Sunday, November 9, 2014

Israel recognises "Aramaics" as separate ethnic group!

JISH, Israel, Nov 9 (Reuters) - In the green hills of the Galilee, where Jesus is said to have preached two thousand years ago, a group of Aramaic speakers looking to revive the language of Christ are celebrating a victory in their quest to safeguard their heritage.

In a place where tensions run high on issues of ethnicity, faith and citizenship, members of the Christian sect have won the right to change their designation in the population registry from "Arab" to a newly-created ethnic classification: "Aramaic."

The group that sought the change is small, a few hundred people at most, but their campaign is part of a larger debate on issues of identity in the Holy Land and Israel's treatment of its Arab minority.

Supporters say Israel's agreement to allow the group to define itself as "Aramaic" is a sign of ethnic tolerance.

But critics call it an attempt by the government to encourage splits within its Arab population, which largely defines itself as Palestinian and makes up about a fifth of the country's 8.2 million citizens.

Others say it is also another reflection of the reality for Arabs in Israel, where many Arab citizens say they are discriminated against.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Culture Dispute Is All Aramaic to Us.Why Do Arab Israeli Christians Lobby For a New Identity?

The interior of the house of a Christian family in Jerusalem, ca. 1850. 
 Some of you may have been following the stories from Israel about a small group of Christian Arabs from the Galilee successfully petitioning the Israeli Ministry of Interior to register them as “Aramaeans” rather than Arabs. Led by a Greek Orthodox priest, Gabriel Nadaf, this same group has also been active in encouraging young Israeli Christian Arabs to volunteer for service in the Israeli army and has been vocal in its pro-Israel, anti-Arab sentiments. As a result, it has come under heavy fire from Israeli Arab politicians and some Israeli Christian church leaders, who have accused its members of being quislings.

You may ask how serious all this can be. After all, Aramaic (or Syriac, as it also is called), though once dominant throughout the Middle East before being pushed out by Arabic, has not been spoken in the Galilee, or anywhere else in Israel, for centuries. (Although no one knows exactly when its last speakers vanished, this was clearly long ago.) In another generation or two, indeed, it may no longer be spoken by anyone anywhere, because it is faced with the prospect of extinction. The number of its users, formerly many millions, has dwindled to a few hundred thousand, nearly all of whom are bilingual and many of whom are raising their children in Arabic. Moreover, these speakers divide into two main populations — a larger one, mostly in northern Iraq, speaking “eastern Aramaic,” and a much smaller one in southwestern Syria, speaking “western Aramaic” — both of which are living in war zones and have been badly affected by the fighting. Almost entirely Christian, they have been targeted by Islamic forces and many have fled or immigrated to places where Aramaic is not spoken.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Dale Allen Hoffman to appear at Center for Spiritual Living in Morristown

The Center for Spiritual Living Morristown will present acclaimed Aramaic teacher Dale Allen Hoffman for two days of events at Center for Spiritual Living Morristown on Sunday, Nov. 2 and Monday, Nov. 3. The Center for Spiritual Living Morristown is located at 331 Mount Kemble Ave., Morristown.

On Sunday, Nov. 2, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Hoffman will present “ENANA: Living from the I Am” (two hours – $25 per person – includes 15 minute mid-workshop break)
When Yeshua (Jesus) made statements such as "I Am the Way, and the Truth and the Life" or "I Am the Light of the world", was He speaking about Himself as the only path to salvation or was He actually referring to a Presence which rests quietly within each and every one of us? When viewed in His native ancient Aramaic language, the words "I Am" (Aramaic "Enana") translate directly into modern English as "I – I" or the "I within the I". Yeshua’s universal teachings come alive when understood within the cultural context in which He spoke them as we awaken to the realization that many of our modern interpretations of His teachings are in fact very clearly 100 percent perfectly opposite of their meaning in His native ancient Aramaic tongue.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saving the Aramaic language.

Professor Shabo Talay leads a project that has received a 450,000 Euro grant to secure the future of the Aramaic language Turoyo.

Aramaic inscription, used to accompany an article on the research and education project Aramaic Online, which has received funding from the EU's Erasmus+ programme.
A DISAPPEARING LANGUAGE: The Turoyo language is mainly spoken by the Christian minority in parts of Syria and Turkey, but is threatened by exctinction due to emigration and armed conflict. Universities have united with a monastery to create the project Aramaic Online in order to help second and third generation immigrants in Europe to learn the language. The image shows an Aramaic inscription.
In the modern world, the Aramaic languages are threatened by extinction. But with funding from the EU’s Erasmus programme the project Aramaic Online will provide future generations with an option of online training in Turoyo.
The world is full of languages such as Turoyo. Some of which will be gone only a few years from now, whereas other will hang on for maybe another generation or two before becoming extinct. But for languages such as Turoyo there is still hope of survival, which underlines the urgency of the Aramaic Online project.
Today, Turoyo is primarily an oral language. It is one of the successors of the ancient Aramaic tongue, which once was widespread in large areas of the Middle East. Now, only small pockets remain where the successor language is still in use.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Report: Islamic State Sieges Threatening to Eliminate Aramaic, the Language of Jesus.

Christian Mosaic,Syria
The siege of northern Iraq against the nation's ethnic and religious minorities by jihadist terror group Islamic State threatens to significantly alter the composition of the nation and write yet another chapter on genocide in human history. The threat is also a cultural one, however, as Islamic State terrorists kill hundreds of the last remaining speakers of Aramaic.

The Islamic State's onslaught against minorities in Iraq escalated to unprecedented levels upon its seizure of Mosul, the second-largest city in the nation. There, they cleansed the city of its Christians, demanding the jiziya or "infidel's tax," their departure, or their lives. The Christians left, marking the first time since shortly after the life of Jesus that Mosul is devoid of Christian residents.

Many of those Christians are Assyrians – indigenous Iraqis who speak a form of Aramaic. Aramaic is the language Jesus is presumed to have spoken by most historians, and while rare around the world today, remained a prominent tongue in much of Iraq and Syria. It is the language spoken in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004).

Foreign Policy's Ross Perlin notes that much of the territory where Aramaic continues to be spoken overlaps with that which is currently under assault by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Some of these, in northern Iraq – Qaraqosh, Tel Kepe, and Karamlesh specifically – contained a significant Aramaic-speaking population as well as Kurdish and Yazidi minority groups...

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Why Doesn't the World Seem to Care When Assyrian Christians Die?

A house in the Iraqi city of Mosul is tagged with the letter "Noon," the first letter of the word "Nasara," an Arabic term for Christians (photo: AFP/Newscom)

By Rob Eshman

When Jews are killed, we make sure the world knows. When Palestinians are killed, the Web explodes. So why is it that when Christians are murdered and persecuted en masse, no one seems to care -- not even other Christians?

We see this mystery playing out in Iraq with the hundreds of thousands of members of Christian minorities whose deaths have not yet provoked an outcry.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Iraqi Christians: "We need somewhere safe to live"

ERBIL, Iraq - There are important developments in the Iraq crisis.

It appears Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will step down. There had been concern that after eight years he would try to hold on to power by military force. And correspondent David Martin reports that President Obama is sending about 130 more American military advisers to Iraq. There are 250 in the country already.

They're helping the Iraqi government roll back ISIS, a Muslim extremist army that has taken control of parts of Iraq and Syria.

Obama ordered airstrikes on ISIS when it threatened the Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq. That's where these new American advisers would go, to help thousands of refugees who are surrounded on Mount Sinjar.

On Monday, when an Iraqi helicopter dropped water to help the refugees, some refugees seized the chance and jumped aboard.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Emergence and spread of the Aramaic script (short video).

Here's an interesting one and half minute video about the emegergence and spread of the Aramaic script through its descendatns.

Aramaic evolved from Phoenician and then a dozen or more scripts sprung from it or were influenced by it all the way to India,even Eastern Asia.

Hebrew is a direct descendent of the Aramaic script.The Hebrew script is essentially what is known as block Aramaic script.Arabic evolved from Nabatean an offshoot of the Aramaic alphabet.Some letters of the Brahmi script from witch so many alphabets derived in the Indian peninsula seem to have been borrowed from Aramaic.Further into Asia,Sogdian ,Uighur ,even the traditional Mongol script are based on Aramaic!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Biblical Aramaic- Vowels (video lecture)

Selected from Basics of Biblical Aramaic Video Lectures, this video presents all material from Chapter 2: Vowels with Miles V. Van Pelt.

Basics of Biblical Aramaic Video Lectures provides 22 easy-to-follow lessons (on 3 DVDs) on the most neglected biblical language.
Integrated for use with one of today’s bestselling Aramaic textbooks, it is an ideal resource for Aramaic language students wanting additional help in their learning; for instructors wanting to devote classroom time to drills and exercises, giving them a lecture tool their students can watch on their own time; and for self-learners with an interest in learning biblical Aramaic on their own.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Chaldean American Success Story!

From Baghdad to San Diego, Sabri Shamoun lives the American Dream
A Chaldean American Success Story
Sabri Shamoun, 74, in the law offices of RJS LAW in Downtown San Diego, where he is an adviser.
Sabri Shamoun, a 74-year-old Chaldean American, grew the earnings from a small grocery store in Detroit into a profitable real estate venture in San Diego that has made him millions and secured the financial futures of his family and many others through his generosity.
Sabri Shamoun with his daughter, Renae Arabo, and son, Ronsom Shamoun.
Sabri Shamoun with his daughter, Renae Arabo, and son, Ronsom Shamoun.
Shamoun’s real estate holdings, assembled by him since moving here from Detroit in 1972, include commercial and residential properties around San Diego County, from Normal Heights to Chula Vista to El Cajon and beyond.
He is a gregarious man, but not one to boast about his earnings, though one can properly say that he is a self-made millionaire. Through a keen knowledge of real estate, he has been able to multiply the value of his holdings many times over, as in the case, for example, of property he purchased on Adams Avenue for $50,000 some years ago, which is now worth $700,000

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Custom of Calling The Aramaic “Hebrew”.

In the Gospel of John the Aramaic terms ΒηθεσδάΓαββαθᾶΓολγοθᾶῬαββουνί are called “Hebrew.”Aramaic, too, must be meant by the “Hebrew tounge” in which Paul spoke to the people of Jerusalem (Acts 21:40, 22:2), and in which Jesus spoke to Paul (Acts 26:14).
According to Acts 6:1, Ἑλληνισταί and Ἑβραῖοι were the names of the two parts of the Jewish people as divided by language, although Συρισταί would have been the more precise counterpart of Ἑλληνισταί. But if it was possible to characterize Aramaic as “Hebrew,” it is clear that Aramaic was the everyday speech of the Jewish people at this period, in so far, at least, as it was not Greek.
Josephus, indeed showed himself (Ant. X.i.2,  XII. ii. 1) quite capable of distinguishing the language and written character of the “Syrians” from those of the “Hebrews.” And yet between Hebrew and Aramaic words he makes no difference. According to Anti. I. i. 1, 2, σάββατα and Ἀδάμ belong to the Hebrew tounge, but ἀσαρθά as well (Ant. III. x. 6) is a term of the “Hebrews.” The “Hebrew” in which Josephus addresses the people of Jerusalem (Bell. Jud. VI. ii. 1) is even called by him (Bell. Jud. V. ix. 2) ἡ πάτριος γλώσσα, though in the circumstances nothing but Aramaic can be looked for.
That Aramaic had at least a distinct predominance in Judaea may be inferred with certainty from the place-names in Jerusalem and its environs:
  • Ἀκελδαμάχ (חֲקֵל דּמא);
  • ΒηθζαθάΒηζεθά (בֵּית זַיְתָא);
  • Γαββαθᾶ (גַּבַּחְתָּא);
  • Γολγοθᾶ (גָּלְגָּלְתָּא);
  • ὌπλαὈφλᾶς (עָפְלָא);
  • Σαφείν (צָפִין);
  • Χαφεναθά (כָּפְלָתָא)

Note: Adapted from English translation of Gustaf Dalman’s The Words of Jesus (pages 6-7).
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Friday, May 30, 2014

What language DID Jesus speak? Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope's disagreement opens debate on whether he spoke Hebrew or Aramaic.

At a meeting in Jerusalem, Israel's prime minister told the Pope that Jesus spoke Hebrew and the Pope corrected him by saying 'Aramaic' Historians believe that Hebrew was the language of scholars and scriptures, so Jesus probably spoke both dialects Christ may have spoken a few words of Latin and Greek No-one knows the language he spoke for sure, or whether he could write.

The Pope’s pilgrimage to the Middle East was controversial because of the holy leader’s impromptu prayer session at the West Bank’s barrier. And a playful religious disagreement also took place between Pope Francis and Israel’s prime minister, which revolved around Jesus’ linguistic skills. Benjamin Netanyahu and the Pope had a small, good natured squabble about the language spoken by Jesus Christ. Scroll down for video.

Aramaic! Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and the Pope (right) had a small, humorous squabble (pictured) about the language spoken by Jesus Christ, with Israel's prime minister saying that the religious leader spoke Hebrew, while the Pope said Aramaic
Aramaic! Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and the Pope (right) had a small, humorous squabble (pictured) about the language spoken by Jesus Christ, with Israel's prime minister saying that the religious leader spoke Hebrew, while the Pope said Aramaic
At a meeting in Jerusalem, Mr Netanyahu told the Pope: ’Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew,’ in a bid to discuss the strong ties between Judaism and Christianity. To which the smiling Pope corrected: ‘Aramaic. He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.’

BIBLICAL ARAMAIC Most Biblical scholars agree that Jesus and his disciples spoke Aramaic, which was the common language of Judea in the first century AD. It is likely that Jesus spoke a local Galilean dialect and the towns of Nazareth was an Aramaic speaking community. Despite the increasing importance of Greek, Aramaic was the dominant language among Jews in the Holy Land and across the Middle East until the Arab conquest in the seventh century. Aramaic words frequently pop up in Biblical text, such as 'Abba, Father, ‘and place names including Gethsemane - the place where Jesus took his disciples to pray before his arrest - are thought to have an Aramaic root. No-one really knows whether Jesus could write. Some experts believe he could speak Hebrew. Opinion is divided as to whether the religious leader knew any Greek or Latin.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Genesis 1:1 in Aramaic-'In the beginning...'

The book of Genesis was originally written in Hebrew as was the most part of the Old Testament.Only the book of Ezra and Daniel were originally written in Aramaic.

This is a translation of the first verse of the Book of Genesis aka Bereshit in Aramaic.

ty$rbBereshit (Book of Genesis) 1:1
EnglishIn the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Aramaic)(r) tyw )ym$ yt 'h )rb nymdqb
transcriptiona'ra tyw aymš yt 'h arb nymdqb (read from right to left)

source of Aramaic translation

The official Aramaic translation to the Torah is known as Targum Onkelos translated by Onkelos (c.35–120 AD).
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mark 14:30 ...before the rooster crows twice...

Mark 14:30
And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ἀμὴν λέγω σοι ὅτι σὺ σήμερον ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ταύτῃ πρὶν ἢ δὶς ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι τρὶς ἀπαρνήσῃ με.
ܐܳܡܰܪ ܠܶܗ ܝܶܫܽܘܥ ܐܰܡܺܝܢ ܐܳܡܰܪ ܐ݈ܢܳܐ ܠܳܟ݂ ܕ݁ܰܐܢ݈ܬ݁ ܝܰܘܡܳܢܳܐ ܒ݁ܠܺܠܝܳܐ ܗܳܢܳܐ ܩܕ݂ܳܡ ܕ݁ܢܶܩܪܶܐ ܬ݁ܰܪܢܳܓ݂ܠܳܐ ܬ݁ܰܪܬ݁ܶܝܢ ܙܰܒ݂ܢܺܝܢ ܬ݁ܠܳܬ݂ ܬ݁ܶܟ݂ܦ݁ܽܘܪ ܒ݁ܺܝ ܀
?Amar leh yeshuʕ, "?ammin amar (?)na lakh da(?n)t yawmana belilya hana qedam deneqre tamaghla tarten zabnin telat tekhpur."

?ammar - say, speak, announce, affirm
leh - to,for
Yeshuʕ or Yeshua - Jesus
?ammin - Amen, verily
(?)na or ana - I
a(?n)t or ant - thou
b - in, by, into, among, at, with, against
yawmana - today
belilya - night
hana - this,these
qedam - call ,read
tamaghla - rooster
tarten - two
zabnin - time , season
telat - three
tekhpur - deny

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

'Eternal life'- 1John 2:25

1John 2:25

ܘܗܳܢܰܘ ܫܽܘܘ݈ܕ݁ܳܝܳܐ ܕ݁ܶܐܫܬ݁ܰܘܕ݁ܺܝ ܠܰܢ ܚܰܝܶܐ ܕ݁ܰܠܥܳܠܰܡ ܀
dalālam khayye lan de'shtawdi shu(w)dāyā whānaw
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

promise ܫܽܘܘ݈ܕ݁ܳܝܳܐ
to promise ܕ݁ܶܐܫܬ݁ܰܘܕ݁ܺܝ
to ܠܰܢ
life,salvation ܚܰܝܶܐ
eternity,age,world ܕ݁ܰܠܥܳܠܰܡ
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No such thing as the Lord's Prayer in GALILEAN Aramaic!

two reconstructed versions of the beginning of Lord's prayer in Galilean

You heard me.There is no such thing as the Lord's Prayer in Galilean Aramaic-the language that Jesus Christ spoke the most.Not in the original form anyway.Only reconstructions of it exist.Let me elaborate on this.

No text has ever been found with the Lord's Prayer in the Galilean dialect.The oldest known form of the prayer is in Greek from the Gospels of Luke and Mark.The prayer is not found in Matthews's Gospel.The only attested form of the prayer in Aramaic is that of the Peshitta in Syriac Aramaic which is a translation of the original Greek text.

What it does exist are recontructions of the prayer in Galilean Aramaic like this and this.Some of these are based on science like linguistics (phonology,dialectology) and history .Others on the imagination of the author who sometimes mixes both science and fiction to come up with an 'original' Lord's prayer in Galilean.What you should  take into account is that Galilean Aramaic itself is an obscure dialect not widely attested.In fact we know little of this dialect .Let alone reconstruct a prayer in it.

A reconstruction of the Lord's Prayer in 'Jewish Aramaic' as it is called by the author of this prayer.

Over the internet the most popular version is the Lord's prayer in Syriac Aramaic either romanized or in the Syriac script (Estrangelo mainly).The Syriac Lord's Prayer is sometimes written in fonts like the Herodian script -used for Aramaic in the times of Jesus in Palestine- to make it look Galilean.

Reconctructions of the prayer in Galilean Aramaic are rather scarce.

The single fact remains that since the Lord's Prayer is not attested in Galilean Aramaic so we cannot know for sure what this form of the prayer was like.

Read also 
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

What are the targums.

The targums are Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Old Testament.The word Targum means 'translator' in Hebrew.

'Targum' means translator in Hebrew
After the emergence of Aramaic the Hebrew language was continuously loosing ground to it.Aramaic was gradually becoming the common language for the people.

At some point it became clear that Hebrew texts could not be understood by the mass and the need arised for a translation into Aramaic.Eventually Hebrew was reduced to being only the language of religion and the Elite in Palestine.

So ,the first targums appeared which where translations ,explanations and paraphrases of the religious Jewish scripts.

An important targum is the Targum Onkelos to the Torah.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

The word for 'church' in Syriac Aramaic.

Church in Syriac Aramaic is 'edta-read from right to left.

Take a look at the image below.The word 'edta is written in the Estrangelo version of the Syriac script.

church in Syriac Aramaic

Now let's try to write it.

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