Druze in Syria and Beyond

Nov 10, 2014 by

[The re-publication of this post, originally written in October 2013, was prompted by the film Arabani about the Druze community in northern Israel, which I’ve recently seen at the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival. The film...

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Hebrew proven to be the “original language” by a deaf pers...

Jun 13, 2012 by

A curious article at the Jewish Deaf Multimedia website claims that Hebrew (Ancient or Biblical Hebrew, that is, which is not the same as Modern Hebrew) has been proven to be the “original language”, that is “the first language to ever exist”. How was it proven? And is it actualy true?

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Aspiration in New Julfa Armenian

Apr 19, 2012 by

A couple of days ago, I attended a very interesting talk by Sebouh Aslanian on New Julfa Armenians and their trade networks, stretching from Amsterdam to Manila in the Philippines. New Julfa is an Armenian settlement in Isfahan,...

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A man and a woman…

Nov 23, 2011 by

[Thanks to Joel M. Hoffman for his inspiring pieces in the Jerusalem Post Glamour of Grammar column on “The birds and the bees” and “Girl people and boy people”. The title of this post alludes to the the...

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Buried treasures of Cairo Genizah

Nov 14, 2011 by

In earlier posts I’ve discussed a number of ancient manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and Novgorod birch bark documents. But it is scholars of Semitic languages that have been particularly blessed with a cornucopia of...

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The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Oct 7, 2011 by

In the previous posting, I discussed the discovery and significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, five of which have recently been digitized and made available online. But the Dead Sea Scrolls are an important archaeological find not only...

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