Publisher:  Varda Books
Original Publisher:  Magnes Press
Published:  2010
Language:  English
Pages:   471

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About the Book

Mishnaic Hebrew is one discipline in Jewish Studies, if not the only one, in which research is conducted today almost entirely in Hebrew. The founders of the modern study of Mishnaic Hebrew, H. Yalon, J. N. Epstein, and S. Lieberman, were scholars from Jerusalem, as was the next generation of scholars, E.Y. Kutscher and Z. Ben-Hayyim. M. H. Segal, too, whose writings reflect a symbiosis of new directions and old paths, moved to Jerusalem in the 1930's, and his change in domicile is paralleled by the choice of Hebrew as the language of his later works. At present, three, perhaps four, generations of scholars work in the field of Mishnaic Hebrew in Israel. The purpose of this volume of Scripta Hierosolymitana is to make some of the results of current research here in Israel accessible in English to scholars abroad.

Most of the twenty-two articles included here have appeared previously in Hebrew in different journals, congress proceedings, and Festschriften. A few of the contributions were written especially for the present volume. Only one of the articles does not deal directly with Mishnaic Hebrew, rather, it analyzes a grammatical noun pattern in an Aramaic dialect; its contribution to Mishnaic Hebrew, however, is clearly demonstrated.

Twenty of the articles offered here investigate diverse grammatical and lexical topics. The two remaining articles, which constitute the Introduction to the book, provide the reader with a detailed overview of Mishnaic Hebrew research: the first concentrates on written documents and the second is devoted to the oral evidence. Unfortunately, several scholars whom we invited to participate in the volume were not able to take part. Their absence is felt. The articles collected here are thus only a representative selection, albeit a significant one, of the topics of research as well as those involved in the research. Three generations of scholars have taken part in this volume, including a significant number from the newest generation.

In order to avoid needless repetition in the bibliography of each article, we have prepared one comprehensive bibliography at the end of the book, which includes all items mentioned in the volume dealing with Mishnaic Hebrew. The result is that we have assembled the most complete list of articles and books on Mishnaic Hebrew published to date. This bibliography has been made even more extensive by including additional publications of the contributors on Mishnaic Hebrew that are not cited in this volume.

The publication of this volume would not have been possible without the help of my colleague and friend Dr. S. Fassberg. He translated two of the articles, looked over the English in the others, collected the items for the comprehensive bibliography, and prepared the book for publication. I thank him sincerely. I also thank Dr. Yohanan Breuer, who helped greatly with proofs and coordinating the final stages in the preparation of the book, as well as Dr. Oren Becker, who generously assisted in modifying and creating special font characters. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to The Magnes Press, and especially its former Academic Chairman, Prof. Reuven Yaron, and Director, Mr. Dan Benovici, for accepting this volume in the Scripta Hierosolymitana series and their assistance in all stages of its publication. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the lengthy interval between the time the articles were handed in and the publication of this volume. Neither the authors nor the editors were responsible for the delay.


From Preface,  Moshe Bar-sher, Editor


Introduction             The Study of Mishnaic Hebrew Grammar Based on Written Sources: Achievements. Problems, and Tasks. Moshe Bar-Asher 9

Shelomo Morag       The Study of Mishnaic Hebrew - The Oral Evidence: Nature and Appraisal  43

Moshe Azar             The Conditional Clause in Mishnaic Hebrew                               58

Moshe Bar-Asher    The Formation of the Nif'al III-y Participle in Mishnaic Hebrew  69

Yaakov Bentolila      Mishnaic Hebrew in a Medieval French-Italian  Tradition: Points of Interest 87

Gabriel Birnbaum     Studies in Determination in Mishnaic Hebrew 107

Yohanan Breuer      On the Hebrew Dialect of the Amora'im in the Babylonian Talmud  129

Steven E. Fassberg Constructions of Purpose and Intended Result in the Hebrew of the Mishna  151

Shamma Friedman  The Babylonian Branch of Tannaitic Hebrew and an Ancient Scroll Fragment (b. Hullin 101a-105a) 164

Isaac Gluska           The Development of New Conjugations from Biblical Roots that Survived in Mishnaic Hebrew 181

Menahem Zevi        On Deontic Modality in Mishnaic Hebrew Kaddari 197

Yechiel Kara          Yemenite Traditions of Mishnaic Hebrew in the Tractate Kelim             218

Menahem Kister     Lexicographical Problems - Early and Late  244

Aharon Maman      Karaites and Mishnaic Hebrew: Quotations and Usage 264