Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew (Scripta Hierosolymitana, XXXVII)
by Moshe Bar-Asher
/ Varda Books
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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