Monday, 17 July 2017

Toomas Karmo: More Study Aids for Biblical Hebrew

One of the five or so desktops in my current Debian GNU/Linux 9.0 ("stretch", in the "current stable" branch). Clockwise from upper left: operations clocks (green for local Ontario civil time, red for UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)); a browser shot from one of the various fine YouTube renditions of Yerushalayim shel Zahav (this one is "Jerusalem of Gold - Land Of Promise", by YouTube user "Jewish National Fund", from 2009-12-04, to a length of 3:20, in my corner of the Web under URL; a Debian GNU/Linux /usr/bin/xterm window judiciously configured to display some of my private notes on Hebrew-language resources; a small display of Current Hebrew Gear in my flat; a browser shot from the YouTube rendition of a Pirates of Penzance  philological parody ("I Am the Very Model of a Biblical Philologist", by YouTube user "Josh Tyra", from 2014-12-11, to a length of 3:44, in my corner of the Web under URL - The Current Hebrew Gear on display comprises my new Hebrew lexicon, with some handwritten flash cards, and additionally the "Basket of Shame" and "Bowl of Hope".  In the Basket of Shame live some of the Pratico-and-Van Pelt vocabulary flash cards which are currently giving me some trouble. In the Bowl of Hope live those vocabulary cards which I seem for the moment to have mastered. - Josh Tyra's song seems to be (rightly) celebrated among students of Hebrew, even as Prof. Tom Lehrer's Lobachevsky Song must be celebrated among students of mathematics. "I dream in Aramaic and interpret it in Syriac," proclaims this vocalist, adding that he can "mumble in Mandaic and hum a little Hurrian" and "tell a surplice from a chasuble or maniple./ And reconstruct the library of ancient Assurbanipal". Particularly fine is his conjecture regarding the probable geographical origin of the Philistines. - Moving though the "Jewish National Fund" "Yerushalayim shel Zahav" rendition is, I would additionally urge everyone to seek out Ofra Haza's still more moving rendition of this same song, in part for its haunting evocation of  modern Hebrew phonetics: search in YouTube under "Ofra Haza Yerushalayim shel Sahav", or try the link - The image can be enlarged by mouse-clicking.

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