Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Hebrew languages/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2
This page is an Archive of the discussions from WikiProject Hebrew languages talk page (Discussion page).
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(January 2004 - December 2004) - Please Do not edit!

Start: Joining

I have started the WikiProject. Considering I'm a novice at WikiProjects, I would appreciate some aid and input. - Gilgamesh 08:05, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hi. I would love to help with this project. I can help enter in lexicons, etc. I think some are available public access at www.sephorim.org. In particular I have a few ideas about how the internet could be used for language study. Something akin to Origen's Hexalpa, but 1000X more powerful. We should start a listserv( yahoo groups? ). --Jjzeidner 08:27, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sure, add your name to the list of participants on the project page. This project needs all the constructive input and article work it can get. - Gilgamesh 08:31, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hebrew languages and Canaanite languages

I have a thought — how should this project associate with non-Hebrew Canaanite languages? Should a project such as this encompass those other languages as well (and probably need a name change, at that), or would they be better covered under a subject such as the Phoenicians or ancient Canaan? It is established that the languages spoken by Hebrew and Canaanites in ancient Canaan were very similar, if not the same. (But keep in mind that this is purely scientifically attested to be a linguistic relationship, not an ethnic or cultural one, though there have been many debates on that subject.) - Gilgamesh 08:39, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

also accomidating Amhari and Geez would probably be interesting. Something I would like to get involved with. --Jjzeidner 09:41, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps, if you know enough about them. I mean, even though they are not Canaanite languages, they are languages spoken by Hebrew peoples. In the same sense, we could include Judeo-Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Ladino and Yiddish. My personal study is Canaanite languages, though I know far more about the Hebrew dialects and far less about the non-Hebrew dialects spoken by ethnic Canaanites, and at the Phoenician ports and by the Punic peoples. - Gilgamesh 17:57, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

A separate Afroasiatic or Semitic WikiProject might be interesting at some stage... any takers? - Mustafaa 20:31, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sure, you take it on, and I wouldn't mind signing up, though I can't say my experience in wider pan-Semitic linguistics studies is nearly as good as yours. :) Then, as a child language family, this project can be a child project of that. BTW, I'm gone till Tuesday. - Gilgamesh 21:02, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Related background discussions about this new Wikiproject

Please see the following as it has been the reason why this project was commenced by User:Gilgamesh:

Thank you. IZAK 09:01, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Actually, this was Zestauferov's idea, and I decided to endorse and promote it. Before that, I hadn't given much thought about such a WikiProject. - Gilgamesh 09:06, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • Ok then, be that as it may. IZAK 09:11, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Now seemed as good a time as any to establish the project. (I'm still not talking to IZAK. I'm merely posting under the established subject header. I feel he is free to contribute here as far as he is constructive. In anger and total frustration, I said some rather unchristian things to him, which I believe to have been true, but should probably not have been said in a diplomatic situation as this is supposed to be. It will probably be best if I do not talk to him at all, as our personalities seem to clash at every turn.) - Gilgamesh 09:20, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • I honestly feel that User:Gilgamesh is over-reacting and I am not worried by anything he may have or not have said. I think he is mistaking solid debate and discussion for something else and personalizing words that are only meant to elicit the truth and attain clarity so that Wikipedia can best serve all its members and readers. IZAK 09:27, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thoughts Regarding Science and Theology in Article Data

What follows is my point of view. I think that for the sake NPOVing an article, the scientific method — completely detached from both endorsement and condemnation of religion — is the most NPOV approach, because it is based on empirical evidence and counter-evidence. It is true that many religions dispute parts of science or the scientific method altogether, but if everyone tried to force unscientific beliefs — which I should emphasize may or may not be true (but where fact, rather than truth, is relevant to science) — then we would never agree on anything to put in the bodies of articles. Therefore, the most neutral and heavily-argued scientific fact should come first in articles. But additionally, different religious viewpoints can be annotated as viewpoints, to help the reader not only understand the science, but also the socioreligious position surrounding the science, as well as wholly religious alternatives to the scientific answer. With all this harmoniously structured in an article's content, everyone is by average offended the least. There's no way we will please everyone, so just forget about it. Let's just use our collective support and make sure the toothpick can stand balanced without falling over. Now, in the case of Hebrew linguistics specifically, science says they are Canaanite languages, and many religious scholars say that Hebrew is the original cosmic language. Okay, so there's no reason both points can't be conveyed: science as empirically attested, and faith as adherently believed. I suspect some people may still be dissatisfied with this arrangement, but any greater compromise would knock down the toothpick. - Gilgamesh 04:24, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • Some (counter) observations:
  • This is not about the manufacture or balancing of "toothpicks". This is also not about "endorsement and condemnation of religion", no-one is endorsing anything here (how could they, this is Wikipedia with thousands of editors), we are just concerned with the facts, the truth, and clarity, to help arrive at good information and knowledge.
    • It is a fact that Hebrew is the language of the Hebrew BIBLE and the Hebrew Bible was written in one Hebrew language (except for the brief sections in Aramaic which is also the language of the Zohar and Talmud).
    • It is a fact that the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) is first and foremost a 2,000 - 3,300 year old "religious" text, directly and primarily connected to Judaism which is very clear (and science need not affirm that, as it would clearly be a waste of its time). Later, Christianity added the New Testament written primarily in Greek so it is not germane to this discussion.
  • Today it is the Jews and Judaism that are most commonly associated with the Hebrew language which is viewed by most people as a "Jewish language".
    • The debate about the "universality" of Hebrew occurs mainly within mostly Secular (Both Jewish and non-Jewish) academic circles, and within some religious groups who may have their own idiosyncratic views about Hebrew in order to validate their self-belief in Supersessionism (the traditional Christian belief that Christianity is the fulfillment of Biblical Judaism, and therefore that Jews who deny that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah fall short of their calling as God's Chosen people).
  • From Wikipedia article on Science: "Science is both a process of gaining knowledge, and the organized body of knowledge gained by this process. The scientific process is the systematic acquisition of new knowledge about a system. This systematic acquisition is generally the scientific method, and the system is generally nature. Science is also the scientific knowledge that has been systematically acquired by this scientific process." Thus note: It is nature which is science's primary objective, not religion.
  • It is only in very recent times with the advent of the notion of Scientism which wishes to corrupt pure Science and make it into the servant of a secular civil "religion" with its own "beliefs" which is clearly not the business of pure science at all, and should be rejected by all Wikipedians as a Stalking horse for Atheism and even anti-religion which would be a clear-cut case of a prejudiced POV, no less than one steeped purely in "religion" would be.
    • Everyone on Wikipedia should ask themselves: Is it Science or Scientism that is attempting to apply "Scientfic methods" to everything, trying to measure Biblical narratives by the same yard-sticks as a Mickey Mouse Comic book even when it's clearly a case of over-reaching the bounds of what science should and can do.
  • By definition, pure science (from the root "scio" "to know"), should concern itself only with that which is knowable, like atoms, cells, and chemicals, and even these are not fully knowable with their literal dangerous Atomic and Nuclear powers rooted in Light and Energy. ("Let there be light!" anyone?)
  • However, in the case of the Social sciences, and our subject here falls under one of its classes of Linguistics one needs to tread very carefully, as other more complex factors and truths must be considered and which alone are bound to be of limited value at the risk of becoming a Pseudoscience, especially when studying what is primarily a spiritual Biblical Category:Jewish texts and the prime repository of the Hebrew language which unavoidably deal with esoteric matters such as God, miracles, and prophets etc (accepted by many Jews for thousands of years, as well as by billions of Christians and Moslems), and about which there is no "ultimate" agreed upon science to speak of, but which cannot be ignored by Wikipedia as it desires to describe and explain all things, including religion. There is of course the modern controversial Documentary hypothesis of Bible texts, which does not detract from the fact that the texts remain "Biblical" and are written in the Hebrew language which is a factual given constant.
  • It is a fact that the Hebrew Bible records the histories of Cananaites, ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, etc and it is clear that it is the the only comprehensive on-going reliable source of information about other cultures such as Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites that would never have been known were it not for the Hebrew Bible's carefully kept record of facts.
  • In the case of any other language, by all means use any method available to arrive at conclusions. But, because Hebrew is the language of the Hebrew Bible, as well as of other comprehensive classical Jewish texts such as the Mishnah, the Biblical "Oral Law" which is two thousand years old, it is impossible and foolish to believe that it can be "completely detached from ... religion", as that would then only convey a miniscule part of the totality of all the facts and the complete truth, and Wikipedia is here is here to convey the totality of that information.
  • Finally, one needs to remember that Hebrew is also a modern spoken living language in the Jewish State of Israel. IZAK 06:18, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Structure, Hierarchy, Name

Hi. I propose the following basic guidelines for structure and hierarchy, which I put up for discussion here before actually adding them to the project page. Please let me know what you think. At the end, a comment on the plural name.

In brief, I suggested organizing the scope of this project in two basic directions:

  • A. Major Forms of Hebrew
  • B. Hebrew as a Semitic Language

At much greater length, here are comments on both directions:

A. Major forms of Hebrew

There is more than one way to classify the main types of Hebrew, but the overall picture is rather clear and agreed upon. Perhaps the most useful system (and in my opinion the clearest for readers) is to divide Hebrew into four basic types:

  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Mishnaic Hebrew (lashon hakhamim or lishna de-rabbanan)
  • Medieval Hebrew (the system invented for presenting medieval scientific concepts in Hebrew, with obvious close parallels to terminology in medieval Arabic. I wonder why this has been completely ignored so far on wikipedia)
  • Modern Hebrew (which draws elements from all three earlier types of Hebrew)

This four-part division is the one proposed by the late Yehezkel Kutscher. Note that none of the various "Hebrews" that we have discussed so avidly recently (Tiberian Hebrew, Samaritan Hebrew, Standard Hebrew...) are on this list. I think this is partially because people are not being careful enough to distinguish vowelization and transliteration systems (which are signs) from real changes in grammer, syntax, and usage (which distinguish significantly different types of Hebrew).

To say, for instance, that a Modern Hebrew dictionary with vowel points is using "Tiberian points" is correct; to say that it is "Tiberian Hebrew" is ludicrous. To classify "Tiberian Hebrew" as a language is incorrect: It is not a language, but rather a particular oral tradition of pronunciation, apparently with ancient roots, for Biblical Hebrew. These same vowel points were only somewhat later applied to texts other than the Bible. The Hebrew of the Samaritan Bible is likewise Biblical Hebrew - what else could it possibly be?

(Transliterations: I still remember the days when our professors for Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic made us transliterate words and verses, point for point. There was a pedagogical and technical reason for this, and it really helped us learn. To this day it helps me read academic writing, but that is exactly the point: Even serious academic writing uses the "scientific" transliterations with varying degrees of rigour; it depends on the topic, context, particular journal, and most of all the habits of the writer. Transliteration is a tool, not a "language". In my opinion, since we have the technical option to do so, I think the people who really want to be rigorous about this would do far better to simply type in Hebrew with the vowel points than to use a more or less rigorous "Tiberian" transliteration. It is far easier to use the actual Hebrew points - and far more people actually know them! - than to input the transliteration; in my opinion it is also more useful to the reader. However useful, however, neither transliterations nor actual Hebrew should be overused in articles written in English!)

Despite its variations (whether four or another number), Hebrew is one language. It never died historically. Its various types are far more closely related to one another than are modern European languages to their medieval antecedents. It deserves respectful study as a living language in a living people (a people that lives it in all of its "types").

B. Hebrew as a Semitic Language

Here is the place for discussions about the ancient origins of Hebrew and its classification. And also about mutual borrowings and influences between Hebrew and related languages throughout history.

Here is also the place to discuss the origins of Hebrew as seen through the prism of the Jewish tradition, which may (or may not?) be difficult to reconcile with the academic view. (Whether or not the former constitute articles of Jewish faith might be an interesting topic in and of itself.)

If people agree, we can make the two-part structure a guide for this project. I also suggest we drop the plural from the name - we are dealing with a single living language and its relationships (near and far) to others.

Dovi 05:30, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

Medieval Hebrew is not ignored — when I established the article, I called it Tiberian Hebrew because I'm more familiar with that name. "Tiberian Hebrew" is a variant name because of the role of Jewish gathering in the medieval city of Tiberias in the standardization of the Masoretic Text and the niqqudot. I suggest either making a Medieval Hebrew article to redirect to Tiberian Hebrew, or moving Tiberian Hebrew to Medieval Hebrew with Tiberian Hebrew redirecting to Medieval Hebrew. - Gilgamesh 05:51, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Boy, that was a quick response! I guess we are online at the same moment; hope we don't run into an edit conflict. To the point: I think we are talking about two entirely different things. Medieval Hebrew has nothing whatsoever to do with Tiberias, niqqud, or the masoretic text. As a language designed to convey Aristotelian science, it is very different from both biblical and mishnaic hebrew. Anyone who reads Hebrew and opens, for instance, the medieval Hebrew translation of Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed can immediately tell that not only are the concepts unique, but even the very language of the book is very "foreign" compared to biblical or mishnaic Hebrew. This applies not just to translations from Arabic, but also to original compositions in this kind of Hebrew. There is an entire literature in this type of Hebrew, a literature that has maintained an important place (though certainly not the central place) in traditional Jewish Torah study, and is a major area of interest in academic Jewish studies.Dovi 06:32, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Then this deserves further study. Having been most immersed in Tiberian Hebrew, I couldn't say for certain exactly what distinguishes it from Medieval Hebrew. - Gilgamesh 07:15, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
(appendix) Standard Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are equivilent, and both redirect to Hebrew language. Samaritan Hebrew is of special concern to the Samaritan sect, and I only used it on articles that I know specifically concern their creed, such as Tribe of Manasseh and Tribe of Ephraim. So, all the forms of Hebrew you advise exist as Wikipedia articles, but under different names — they were all that were available to my studies at the time, though we can fix that. - Gilgamesh 05:54, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
(appendix) I cannot, however, agree that there is only one Hebrew language. At one time there was only one, but now there are two that are well-known to linguistic science. They can be divided into Jewish Hebrew (and I assume you only had this in mind at the time), and Samaritan Hebrew. The Hebrew languages article addresses these both, as well as ancient related forms spoken by Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites (if they were indeed even separate languages at all before their eventual extinction). The reasons for the differences between Jewish and Samaritan Hebrew should probably obvious — schism between the two Temple Periods, as Jews condemned Samaritans as aberrant heretics and forbade them from worshipping at Mount Zion. Samaritans since then have not worshipped at Zion anyway — they worship at Mount Gerizim. Additionally, the Samaritan Hebrew language is not liturgically dead; it is preserved by the two extant well-knit Samaritan communities at Holon and Gerizim. Mustafaa has put significant effort into the Samaritan Hebrew article, including a brief description of grammar and lexical examples. Try reading it, it's fascinating study. - Gilgamesh 06:04, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
If you are talking about anything more than the Samaritan Torah itself, then this is not my area of expertise. I'll take a look at those articles to educate myself.Dovi 06:32, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
I do believe it refers to the Torah, yes. - Gilgamesh 07:15, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
OK, I read it (it was pretty short, but fascinating and extremely well-written). What we have here is a tradition of pronunciation for Biblical Hebrew, along with liturgy (not discussed in the article) composed according to the conventions of that tradition. None of this should be the least bit surprising to anyone. But why should one very important linguistic tradition - important, but one among many - mean that there is or isn't "one Hebrew language"? Once again, the biblical tradition of Hebrew is part of a living tradition that also includes other kinds of Hebrew. But even biblical Hebrew itself there are several different types of historical Jewish vocalization (Tiberias, Eretz Yisrael, Babylon). The Samaritan tradition of reading is another along these lines, but which traveled a unique historical road.
It's not only a difference of pronunciation — Samaritan Hebrew has a variety of different spellings and different ways the verses are phrased. If I could compare any other two languages at the moment, I would compare the differences between Dutch language and Afrikaans language, which closely related but regarded separate for variety of reasons, even impacting intelligibility.
Very wide variations in spelling, pronunciation, phraseology, so wide that they become unintelligible to those unfamiliar with them - all of this is part-and-parcel even within the Jewish versions of biblical Hebrew. Samaritan Hebrew not only doesn't violate this principle, it fits in perfectly with it!Dovi 08:04, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
One final comment on this (I really must get back to real life). Consider Aramaic as an example: Huge variations geographically and historically over thousands of years. And yet there is nothing wrong with looking at the phenomena as whole and calling it "Aramaic language" without an "s". All four historical periods of Hebrew are far more closely related than the many different kinds of Aramaic, and they interact in a dialogue with each other inside a single culture. Even the example cited from outside of that culture - the Samaritans - is so closely related that it only confirms the point. It is a descendant of biblical Hebrew.Dovi 09:30, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Well, that could be something to consider. I suppose the one big reason I've been hesitant to call the project "Hebrew language" is to emphasize that there have been so many traditions. In truth I've met a person here or there who would prefer everyone just forget about older traditions. But as a historical linguist, I find that impossible. And, like Zestauferov might say, it would be like burning a book. However, if there is a concensus that "Hebrew language" would ultimately be better, then I would not oppose renaming this group to remove the final "s". - Gilgamesh 09:51, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
(appendix) Brief list of languages associated with Hebrew. Note that a handful of people (including the loud person in here) dispute this list. Details on the dispute can be described, as well as who disputes the list and who does not. This data is mirrored at Hebrew languages.
I again suggest differentiating between types of Hebrew (one list), and languages historically related to Hebrew (another list)Dovi 06:32, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Well, before dispute from the loud person, I had never known the distinction of Ammonite language, Moabite language and Edomite language as Hebrew languages to be disputed at all. As for languages historically related to Hebrew but universally not regarded as Hebrew, I think that would include Phoenician language and Punic language, which together with these Hebrew dialects form the Canaanite languages family. (Note that the Canaanite language classification has solid foundation in science, even among Jewish scientists, but once again this linguistic association is condemned by the loud person for religious reasons.) - Gilgamesh 07:15, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
We could resolve this whole thing for everyone by simply stating the following: "Many neighbors of the ancient Israelites spoke languages so close to Hebrew as to be virtually indistinguishable from it. This fact is likely related to the biblical view, which regards these nations as related to the family of Israel."Dovi 08:15, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
(appendix) I think it's mostly safe to assume that the Tanakh was written in the Hebrew language when it was one language. But since the Jewish Exile, it has mutated in separate forms and is now not one language. Both the Jewish and Samaritan forms mutated over time to become what they are today. As such, no modern form of Hebrew — either secular or religious — can be regarded as "the original". All languages on earth mutate over time, and Hebrew is no exception. Even by the medieval period, it had been subject to heavy influence from Aramaic and some influence from Akkadian (for instance, most of the names of Hebrew calendar months are mutated from Akkadian loans). - Gilgamesh 07:06, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'm not good at expressing myself in words. It's ironic that I so deeply study linguistics and yet I often struggle with basic communication skills (attributed to autism). I already sent an invitation to Jallan to join this group, since he expresses himself 1000 times clearer than I do. He oozes with structure and I wish he could be here to help me clarify the things I've long been trying to say. Of course, when I make even one mistake, I never heard the end of it from the loud one. Sometimes I think the loud one never understands what I'm saying or doing, even and especially at times when it would seem obvious and clear to me. - Gilgamesh 07:24, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)


"It is a fact that the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) is first and foremost a 2,000 - 3,300 year old "religious" text, directly and primarily connected to Judaism which is very clear (and science need not affirm that, as it would clearly be a waste of its time)."

There is no archaeologic evidence that any of Tanach predates 500BCE nor that there were any "Hebrew people" The "religious" document is Hieroglyphic. The stories wrapped about Torah came with Theos and folks have been babelling about God ever since. There was no ancient Hebrew language that folks just forgot in Babylon. It was largely created in the 1st century CE and does not follow the prescriptions of the Sepher Yetzirah. Instead of 231 "Gates" that result from all combinations of two of the Aleph-Tav, "Hebrew" is based on groups of three of the A-T. This, and the leavening helped to make a spoken language of formulas that describe the human spirit/soul. This leavening(putting air, vowelling) in the bread(group of Hieroglyphs) supports the stories in the Septuagint. And veils the re-ligion(reconnection between mind and body) that the Hieroglyph offer.

  But let's get anthropomorphic a moment and look at how "God" reacted to the folks wanting a king like all the other nations. "Not content with Me? Give them Saul!"  And they were all numbered and Saul's God told him how to handle Palestinian towns which don't turn over their men. Kill women, childre and animals. But all this "happened" before the Assyrian script(called Hebrew) existed. Tradition, good memory we hear.
  So there never was a Saul or a god mad at puppies. But charon believed this poop and acted at the two refugee camps near Beirut, like Begin did at the Arab town in which he killed the women, babies, animals. How else to get Arabs to flee to other armys, leave their land?  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.230.216.248 (talk) 05:51, 18 August 2009 (UTC) 

How many real "Samaritans" are alive today?

Can anyone please supply accurate up-dated figures for the present-day population of Samaritans alive today. The reason for this question is obvious: Is there an quivalancy between the actual millions of Jews who either speak and write vibrant Hebrew with a small unknown insignificant miniscule group of reclusive and secretive people living in a few hidden villages who speak a dialect of what may or may not be "Hebrew" at all? IZAK 07:34, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Approximately 500 between the two communities. The ones in Holon have Israeli citizenship, and the ones in Gerizim have dual passports. But you should know better that sheer modern numbers of Jewish Hebrew speakers does not eclipse a language that is still preserved and regarded as sacred by a surviving well-documented religious group. Do not dismiss a religion as "insignificant" simply because it is small; that is incredibly offensive. And it is Hebrew, for certain. The Samaritans preserved their form of Hebrew as a native language even into the first centuries of the Common Era when the surrounding Western Aramaic had already been the region's lingua franca for centuries before. Even after that the language was never forgotten, and is still a cherished liturgical language in which the Samaritan Torah is written. Between the expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land and the conquest by the Byzantines, Samaritans were the dominant group in the region, occupying the emptied homes left behind by Jews, until the Byzantines crushed their revolt and they started to dwindle. Their numbers were barely a hundred at the beginning of the 20th century, but their population has since rebounded to the 500 it is now. At home they speak either Israeli Hebrew in Holon or Palestinian Arabic at Gerizim, but they use Samaritan Hebrew in their worship. They still gather frequently at Mount Gerizim, and they are very decidedly not endangered. - Gilgamesh 08:09, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The question is numbers, and not their religion. If as you say, they are so small as a people (100 to 500 max), and they mostly speak and use Israeli Hebrew in any case, why include "Samaritan Hebrew" in articles relating not to the Samaritan Bible but to the Jewish Hebrew Bible? Why not then insert Egyptian hieroglyph of the Egyptian language since: "Records of the Ancient Egyptian language have been dated to 2600 BC. It is part of the Afro-Asiatic group of languages and is related to Hamitic (North African languages) and Semitic (languages such as Arabic and Hebrew). The language survived until about 200 AD; its lifespan of some 2800 years makes it the oldest recorded language known to modern man." (From the Wikipedia introduction). IZAK 08:22, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If you notice in essence, I only added one Hebrew spelling to each article. The transliterations are more for modern Jewish, medieval Jewish, and modern Samaritan, where they are relevant. The Samaritans still cherish their language a great a deal, and refer to their patriarchs as Aphrime and Manatch, and that live tradition is worth mention among the distinctive Jewish, Christian and Islamic names and traditions in each theology article. They love their Aphrime and Manatch, let them keep their love unburied. IZAK. (Okay, if you can be nice, I'm referring to you in name and in the first person again. And...I also apologize for calling you "the loud one". And I'm sorry for calling you those labels on the other discussion page, which was not and is not a nice thing to do.) - Gilgamesh 09:51, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The Samaritan Bible is identical to the Jewish Hebrew bible, apart from a few passages dealing with Mt. Gerizim, and of course the pronunciation. - Mustafaa 19:06, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Is Arabic a form of Hebrew?

Can anyone name scientific sources that will show the direct relationship between Arabic and the Hebrew language, as Arabic only spread as a Lingua franca in North Africa and the Middle East relatively later in history with the spread of Islam. According to Maimonides (citation) Arabic is a corrupted form of Hebrew. IZAK 07:34, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'm well aware of the religious positions concerning Arabic and Hebrew, and they are worthy of mention and detailed diligent description, by all proper means. But scientifically Hebrew is regarded as a Northwest Semitic language, and Arabic as a sister group. As such, one could say that Arabic evolved from Hebrew, and Hebrew evolved from Arabic, because at one point in ancient history they were not separate languages. But the Arabic language as it is known is more commonly attributed to tribes in South Arabia (often associated with Biblical Joktan), with the northerly traditional Ishmeelite tribes being assimilants to old South Arabian languages. These various traditional associations of ancestry in Abrahamic religion are a big reason why these languages are called "Semitic", though whether the early patriarchs of Shem themselves spoke an ancestral Semitic language is something that science does not really know, and cannot draw a conclusion for; I'll explain that a little better below. (Science can also not prove that there even was a person Shem, leaving that to the realm of faith and spiritual truths.) - Gilgamesh 08:09, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
But I can say that, based on the most well-accepted historical relations among Semitic languages, linguists often cite a theoretical reconstructed Proto-Semitic language, explaining the most probable origin of similar words in Canaanite languages, Aramaic, Akkadian, Arabic (Old South Arabian), Modern South Arabian, and Ethiopic languages (such as Ge'ez and Amharic). There's actually another article that discusses these issues: Semitic languages and List of Proto-Semitic roots (the latter being the theoretical language I just mentioned). - Gilgamesh 08:09, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
If you think that these language families don't match the family trees of the Biblical Table of Nations, you wouldn't be the first person to observe that — traditional Biblical national lineages do not at all well match the families constructed in linguistic analysis. Personally, from a religious point of view, I don't find this in conflict, as I assume that it would have been common after the Tower of Babel for people to have started speaking one language, but later assimilated to a neighbor's language. This would have been inevitable for issues such as intermarriage and useful skills like bilingualism required for inter-national trade. - Gilgamesh 08:09, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I hope that wasn't too long and complicated for you, I'm being as clear as I can be. - Gilgamesh 08:09, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia naming and signing conventions

  • Please remember to sign all your entries and comments, no matter how brief, with the four tilds ~~~~
  • Please refrain from referring to fellow Wikipedians who have acceptable Wiki-Usernames, by name-calling and using epithets that are less than complimentary Nicknames such as "loud one", and the like, merely because that person is seriously debating you and you may not like it, but it is still demeaning and may even be a sign of latent Anti-Semitism if the intended victim of the name-calling is Jewish.IZAK 08:05, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
This person has got to be kidding... This person is the loud one because he is genuinely very loud and argue with hour after hour, day after day, week after week, without ceasing. None of the other Jewish users have this distinction; Yoshiah_ap, Zestauferov, Woggly, RK, Nyh, they've all been sweet to me, and I am fond of them for this. Besides, Latter-day Saints are staunchly philo-semitic by doctrine; LDS don't even believe Jews are "going to hell" as mainstream evangelical Christians seem to enjoy saying. To pejorate a person's jewishness would be anti-semitism. This is not that — rather, it vents frustration over the other person's tendency to grate nerves of those around him, whether they be fellow Jew, Latter-day Saint or Gentile. (I recall Yoshiah_ap expressing this as well.) Allegations of anti-semitism make me ill. I have only ever had a sense of personal warmth for every Jewish neighbor I've had in my daily life, but I must say that up to this point I've never met a single person in the whole world (yes, I know that implies I've been sheltered, and I wouldn't really dispute that) as utterly caustic in bilateral diplomacy as the loud person I mention. I could make similar accusations about anti-Mormonism, also a serious accusation in itself, but I don't and I won't, because despite our disagreements, I still give this person benefit of the doubt when it comes to him respecting my personal religious affiliations, if not not necessarily personally agreeing with them. He is totally entitled to his reservations, as am I. Also, as per LDS doctrine, I don't even hate him, because that would be utterly wrong. But every time we discuss issues, my sense of frustration never ceases, because we never see eye to eye on anything, and I wish very much that we could find something in common to bring at least a shred of peace to my mind, and his mind as well. I have had too many pounding headaches lately to see him face to face, and until we can do that, I feel more comfortable referring to him in the third person. "Loud one" can only be attributed to my weakness in the face of such extreme frustration, which I do not at all wish to continue harboring, but also does not seem to yet go away. It is a stalemate of disagreement and a frustration on my part that I see no immediate end to. - Gilgamesh 08:25, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Keep this squarely in mind. From my earliest childhood, I was told that I am Ephrathite of Israel, and that Jews are also of Judah and Benjamin of Israel, and that we are brothers and sisters we are commanded to love, closer to one another than to the Gentiles, whom we also love as brothers and sisters but are not as close to us. I appreciate that that is not widely believed nor accepted, and that's perfectly alright with me as I've grown quite used to it. But I must assert that I due to my faith, I have close affinities with Jewish and Samaritan people and Jewish and Samaritan study topics I've encountered. Brigham Young University has bustling upbeat studies of Hebrew language and Torah, as well as modern affinities of Judaism, with plenty of enthusiastic LDS students who want to learn more of a subject they really love. And in contrast, I've met other LDS people who, in various degrees, have totally driven me nuts and I never wanted to talk to them again, and also then I wished I didn't harbor any sense of bitterness. So, to be absolutely truthful, it is extremely offensive for me or one such as me to be accused of possible "anti-semitism", because in my view it would be against myself just as much as it would be against things Jewish, and I am not against either one. I mean, seriously, how would a Jew react if another Jew called them "Nazi"? It would be absolutely abominable. - Gilgamesh 08:51, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Biblical Hebrew (rehash)

After all of the above discussion (Wow!!) how do people react to the following:


Traditions of Biblical Hebrew:

  • Israel and its Neighbors (biblical era)
    • "Many neighbors of the ancient Israelites spoke languages so close to Hebrew as to be virtually indistinguishable from it. This fact is likely related to the biblical view, which regards these nations as related to the family of Israel."
  • Biblical Hebrew at Qumran
  • Samaritan Hebrew
  • Written systems of vocalisation:
    • Babylonian
    • Land of Israel (not identical to "Tiberian")
    • Tiberian (not identical to "Land of Israel")

Dovi 09:15, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

I'm aware of all that. Much of it (because it involves both Hebrew and non-Hebrew people of the same dialect continuum) is covered at Canaanite languages. Southerly dialects spoken by ethnic Canaanites almost certainly existed early on, but fall out of historical mention and record at an earlier time. Therefore, that leaves almost exclusively Hebrew peoples, and their Hebrew languages. But northerly dialects of the Phoenician ports (such as Tyre, Sidon and Byblos) survived into later ages, and then further survived with their colonies at places such as Carthage, Gadir (Cadiz, Spain), etc. For those there is Phoenician languages and Punic language. Punic certainly diverged a lot further in its overseas diaspora, but it is more debatable whether the language of the Phoenician home ports could have been considered a separate language from the Hebrew dialects at all (though there is the documented Sibboleth paradigm that existed, where Phoenicians were included among those who pronounced "sh" as "s"). (I know that Mustafaa who is participating in this project has a deep interest in Punic, he being from the Algerian coast and all, but he also likes Semitic linguistics in general so has a close affinity for all the varieties of Hebrew.) - Gilgamesh 09:28, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not aware of all of that. I had never encountered a Babylonian vowel system before. Are there resources I could read about that? - Gilgamesh 09:54, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Hi. I'm sure there must be an article that discusses this in the Judaica. Nowadays, when it is used at all, it is mostly for targum; Sperber's critical edition of the targum is published with these vowels, and some Yemenite Jews still use them for the Taj. (The Yemenites began to "convert" to written Tiberian vowels for Tanakh as far back as the 12th century, under the influence of Maimonides, who favored the Aleppo codex. But their oral pronunciation for Tanakh still continues to reflect the Babylonian system, not the Tiberian one.) It is not hard to learn; with your background in Hebrew, you could probably learn to read these vowels in about ten minutes!Dovi 10:55, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Wait, I forgot the most important resource (but you need to read it in Hebrew): Yosef Ofer just recently published a magnificant study called "The Babylonian Mesorah on the Torah" which has a huge amount of information on the rest of the Babylonian Tanakh as well.Dovi 11:19, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

This looks great! My only minor quibble would be that "Land of Israel" vocalisation is traditionally called "Palestinian" in English (as in the Jewish Encyclopedia entry. It's actually quite interesting insofar as it seems to be closer to the "modern" Hebrew pronunciations than Tiberian and Babylonian are. - Mustafaa 19:12, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The JE was written in an entirely different era, and far too much water has passed under the bridge since then. The Encyclopedia Judaica (which is a far better reference on any and all topics, but unfortunately copyrighted and unavailable on the internet) changed that policy entirely, and partially because of its influence, most Jewish scholars writing in English today prefer "Jerusalem" or "Land of Israel" for these things. (E.g. Jacob Neusner's multi-volume translation called "The Talmud of the Land of Israel" and not "The Palestinian Talmud"). However, there are many who still use "Palestinain" as a neutral term in academic contexts, and no one thinks twice when it is still called "Palestinian Talmud" either.
That most scholars today use "Jerusalem" or "Land of Israel" is for one reason alone: To most closely reflect and give honor to the age-old Jewish culture they are studying, a culture which distinguishes between two ancient traditions: that of "Bavel" and that of "Eretz Yisrael." There is no "Palestine" in this millenia-old tradition.
On Wikipedia this could become a major Pandora's Box that I hope and pray we will not open. I personally, as a person who deeply repects the tradition he is studying, prefer to use the terms and concepts employed by that tradition ("Land of Israel"). If someone wants to point out "Palestinian X" as an additional English term for this and numerous other things in Jewish studies I have no objection. However, those are only my personal views. I fear, though, that on an open project like Wikipedia, while so much is going on in the political and military arenas that is linked to these terms, it will be extraordinarily hard to use these terms neutrally. I invite others to give suggestions.
I'm not so sure what you mean by "closer in pronunciation". What is closer, and in what way?Dovi 05:10, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

Well, I can certainly see a strong case for using the term that fits better with Hebrew usage. However, I can't help wondering whether this term is widely enough used in English, in the particular case of vocalization: I've seen plentiful references in English-language works to "Palestinian vocalization", but none to "Eretz Yisrael vocalization". This may just reflect my personal inexperience though; which term does the Encyclopedia Judaica use, say? - Mustafaa 20:09, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Oh, and as for "closer", I guess I was thinking mainly of the pronunciation of schwa as e, but also of the smaller vowel system. - Mustafaa 20:11, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Some statistics: "Eretz Yisrael vocalization" returns one hit; "Palestinian vocalization" 28 hits (and another three using "vocalisation".) The other possibilities that I could think of ("Jerusalem vocalization", "Eretz Israel vocalization", etc.) got zero. However, the sample is so small that it may not be an adequate guide to usage. - Mustafaa 20:27, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hi. You may be right about the sample size. Alternative vocalizations are rather esoteric topics, especially this one since it only exists in fragments and the local tradition did not survive (so very few people care about it). However, the very same naming issue is paralleled in other topics. I googled the following:

8,580 for "Palestinian Targum", 26,200 for "Jerusalem Targum", "Targum" with "Land of Israel" gave 4,010 (but if you look at the examples of the latter you will see that the results reflect many other things too, nevertheless the term is a prefered one).

"Palestinian Talmud" gave about 31,000 and "Jerusalem Talmud" about 119,000. "Talmud" with "Land of Israel" gave 28,700 results that reflect many things.

The bottom line is that all the usages are legitimate in English (which was obvious in the first place), so it is not a question what may be used but rather what we want to use. On that, I suggest as above.

(PS I may be online relatively infrequently for the next week.)Dovi 04:24, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)

For the general case, maybe. But I'm not sure I see why we should use analogy here, rather than the specific case (although if we are to compare, why not compare "Palestinian vocalization" with terms such as "Jewish Palestinian Aramaic?) I've only seen one single reference to this vowel system under any other name, the one I linked to above; all the standard reference works seem to use the term "Palestinian vocalization" (the sources Jouon and Muraoka recommends for deeper study, for instance, are titled "Studies in the Palestinian Vocalization of Hebrew", "Hebrew Texts with Palestinian Vocalization", and "Biblical Texts with Palestinian Pointing and their Accents".) I have no wish to argue the general point, but in the particular case of vocalization, I don't think we should change the usual terminology unless a significant number of scholars publishing in English are already using the suggested alternatives.

By the way, check out this PDF file that I just found - it's got a manuscript in Palestinian vocalization, and a proposal to add it to Unicode. The bibliography may be useful too. - Mustafaa 06:34, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Now that was interesting! Maybe I should write to her and tell her something that's been bugging me, namely that even the unicode standard for Tiberian cantillation does not capture all the nuances found in the mss. In any case, back to "Jerusalem" etc. - Aramaic is the same as the rest of the story. This business about the rare fragmentary vocalization is the same story too, its just harder to deal with what people call it because hardly anybody is interested in it. In Hebrew it is always written about as "Erez Yisrael" as opposed to "Teveryani". But again, few people write about it, it is after all just some fragments. I think the issue should be considered as a whole.
The truth is that I never seriously explored this vowel system, and don't know a great amount about it. Something sticks in my head about it being geographically southern (contra Tiberias) but I really don't remember, and when I get back to a university library (which I won't for a few weeks during vacation) I'll try to check it out.Dovi 08:19, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)



   Can anyone help me find archaeologically valid evidence of the
existence of any of the base documents of Tanach or evidence of the existence of a "hebrew" people prior to 500BCE? Durable recording media existed in Mesopotamia and Egypt back to at least 2500BCE. Some contend that the sound sequence "apiru" commonly attributed to signs in these recordings means "hebrew." Many disagree.
   Given the probability that the Aleph-Tav are Hieroglyphs(spiritual glyphs) and not merely sonic-signs like A-Z is it not probable that at least some of Torah was not the "writing" of a verbal language but archetypal observations on the human spirit?(the non-material part of man---intuition, intellect) Understandable only by those disciplined enough to study the Hieroglyphs and recognize their operation in the disciples mind?  If so, to see clearly the spiritual significance of these passages one must stand upwind from the plethora of "airs,"

vocalizations, vowelings that usually gives a glyph-group many "meanings" according to the story or garment wrapped about a Torah verse. This prespective gives spiritual significance to the term "unleavened bread."

  If the Aleph-Tav are considered as corns of wheat that can be combined to form "bread" then unleavened bread is bread without air, leavening. Written-read only. Like scientific or computer languages. Pure spiritual content. Some hold that the Aleph-Tav originated in Assyria. The Golden or least corrupted age. How much of the "hebrew language" was created, leavened, in the Iron age, the most corruptible?

Johnshoemaker (talk) 10:53, 6 February 2008 (UTC) PS: Will someone "word-wrap" this if necessary? And maybe leave a note how?

A template box?

It migth be useful to adapt the box used on Chinese language articles (eg Dungan language) for Hebrew-related ones; with such a plethora of interesting topics, it would be nice to have a consistent navigation between them. - Mustafaa 02:07, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Something like this, maybe? - Mustafaa 02:24, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sounds ambitious. Would almost certainly need refinement. :P - Gilgamesh 03:18, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I think the concept is outstanding. Agreed that some details may need refinement, but the overall organization is so good that it should stay intact. Initial thoughts on details: (1) "Geographical" - maybe "Oral traditions" or "Local oral traditions" would be more accurate? (2) Why just "Nearest Relatives"? Why not "Related languages" more broadly? (3) "Vocalizations" is also the term I prefer, but some people may not understand it. Maybe in parenthesis add (vowels)? (4) On "Palestinian" for western Jewish traditions in this and many areas - I stated my view above and am waiting for a reply.Dovi 15:52, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)
(1) sounds great to me. (2) "Related languages" could be good, if we added some sense of the hierarchy involved: maybe Ammonite | Edomite | Moabite | Phoenician || Semitic || Afro-Asiatic, or maybe an outline analogous to the one in the language box (eg at Hebrew language? (Obviously, listing all relatives would make it unmanageable...) (3): good idea. (4) - see above. - Mustafaa 20:18, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I think this modification below is better, because it does not make one necessarily think that Ammonite, Moabite and Edomite are not Hebrew languages, while also making it clear that they are not Israelite traditions of the language, but rather related forms.
Are we planning to finish this template and deploy it? I'm willing to, but I'd like to reach majority academic concensus. - Gilgamesh 08:18, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I've been meaning to get back to this for quite a while, but keep forgetting. Sorry. In any case, I think the template is good enough as it is to deploy right now. Various details can still be changed later; deployment doesn't mean that it is completely frozen. Here are a few details still to consider:

  • Writing "Related" instead of "Related languages" seems very silly and unclear to me. (Yes, I know it has something to do with the Canaanite debate.)
  • "Jewish languages" - my initial idea was a single link to the article on this, because many people associate them with Hebrew (for good reason). It has now been expanded into a full list of languages within the template. I don't think this causes any real harm, but it seems a bit exaggerated. Maybe it could be shortened to just "Jewish languages" with a couple of the most widespread examples (Ladino, Yiddish, for "others" see the main list).
  • Back to "Related languages" (I hope): I'm not quite sure how to do this in the most useful way, but perhaps it would be clearer to make put a chronological, not just geographical, element into the list. Akkadian listed "as is" along with Arabic and Amharic? Ugaritic with Aramaic? But if it is impossible to do this without making things utterly confusing, then let's just forget it.
  • Oral Traditions - Israeli Hebrew pronunciation is established enough to be an oral tradition too, but I don't know where it should link to. Dovi 04:29, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, I prefer "Related languages" as well. "Related" alone conveys no more or less "connotation" towards the Canaanites than "Related languages" And yes, it's a great idea to include "Jewish languages", but including the languages that are actually distinctly Jewish. Samaritan and Moabite are not. Maybe the template can be divided into Jewish and non-Jewish forms of Hebrew, followed by closely related non-Hebrew Canaanite languages such as Phoenician/Punic. - Gilgamesh 07:16, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm thinking of listing the languages this way:
  • Jewish Canaanite languages
  • Jewish non-Canaanite languages
  • Non-Jewish Hebrew Canaanite languages
  • Non-Jewish Hebrew-people languages
  • Related non-Hebrew Canaanite languages

- Gilgamesh 07:19, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Or, conversely, this way:
  • Jewish Canaanite languages
  • Non-Jewish Hebrew Canaanite languages
  • Related non-Hebrew Canaanite languages
  • Jewish non-Canaanite languages
  • Non-Jewish Hebrew-people languages

- Gilgamesh 07:24, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I hate to say it (no harm intended :-), but the current arrangement is a lot less confusing than all of that. Personally, I like it more or less as it is, I think Mustafaa did a great job, and I lean towards not changing it too much. Just possibly doing a rearrangement within "Related languages" to show what is more/less ancient (perhaps a simple category: Ancient Semitic languages with a geographical breakdown inside). Dovi 08:43, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)


Hebrew: Varieties
Chronological stages: Biblical Hebrew | Mishnaic Hebrew | Medieval Hebrew | Modern Hebrew
Oral traditions: Ashkenazi Hebrew | Mizrahi Hebrew | Samaritan Hebrew | Sephardi Hebrew | Yemenite Hebrew
Writing systems
Vocalizations (vowels): Tiberian | Babylonian | Palestinian | Samaritan
Alphabets: Hebrew | Samaritan | Paleo-Hebrew
Related
Canaanite languages: Ammonite | Edomite | Moabite | Phoenician
Northwest Semitic languages: Ugaritic | Aramaic | Amorite
Semitic languages: Arabic | Akkadian | Geez | Amharic | Tigre | Tigrigna...
Jewish languages
Judæo-Arabic | Judæo-Aramaic | Judæo-Berber | Bukhori | Italkian | Karaim | Ladino | Lishán Didán | Lishana Deni | Lishanid Noshan | Judeo-Malayalam | Judæo-Persian | Judæo-Tat | Yiddish


Hi, sorry I've been out of commission for a while. As I mentioned before my absence, I think you've all done a wonderful job on the template. I would like to suggest two more things, one very minor and one a bit more serious:

1. Minor: It seems to me that "Chronological stages" is far more basic than "Oral traditions" and that the order should be reversed.

2. Related languages: I am aware that the current text is a result of the rather convoluted debate that was raging about "Canaanite" (a debate which I still don't fully understand despite several efforts). However, I think the "template" can and should be above that debate, and still be both useful and reflect academic usage.

Instead, I suggest that we return to simply "Related lanuguages", period. That is a useful category. In that category, we should first list "Ancient Semitic languages" - a useful title which makes it completely clear what they are, and what their relationship to Hebrew is. This can include everything from proto-semitic to akkadian to ancient aramaic, as well as canaanite languages, and I don't think it should offend anybody. Two other languages which have had a close ongoing special relationship with Hebrew for hundreds and/or thousands of years are Aramaic and Arabic. To my mind these are special, and should be listed separately. But if not, perhaps we should simply put in "Other Semitic Languages" after "Ancient Semitic languages" to include these. Finally, I suggest adding something new: "Jewish languages", which are obviously not related to Hebrew as semitic languages, but are related historically in their usage and alphabets, and some readers may be looking for them.

Let me know what you think.Dovi 05:25, Aug 27, 2004 (UTC)

I like your suggestions... how about this? - Mustafaa 06:44, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I hope y'all don't mind that I added Template:Jewish_language to as many of the Hebrew languages articles as I found. I don't know where the related articles thingamajig Dovi made might be stored, but check it against some of the articles--there are a few articles that aren't properly linked (notably Dzhidi=Judæo-Persian and the Neo-Aramaic languages)...and Judæo-Tat is only linked because of a redirect to Juhuri_language. Tomer TALK 11:32, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)

Cut and paste problems

I find when I cut and paste Hebrew from the hebrew pages sometimes it works and sometimes it is gibberish after I save the page. See Tanakh as an example (I didn't do this one).

--YUL89YYZ 13:39, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

What about other Jewish languages?

What about other Jewish languages, ie Ladino, Yiddish, Shuadit, Yevanic, the various varieties of Judeo-Arabic, etc? Node 03:50, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, I'm not opposed to the idea. Besides Hebrew languages associated with the Canaanite language family, there are also languages spoken chiefly by Hebrews. - Gilgamesh 07:04, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The other connection would be that Jewish languages tend to use a lot of Hebrew vocabulary (e.g. Yiddish is 20-30% Hebrew), and invariably use Hebrew script. Jayjg 14:09, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Nequddoth support in Firefox

Now that Firefox seems to integrate nequddoth just as well as IE does now, I think it's safe to start adding vowels to Hebrew spellings in Wikipedia articles now. ^_^ - Gilgamesh 08:12, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hmm, almost two years later and I disagree with that statement. I still have the kamatz or the segol sitting next to the letter as opposed to under it where it belongs. Is there a way I can fix this configuration?