Jewish-Languages Mailing List

August 2001

Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 16:42
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: Tuesday 1:45pm: meeting at World Congress of Jewish Studies

Thank you to everyone who sent ideas about where and when to meet. It
seems that the best time is Tuesday lunch, which is at 1:45pm - 3pm. And
it seems that the best place to meet is the cafeteria by Wing #8 of the
Humanities Faculty (at Har Hatzofim). Any Jewish Language researchers are
welcome, and it will be a good chance for us to meet.

See you then,
Sarah Bunin Benor

Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 22:08
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: World Congress of Jewish Studies

Next week is the big conference in Jerusalem, and I think it would be good
to have a get-together of Jewish language scholars. Those of you who will
be there- when is a good time and place to meet? Maybe Tuesday lunch?
Tuesday dinner? Wednesday lunch? I figure we can meet in a cafeteria and
push some tables together.

-Sarah Bunin Benor

Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001 11:39
From: <jochnowitz @>
Subject: Article: Hebrew, Modern and Biblical

This article from
has been sent to you by jochnowitz @

A Hasidic family in Lithuania?

Hebrew, Modern and Biblical

Sunday Q & A appears in this section weekly. Readers are invited to
send in questions about national or international affairs; those
selected will be answered by Times correspondents who specialize in
those issues. Information about submitting questions appears below.

Hebrew, Modern and Biblical

Q. What is the difference, if any,
between biblical and modern Hebrew?

A. Gustav Niebuhr, a national religion correspondent, responds:

Actually, in the past 3,000 years, there have been four varieties
of Hebrew — biblical, rabbinic, medieval and modern. Modern Hebrew
is the language of the state of Israel, revived more than a century
ago by a true linguistic pioneer, Eliezer Ben- Yehuda.

Born into a Hasidic family in Lithuania, he moved to Haifa in the
1880's, where he founded an early Zionist organization. One of its
principles was restoring the Hebrew language.

Today's Hebrew contains vocabulary and grammatical elements from
the language's biblical roots, said Dr. Alan Cooper, a professor of
Bible who holds a joint appointment at Jewish Theological Seminary
and Union Theological Seminary in New York. Israelis, Dr. Cooper
said, conjugate verbs according to rules laid down in biblical

But the modern language's syntax is post-biblical. And what is
spoken by Israelis today also includes words derived from languages
of other countries, in Europe and the Middle East, from which Jews
have emigrated.

That points to the fact that modern Hebrew is dynamic. Perhaps
unsurprisingly, the Israelis maintain a watchdog institute over
their language, a bit like the French.

It is called the Academy of the Hebrew Language, said Dr. Cooper,
who added, "It regularly issues what you might call white papers,
in which they suggest new vocabulary and sometimes decry errors
that creep into the language."

Send questions by e-mail to sundayq&a @ , or by mail
to Sunday Q & A, The New York Times, 229 West 43rd Street, New
York, N.Y. 10036. Those of widest interest will be selected, but
unpublished questions cannot be answered individually.


Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001 12:14
From: "George Jochnowitz" <jochnowitz @>
Subject: Fw: Subject: A Lithuanian Hasid

Dear friends,
After sending you the Q & A section of today's New York Times, together
with my question about Ben-Yehudah having been a Lithuanian Hasid, I
looked him in in the Encyclopedia Judaica and found that his father had
been a Habad Hasid.

I forwarded the article not because I wondered about the religious
allegiance of Ben-Yehudah's family but simply because the question of
modern Hebrew has appeared on our list.

It occurs to me that once upon a time (1996), I reviewed Benjamin
Harshav's Language in Time of Revolution in the AJS Review (Vol. 21,

George (Gershon) Jochnowitz

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 16:31
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: Website

Tsuguya Sasaki and I will be updateing the Jewish Language Research
Website in the next few weeks. If you have not yet sent me your
information, please do so before September 3.

As a reminder, the format should be like Seth Jerchower's, which is
printed below. By the way, thanks to Seth for his continuing work on
maintaining the archive of this list


Sample Entry:

Seth Jerchower

-Academic Affiliation
University of Pennsylvania, Universität Freiburg


-E-mail Address (optional)
sethj @, jubal33 @

-Website URI (optional) (webmaster)

-Area(s) and Language(s) of Interest:
General linguistics, linguistic theory, syntax, phonology,
socio-linguistics, dialectology, historical linguistics, corpus
processing, character set development; Judeo-Italian, Judeo-Greek,
Judeo-Romance languages, Judeo-X languages, Romance languages, Latin,
Indo-European languages, Semitic languages, Genizah studies, Masoretic Studies, Liturgy.

-Areas/Languages of interest listed with books and/or papers (published or unpublished):

Jerchower, S. 2000: Judeo-Italian, article in The Encyclopedia of the
Renaissance, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2000.

Jerchower, S. 1998: Hypertext publication of I Trionfi by Francesco

Jerchower, S. 1993: La tradizione manoscritta giudeo-italiana della
Bibbia, Doctoral Dissertation, Università degli Studi di Firenze, 1993.

Jerchower, S. in progress. MS Parma 3068, Judeo-Italian Translation of
Prophets: Text, Phonology, Grammar, Lexicon, Syntax (Dissertation,
Universität Freiburg; expected in 2002).

Jerchower, S. forthcoming. A Descriptive Grammar of Judeo-Italian
(LINCOM Europa, Munich).

Jerchower, S. forthcoming. Judeo-Italian Kinot for the 9th of Av,
Corfiot Rite - critical edition (LINCOM Europa, Munich).

Bible - History of Printing:
Jerchower, S. 1991. La Bibbia a Stampa da Gutenberg a Bodoni,
contributor and editorial consultant, 29 entries. Biblioteca
Mediceo-Laurenziana, Florence, 1991.

Jerchower, S. 2002: "Jüdische Kultusgemeinde", article in Der neue
Pauly. Enzyklopädie der Antike (in publication).