a Yemenite OR an American-Ashkenazi pronunciation, there's a stronger likeliness that they don't have the strongest grasp over ancient Hebrew biblical poetry.

I think I want to post about this now...

Lion of Zion said...


"I can tell you who you should ask to find out!"

what is your email?

btw, ginsburg lists 8 variant orders for tanach books that he found

MDJ is correct regarding dotan and biblia hebraica. (another btw, when kahle moved biblia hebraica away from a mikraot gedolot-based text he really wanted the keter. but the aleppo community wouldn't grant access and thus he used leningrad


unless you are *really* into these things, i wouldn't spend the dough on hebrew u. edition of breuer if you already have the horev (which itself is a newer edition of his mosad harav kook edition). and the horev ed. is nice because it has an appendix on reading, which is lacking in hebrew u. ed.

"At the very least, I think a Tanach should be printed with the same divisions as written in megillot."

what do you mean?

Lion of Zion said...
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Lion of Zion said...


"Tzahal gives out bogus Tanachs.

you may prefer one edition over another, but why refer to the tzahal tanach as "bogus"? dotan put a lot of effort into it.

"It people Tanachs with the same intention the American army gives people bibles; that it probably won't be read."

1) i think it's fair to say that a large percentage of idf recruits are dati or masorati (with a lower case mem), with the percentage even higher in combat units. you think they never read tanach?

2) i've never been in the military, but supposedly funny things happen to aethists in foxholes. (there is a very moving sentence about this in sarna's intro to his tehillim book.) so who knows who uses the tanach and who doesn't.

"So when someone is "still" using "suf"s instead of "tav"s you get the impression it would be impossible for them to grasp the beauty in the tongue of G-d."

i personally use a MIH pronounciation for vernacular purposes and a modified MIH for leining/davening. personal biases cause me to dislike traditional ashkenazi pronounciation (although i've much mellowed out in this regard), but i still don't understand why her use of suf prevents her from appreciating hebrew texts? you think tav/saf is uniquely ashkenazi feature?

out of curiosity, why are you so proud that you are a sefardi tahor?

MDJ said...

Lion (And Shlomo, perhaps),
There was a long post on Seforim blog, I think by Mark Shapiro, about the S"T signature. The conclusion, IIRC, was that it probably meant Seifei tov ("may his end be good"), not Sefardi Tahor. That said, it is overwhelmingly a sefardi signature.

Lion of Zion said...


i had forgotten about that post. thanks for reminding me.
but that isn't what shlomo meant by s"t.
i just don't understand why anyone today would be proud that they are sefardi tahor (or ashkenazi tahor, for that matter)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Lion: "you think they never read tanach?"- It's obviously a bit hard to say, but I don't think the average guy going into Jenin has time to read through Melachim Bet for the first time..

"i personally use a MIH pronunciation"- What in G-d's name is "MIH"? Why even use a term which many have never heard of? I'm guessing it's "Modern Israeli Hebrew".

"you think tav/saf is uniquely ashkenazi feature?"- ...don't you? I don't know of many S'faradim that used "suf"s.

"why are you so proud that you are a sefardi tahor?"- I could write a whole blog about that! Now, this is a somewhat radical opinion, but it's because I feel that most negative influences and innovations in Judaism came from the European Jews. ..which is only part of my greater Orient-central theory that "Occidentalism" is unideal... So the samech tet is a way of representing that I idealize my ancestors of the golden age of Spanish Jewry and that I had no hand in those negative influences! No offence though dude, it's about ideology more than race.

MDJ: Yes, it meant different things to different people who wrote it. Some wrote "סי"ט", which obviously doesn't stand for ספרדי טהור, so..

And for the record, her current post using the spelling "Hora'at Sha'ah" might be due to my influence!

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Just wrote a post about this nonsense..

MDJ said...

1) My point about about Bialik is that one can appreciate the beauty of Hebrew with any mivta, something you seemed to deny. Furthermore, even biblical hebrew is arguably better appreciated with Ashkenazi mivta, as I pointed out earlier.
2) your initial comment really amounts to saying "An ashkenazi mivta is uneducated", which is pretty bigoted. But based on your most recent post, I'm not sure you'd deny that.

Lion of Zion said...


"but I don't think the average guy going into Jenin has time to read through Melachim Bet for the first time"

i personally have never served in the military so i can't presume to know what soldiers do during any down time.
but on the subject of jenin, the son of my madrich was killed in the Battle of Jenin in 2002 (st. sgt. matanya robinson) and i certaily wouldn't be surprised if he was learning melachim bet or saying tehilim (that's in tanach also) during any lulls in the fighting.

"I'm guessing it's "Modern Israeli Hebrew"."


"it's about ideology more than race."

as i see it, racial pride is pride in where you come from. ideological pride is where you're going.
S"t strikes me as more of the former than the latter.
(and unless you've imbibed a lopsided view of history, ashkenazim and sefardim both have highlights and things not to be proud of)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...


"one can appreciate the beauty of Hebrew with any mivta"- Personally, I sort of enjoy the slang-like Hebrew usage within Yiddish of my native Boro Park, but that doesn't mean that's how Moshe Rabeinu spoke.

"biblical hebrew is arguably better appreciated with Ashkenazi mivta"- Actually sort of depends on what you mean by "Ashkenazi mivta", as there is much variation.

"An ashkenazi mivta is uneducated"- I "could" be educated, but usually isn't. Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilnius for example, was an expert in grammar, yet used the Ashkenazi pronunciation.


Most Israelis...don't go to battle "lishma" (I just saw the Ha-Hesder movie, so..).

"racial pride is pride in where you come from. ideological pride is where you're going"- I don't know friend. In a way, background and ideology work hand-in-hand. A man descended from William Butler Yeats is more likely to be interested in poetry than...R. Akiva Eigers...or the Bahavad Gita. I know this rule isn't true for many people, but for people proud of their lineage, the past is a guide to the future. Am I making any sense?

(Also, forgot to mention before, my ancestors have been signing their names ס"ט for centuries, so..).

Anonymous said...

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