Monthly ArchiveMay 2020

"יהוה spoke to Moshe in the Sinai Desert, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month..." Bamidbar 1:1

Bird Migration in Israel-overview 

Yoel Halevi No Comments

Bird Migration in Israel-overview 

Abstract:

While the Bible contains limited direct references to bird migration, various verses allude to the seasonal movements of birds, highlighting their instinctual behavior and God’s providential care. The Talmudic literature further explores the topic, noting the migratory habits of birds and their significance within Jewish tradition. Academic studies have examined these themes, analyzing the ecological context of avian migration in the ancient Near East and its cultural implications. 

chukat, Chuqat, parah, red cow, red heifer, the red cow, this weeks torah portion, Torah Portion

How red do I need to be?

Yoel Halevi No Comments

Introduction 

The Red Heifer ritual is a cornerstone of Jewish religious tradition, meticulously outlined in the Hebrew Bible within Numbers 19:1-22. This ancient ritual involves the sacrifice of a red heifer—a young, unblemished female cow—and the utilization of its ashes in a purification process. Beyond its practical applications, the ritual holds profound symbolic and theological significance within Jewish thought, reflecting principles of purity, atonement, and anticipation of redemption.

Book of Ester chapters 1-2

Yoel Halevi No Comments

Barley Conditions in Israel March 2024 (Adar 5784)

Yoel Halevi One comments

Definitions related to barley development observations according to the following:

Stages of Growth after Heading

            Flowering

            Milk

            Soft Dough

___________________________________

First Edible Stage for Humans

            Aviv Stage (אָבִיב) –          Filled with Starch/Firm, can be parched in fire

            Karmel Stage (כַּרְמֶל)?

            Harvest Ready –              Kernal Hard (not dividable with thumbnail)

Notes: 

  1. Primary remarks are based on observations of wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum). Modern agricultural barley (Hordeum vulgare – two and six row) and wheat fields were also checked and compared.
  • A detailed but schematic description of the route followed for observing barley development is included for the sake of transparency so that everyone can understand the evidence more clearly.

“Ancient Calendars: Insights from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Levant”

Yoel Halevi No Comments

Abstract:

This paper provides a comprehensive overview of ancient calendars from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Levant, highlighting their structures, functions, and cultural significance. It explores the Egyptian calendar, characterized by its lunar-solar system and ties to the Nile’s annual flooding. The Babylonian calendar, with its innovative intercalary months, is examined for its role in religious festivals and administrative activities. The Rabbinic calendar is discussed in its Jewish religious context, focusing on its 19-year cycle and intercalation practices. The Phoenician, Emar, Aramaean/Syrian, and Qumran calendars are also analyzed, shedding light on their lunar-solar patterns and regional variations. Through archaeological evidence, epigraphy, and literary sources, this paper reveals the methods used in the ancient world for using calendars and their vital roles in organizing time.

Introduction to the book of Ester

Yoel Halevi No Comments

In this discussion we address the themes of the book of Ester and how to understand the book in the setting of the Persian era.

How is the Narrative built?

Who are the characters?

Is there an historical event we can find in antiquity which resembles the story of Ester?

Pessaḥ- An Etymology

Yoel Halevi One comments

Introduction:

The translation of ancient texts presents an intricate tapestry where linguistic nuances and cultural contexts intertwine. In the realm of biblical scholarship, the term פסח, commonly translated as “Passover,” bears not only a linguistic translation but also an interpretative weight that shapes our understanding of a significant ceremonial event. This paper delves into the etymological intricacies of פסח, examining its dual meanings of “to limp” and “to protect.” Drawing on linguistic evolution and historical interpretations, we navigate through the genesis of the term “Passover” and explore whether this translation accurately encapsulates the rich layers of meaning embedded in the original Hebrew. By scrutinizing various biblical passages and extrabiblical sources, we aim to unveil a more nuanced understanding of פסח as an apotropaic ritual designed for the protection of the Israelites during the Exodus.

Exodus 7:9 The Tannîn

Yoel Halevi No Comments

It is an established concept that words in Biblical Hebrew may mean more than one thing, while others can mean only one. In the following paper, I will examine the word Tannin used in Exodus 7:9 and see if this specific word has been treated correctly by translations and commentaries and rendered as “snake”.

The Verses in question

כִּי יְדַבֵּר אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר תְּנוּ לָכֶם מוֹפֵת וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל אַהֲרֹן קַח אֶת מַטְּךָ וְהַשְׁלֵךְ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה יְהִי לְתַנִּין

This verse has been translated in a relatively consistent way in multiple translations:

Amos 6:3- Hebrew vs. Greek

Yoel Halevi No Comments

Abstract:

This study examines a translational discrepancy in Amos 6:3 between the Hebrew text and the Greek rendering in the Septuagint. In the original Hebrew, the term שֶׁבֶת חָמָס (shevet hamas) conveys the notion of a “throne of violence” or “seat of oppression,” symbolizing a judicial seat utilized for unjust purposes. Rooted in the verb שׁבת (shavat), denoting sitting or dwelling, the term aligns with Amos’s broader critique of leadership during a period of affluence and moral decay. However, the Greek translation introduces σάββατον(sabbaton), denoting the Sabbath day, resulting in an interpretation emphasizing a “false Sabbath” and deviating from the original focus on oppressive leadership. This misinterpretation may stem from attempts to harmonize with related passages or cultural nuances. The study highlights challenges in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural biblical translation, emphasizing the potential for misreadings by translators contributing to the Septuagint.

Keywords:

Amos 6:3, Septuagint Biblical Translation, Greek Rendering, שֶׁבֶת חָמָס (shevet hamas), Throne of Violence, Sabbath

The different translations to Greek

Realism in Jeremiah 24

Yoel Halevi No Comments

The subject of imagery in prophecy has long been a central theme in prophetic literature. One key question in this field of study pertains to the origin of the prophets’ imagery. While the traditional view regards this imagery as an integral aspect of the vision, it is essential to consider whether God employed imagery tailored to resonate with the specific individuals of their time. To delve into this subject, I will explore a specific image used in the book of Jeremiah.

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