Sunday, February 1, 2009


Yes, I guess essentially I'm still following up from the topic of "Jesus and his times" (in quotes due to my adherence to the myth theory):

While I was living in Orlando, I had the type of beard that made me look like an ambassador to Judaism or something (which, I admit, is fun!). I was once stopped on the street by a British Christian my age, who seemingly converted since he had dark skin (perhaps Indian). He asked me about prayer, and about what I thought of "the lords prayer". At that time I hadn't even heard of it though (something I was somewhat embarrassed of), and so he explained to me that it was that famous prayer about "give us today our daily bread" etc. I told him honestly I didn't have a preconceived opinion, as I hadn't given it much thought in the past.

I am not here to discuss the lords prayer, but rather Aramaic, since it is known that "Jesus spoke Aramaic", and if the prayer was uttered, it would have been in Aramaic, though in honesty it was probably traslated from the Greek origional.

I have always felt somewhat sorry for Aramaic, since most of the people I know who read it pronounce it in a way that's far from how it might have once been pronounced, and I'm one of those guys who, even though nobody else in the yeshiva reads Gemara that way, will strive to read it in a way that's more historically palatable. It has always been somewhat of a source of pride for me.

In the place and times in which the Talmud was penned though, most everyone spoke Aramaic, including the Christians of the Chaldean, Mesopotamian and Assyrian Orthodox Churches. How might the lords prayer, for example, or Aramaic in general, have sounded at that time in which some of our greatest ancestors lived? This is something I thankfully was able to hear almost daily, due to my living for a year in quite close proximity to the Syrian orthodox Church in the old city (as I mentioned). Here's a little snippet I found on YouTube, it's pretty much from 48 seconds till 1: 45. Don't worry, there's nothing in it that's subersive to Jewish theology!

For some clarification, I'm actually going to type it out(!) to aid understanding.

אבון דבשמיא
נתקדש שמך
תיתי מלכותך
נהבא צבינך
איכנא ד[ב]שמיא
אף [ב]ארעא

הב לן לחמן (סונכנן) יומנא
ושב[ו]ק לן חובין
איכנא דאף כנן
שבקן [ל]חייבין

ולא תעלין נסיונא, אלא פ[ת]צן מן בישא
מתון דדילך היא מלכותא, חילא ותושבחתא
לעלם [ול]עלמין

(Some interesting grammatical elements to this Modern-Eastern Aramaic:
פ רפויה is pronounced "P".
ב רפויה is pronounced "W".
ח is pronounced "כ".

In Western Aramaic the כ is pronounced "ch".
In Western Aramaic the קמץ is pronounced "oo").

1 comment:

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Haha, get this: in the second paragraph I had "I was once stopped on the street by someone who seemed to be a British Christian my age, who seemingly converted"! Ha! He told me what seemed to be "hi" and seemingly continued walking down the stret!

...I don't know why, that just cracks me up! : )