Thursday, June 23, 2005

How to read like an Israelite

Ketav Ivrit

A blast from the past; how our distant Biblical ancestors (who could write) wrote. Do you think there is any value from a Jewish perspective in knowing the Proto-Semitic script today? Do/ should talmidei chachamim have at least a rudimentary proficiency in this script? Or should that be left to nebech-an-apikoires academic types?

Update: Parsha Blog points out the following:

There is a discussion of how in the Ten Commandments, engraved through and through
on two tablets, the samach and mem sofit were miraculous, in that the middle portion had to have floated (
Shabbat 104a and Megilla 2b-3a). How to understand the Yerushalmi that has instead "ayin and tes?" You need to know Ktav Ivri (in which these two letters are circular - the ayin looks like a samach, and the tes looks like an X inside an O, in what seems a modification of the letter tav) - to really understand this - and it is clear that Chazal knew Ktav Ivri.

On the Main Line, now with tags:
, Alphabet" rel="tag">Alphabet

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